Assemble your coaching staff for 2015

OK, guys, a little bit of fun in what's been a terrible season so far. Forget 2014 for the moment (it usually takes me about a half-bottle of red wine per game). Looking ahead to 2015, if you could handpick the coaching staff, who would you select? The one given here is that Jim Popp is back as GM. He has his contract extension, so there's no point thinking about a new GM. So let's focus on coaches.

The Positions
Head coach
Assistant head coach

Offensive coordinator
Quarterbacks
Running backs
Offensive line
Receivers
Lower-tier assistant positions (optional)

Defensive coordinator
Defensive line
Linebackers
Secondary
Lower-tier assistant positions (optional)

Special teams coordinator

Consultants (optional)

Let's hear your thoughts! How would you staff our beloved franchise? It goes without saying that you can have one person filling multiple positions, as is common around the league (e.g. the OC also doubling as the QB coach). You can explain your choices in as great or as little detail as you want.

Here are my choices.

Head coach and offensive coordinator: Dave Dickenson
Assistant head coach: Noel Thorpe

Quarterbacks: Anthony Calvillo
Running backs: Mark Speckman
Offensive line: Scott Flory
Receivers: Ben Cahoon

Defensive coordinator: Noel Thorpe
Defensive line: Keith Willis
Linebackers: Anwar Stewart
Secondary: Noel Thorpe

Special teams coordinator: Anyone not named Tom Higgins

I started off by reading your first post and wondering who would fit the bill. We share the opinion for HC, OC and Asst.
I too also like your choices for all the offensive positions.

The one where I may differ is Anwar. Given his playing days on the DL, would it not make sense to have him working with the DL? Maybe have him work with the DL and LB's?

ST after watching the RedBlacks Riders game last night. While the RedBlacks had a tough game, I did like what I saw from the ST unit. Even though they were down 32-0, creativity was in play on the ST unit with the kick by DeMarco resulting in a TD for the RedBlacks. And further into the game, another short kick attempt. Did not work out that time but at least there was creativity. When was the last time we saw anything remotely close in a trick play be the Als?

So for that, I would take a look at the RedBlack's Don Yanoswky ST coach. Have no idea his contract status with the RedBlacks but worth looking into as far as I am concerned.

I agree about Ottawa, tony, but why would he make a lateral move? That’s why I left the ST coordinator position blank. Ottawa has no reason to let us speak to a coach if the move isn’t a promotion.

On Anwar, I agree, except that he actually interviewed for the LB coach position already, so he must have some aptitude. I also like Willis’s work on the D-line so I’d be inclined to keep him for continuity’s sake. Anwar can move into the DL coach role if necessary later. When Marcus Brady transitioned into coaching, he was our receivers coach! He only became the QB later on…

I agree about Ottawa, tony, but why would he make a lateral move? That’s why I left the ST coordinator position blank. Ottawa has no reason to let us speak to a coach if the move isn’t a promotion.

On Anwar, I agree, except that he actually interviewed for the LB coach position already, so he must have some aptitude. I also like Willis’s work on the D-line so I’d be inclined to keep him for continuity’s sake. Anwar can move into the DL coach role if necessary later. When Marcus Brady transitioned into coaching, he was our receivers coach! He only became the QB later on…

Don Yanousky's has experience as both a LB and ST coach. Offer him ST with another function. Maybe he could assist Thorpe on the D side.
Just a thought.

Yanowsky is listed on Ottawa's site as ST coach and running backs coach. So it wouldn't be a promotion. :slight_smile:

True. Ok Asst. to the Asst.

I like the choices but, from all that is written/said by those supposedly in the know, Dickenson is in Calgary as HC-in-waiting until Hufnagel steps aside/up. Maybe there is a bright offensive minded coach in the NFL or NCAA that wants a HC gig.

Otherwise, my only concern is giving Thorpe three roles. I would hope they could find a quality DB coach; maybe like Barron Miles (now in that role with the RR) with an assistant D- Coordinator to sweeten the pot.

But of course it all really depends on why is the HC, as they will get to pick some/most of their assistants if things are done right (i.e., decided ASAP after the Grey Cup).

Thorpe already has those three roles right now, though.

You're right that it all depends on the HC. He needs to be able to fill out his staff with qualified people that he's comfortable working with.

I’d like to see Vercheval in some capacity, perhaps offensive line coach. Not only does he know his stuff, he is eloquent, bilingual and he’d therefore excel for PR, which is one of the reasons for which Hawkins was hired.

The Positions
Head coach Blake Nill
Assistant head coach

Offensive coordinator Steve Burrato
Quarterbacks Anthony Calvillo
Running backs Mark Speckman
Offensive line HC or Burrato to choose their guy
Receivers Ben Cahoon
Lower-tier assistant positions (optional)

Defensive coordinator Noel Thorpe
Defensive line No idea
Linebackers No idea
Secondary No idea
Lower-tier assistant positions (optional)

Special teams coordinator No idea

Consultants (optional)

Well, as I said earlier, Thorpe is already assistant head coach and DB coach, so I just figure he'd retain those responsibilities. Maybe he could give up DB coach to concentrate on his other jobs?

I'm surprised you want Buratto. That guy is about 100 and has been out of the league for a few years. Do we really want to hire another coach who can't find work elsewhere? I'd be open to Dickenson or Cortez as HC and OC grooming a young position coach like Calvillo to be the next OC. The one thing I think is crucial is our HC coming from the offensive side of the ball. He needs to be hands-on with the offence the same way Trestman was.

It's also possible that with a HC with a strong offensive background, we could hire Schonert as co-OC and have them operate as the Trestovich combination did. That way, Schonert would have a chance to learn the CFL game under a proven coach.

If Nillll would be the HC it makes sense for him to bring Burrato along with him. Forget about Dickenson or Cortez. They won't come into this.

Nill would be a great choice, he knows CANADIAN football inside and out, and has HC experience. But I don't know that he wants to go pro; I expect he has had lots of offers, at least at the OL or OC level.

I always wondered what happened with Stefen Reid (#47 I believe). He was a smart player who I always expected would end up coaching. He may now be running the Kamloops Broncos, a Canadian Junior Football team.

Garcia, who has signed as another offensive coach, may have an interesting future in some role.

But why would Nill, if Cortez wouldn’t? I think we’d have a legit shot at Cortez. He’s getting older and SSK has a very young HC in Chamblin who will be there a while. Offer Cortez the positions of HC and OC and give him carte blanche to fill out every coaching position except DC (and why would he can Thorpe anyway?). I agree that Dickenson is very unlikely to move but I do feel that Cortez is a viable option.

My bad.... I was thinking of them as coordinators. Dickenson is established in Calgary and will take over from Huff likely in the next 2 or 3 years. Cortez well that might interest him. Id rather have an experienced HC. This team will need to be thorn down and rebuilt. You need a General type to do that. I think putting cuddlers in charge wont work. We`ve had two cuddlers and they are going nowhere,

But Nill has never coached in the pros. I'm not slagging him, but Cortez isn't known as a cuddler and he is a very experienced, very able offensive mind. He ran a great offence in Hamilton and only got fired because Austin became available. He coached Durant to his best pro season and a Grey Cup last year. Did the same for Burris in 2008. And at this point in his career, it might be his last chance to be a head coach.

Having said all that, I would have no problem at all with Nill as HC. Lord knows he couldn't possibly be worse than Ned Flanders and the Hawk.

Head coach Noel Thorpe
Assistant head coach Turk Schonert

Offensive coordinator Turk Schonert
Quarterbacks Anthony Calvillo
Running backs (celui là m'embête royalement)
Offensive line Scott Flory
Receivers Ryan Dinwiddie

Lower-tier assistant positions (optional)

Defensive coordinator Keith Willis
Defensive line Keith Willis
Linebackers Anwar Stewart
Secondary Noel Thorpe

Lower-tier assistant positions (optional)

Special teams coordinator André Bolduc (avec les conseils de Matthews)

Consultants

Don Matthews
Jeff Garcia (parce qu'il a 4 enfants en bas âge, je ne le vois pas encore avec une charge d'entraîneur)

Veering offtopic just a tad. ..

For next season, since Popp has been extended we aren't seeking a new GM, so the first priority is to hire a real head coach. I'd give Popp instructions to conduct a proper search, and rule himself out of the running (he's proven time and time again that even though he may think he can coach, he can't).

So here is a list of names that I'd interview. Not saying I'd choose any one of these, but we first must cast our net wide, and then winnow it down from there. Once the head coach is chosen, then you look at the coordinators and position coaches; depending on who the head coach is you might not need a coordinator (as in, if Cortez got the gig, he'd probably do double-duty as HC and OC; similarly Hall would do double duty as HC and DC).

My list, in no particular order (and deliberately excluding folks already on staff, like Thorpe):

Mark Washington (may be ready to take the next step up, a la Chamblin);

Mark Nelson (may not be interested in head coaching but worth a phone call);

Barron Miles (see Washington);

Marcel Bellefueille (always thought he was better in the HC role than an OC, although he's been doing a bang-up job as OC in Winnipeg this season);

Danny Barrett;

Turner Gill;

Marcus Brady;

Tommy Condell;

Blake Nill;

Dave Dickenson (sure he probably wouldn't be interested but still worth a phone call);

George Cortez;

Richie Hall (got the short end of the stick in Edmonton);

Noel Thorpe;

Vince Martino (I thought he did a super job with our O line a few seasons back, saw him as HC material, anyone know what he's up to these days?)

And. .. .

Anthony Calvillo. Off the wall notion here, but I do recall that Sam Etcheverry was lured to coach the Als back in the 70s, and with no prior coaching experience, won us a Grey Cup in his first season (mind you he had Sonny Wade as his QB, as opposed to Troy freakin' Smith).