Austin's game management

I have a lot of respect for Austin as a coach. He has taken us to two Grey cups in three years, narrowly missing last after key players suffered season ending injuries. We are still in with a chance this year in spite of an injury list that would have eliminated most other teams from contention.

However, I often think that his management of the game is not very smart. I am talking about the decisions that have to be made during a game, which might seem like small decisions, but taken together make an impact on whether you win or lose.

For example:

The decision to make the opponents kick-off after a field goal is a good one of the kick is against the wind. There have been a few times this year when we have asked the opposing team to kick-off with the wind behind them, including one in the Edmonton game which put us back on our eight yard line. That is not good coaching

Wasting the last few seconds of the first half, as we did in the home game against Ottawa, when Masoli took a knee with sixteen seconds left on out own 45. Why not throw two deep passes, and if one of them connects you are field goal range. In the game against Edmonton, we were on the opponents 46 (just out of field goal range against the wind) with 17 seconds left, third and two. Why not go for a first down? If you miss, the other team has maybe 11 seconds left and will most likely take a knee.

Time management seems very poor. In the Edmonton game we needed three scores to win or tie with about 7 minutes left, but we never used the hurry up offense. We wasted precious minutes letting the play clock run down on nearly every play. Then with 4.02 left, needing two scores to win, we decide to kick the ball away on third and nine. Collaros made it very clear that he didn't agree with that decision, which probably took away our only real chance of winning the game.

Perhaps Austin is trying to do too much during the game, and he should be delegating some of the decision making to his offensive, defensive and special teams coaches.

I agree i was at the game saying on the 3rd and 2 you either try a long field goal he has hit from 58 yards or you try to get the first down and he sends the punting unit out .that is playing not to lose when making these decisions will make you lose

This one sure had us scratching our heads in the stands. Agree 100%

First half. Edmonton 1st down at Hamilton 21 yard line. Throw an incomplete pass but also called for offensive holding. Austin declines the penalty. Next play, 21 yard TD pass.

In fairness to Austin, The decision of not trying a 58 yard field goal may have been because the holder(Fantuz) was out with a torn ACL.
I do not even know who the backup holder is, but, Fantuz was actually the 2nd backup holder in place of Tasker,
so it would have actually been the 3rd backup holding for a 58 yard try.
I wonder how many reps the 3rd backup holder would get in practice?
Punting the ball out of bounds inside their 10 yard line would have been a good play.

so if the game was on the line you would rather punt inside the 10 yard line instead of kicking a field goal because the field goal kicker holder was hurt pretty poor excuse id bet the qbs used to do this in college or university .we don't need excuses for austins bad play calling

In the CFL you get 2 timeouts. 1 can be used in the final 3 minutes of the game. Yet every week we are losing and every week we don't use that second time out.
Last week Edmonton had the ball with 3:22 left. Why not use it?
Been trying to figure it out since the Calgary grey cup when he did the same thing.

What on earth makes you so sure Maher will make that 58 yard FG?
Austin sure didn't think so. Maher's confidence is shaken, this is not a good thing for a kicker!

At that time there was over 4+ minutes left on the clock, If Maher had not punted the ball out of bounds at the 23 yard line for an illegal kick out of bounds :roll:, (I doubt that was Austin's intention), I am sure he was thinking pin them inside the 10, get a stop(which they did), Score a TD(which they did), try an onside kick and recover(which they didn't),
Then try a field goal to tie or score a TD to win the game.(which they didn't)
There was over a minute left on the clock when we tried the onside kick, Austin had this injury depleted team in position to win this game with another furious comeback victory in the 2nd half, like he has already done at least 4 previous times this season (and people think his play calling is "bad"). People can disagree with play calls, but, punting in that instance instead of trying a 58 yard FG with your 3rd string holder and a kicker that was NOT having one of his better games is not "bad play calling".
I am sure Austin thought about it, but with the holder Fantuz out of the game, punting the ball out at the 10 probably seemed a better play.

QB # 3 Mathews is the holder.................

Yes I was wondering that myself. EDM ate up almost a full minute on 2 plays! :roll: (4:06 to 3:09)
I guess we maybe may have needed a challenge on the last play before the 3 min. warning.
With the brutal refs in this league, that could be the only answer. :?

138 3 9 E49 Punt (04:06) B. MAHER Punt (26 yds), Ball Out of Bounds, Penalty: Illegal Punt, Out of Bounds called on Hamilton (B. MAHER) (10 yds.) 29 19
139 1 10 E33 Rush (03:55) J. WHITE Run (8 yds), Tackle: J. CAPICCIOTTI 29 19
140 2 2 E41 Rush (03:09) J. WHITE Run (7 yds), Tackle: C. DAVIS, Timeout: Three Minute 29 19
141 1 10 E48 Rush (02:46) J. WHITE Run (2 yds), Tackle: S. LAWRENCE 29 19
142 2 8 E50 TL (02:25) M. REILLY Sacked by J. ROBINSON (9 yds), M. REILLY Team Loss (-9 yds) 29 19
143 3 17 E41 Punt (02:02) G. SHAW Punt (39 yds), Returned by J. COLLINS (1 yds), Lateral to M. JONES (48 yds), Special Teams Tackle: G. SHAW, Penalty: No Yards, 15 yds called on Edmonton (N. ADJEI) Declined

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I am surprised some of you are realizing this now. This has been going on since he became the Head Coach.

If you have tape of games in Guelph, go see some of those games where he runs the ball instead of kneeling down three times to run out the game, only to risk a potential fumble that can cause the team the victory, or even an injury.

Go see a couple years ago (i believe against Edmonton or Calgary…dont remember the team) in an away game. We had the ball near our goal line and it was the last play of the game or the half and it was third down, and the time was counting down to zero and he put in the punt team as if to punt instead of just kneeling down to run out the half. If you listen closely, you hear the referee saying something along the lines of ‘these guys dont get it’, in reference to knowing that a kneel down is all you have to do instead of punting. Then Austin either called a time out or sent out the special teams unit in a panic.

Did you watch the Ottawa game last week? Ottawa had no time outs left. It was the 4th quarter, and there was a handful of seconds on the clock. We were pinned at our 3 yard line. The game was tied just before the eventual overtime session. What did the brilliant mind do? He set up Masoli in the shotgun (standing in the end zone)…on first down he lateraled to Gable ‘in the end zone’ and he gained a few yards (risking fumble, risking injury)…on second down he was going to kneel down right? No he passed to the WIDE SIDE of the field to Chiles. Luckily he caught it. But who does that as a Coach in this league or any other league, including minor leagues??? You dont risk losing unless of course you are Austin and you know that Gable will run the ball 107 yards for the winning score, or that you absolutely knew (and i guess he must have) that Chiles would catch the ball and run 105 yards for a touchdown to win the game. Just frustrating to watch, and it is things like this where a coach, in putting his team in a position to win a game, does not.

I wont even talk about the decisions to go for one or two points on convert attempts late in the Ottawa game. Regardless that the outcome was a tie leading to overtime, the timing of his one point attempt was wrong and his timing for going for two was wrong.

I can imagine what the players think when they see these calls being made, let alone it would be puzzling if the coaching staff agrees with him when he makes these calls.

He has brought a lot to our team in terms of cohesion, structure etc, but he is not a manager of a game.

Whether it is:

  1. deferring or taking the ball/side of the field on a coin toss
  2. kneeling down or continuing to risk injury and loss of game
  3. not knowing how and when to call a time out
  4. choosing with the wind or against it
  5. running a hurry up offence when the team is against the wind
  6. falling in love with players that shouldnt be starting

I wont continue…

Actually i will…we miss Tommy Condell and his play calling…and for the team to say it was a family decision by Condell, while naming Orlondo Steinauer the Assistant Head Coach just before the 2016 training camp began…ummm you can all fill in the blanks

Well said Vinny , you said so well, what many of us have been seeing and not saying anything about for a very long time , I like number 6 this one really has been bugging me for a while .
Its nice to see you post even it is only once in a blue moon , what you have to say has been and always will be well thought out , meaningful and honest .

Hey Grover when you quote somebody you should make sure you read it correctly my post was at the end of the second quarter not at end of the game

I mis - understood if that is the case, sorry about that.

I would like to see them take a run at Trestman. Austin can stay upstairs, but it's clear a coaching change is needed if they are ever going to progress beyond mediocre.

Look at what Wally Buono does for a team. If Wally's teams win fewer than 12 games, it considered a bad year. I had hoped that Kent's first two years of basically 500 football with Grey Cup appearances would be something to build upon, but instead now I think it was really the high point of what Kent can deliver.

Don't promote anyone from within (certainly not Steinauer!). Go for the best available, and that is Trestman.

Agreed! I love the Trestman idea! And I agree with some of the posters above as well

Austins time has come and gone. I have never been very happy with him as the coach. My buddies and I that have Seasons have said that he is not a good coach over and over. This team is regressing and are behind where O'Billivich and Bellfeuile left us!

So what you're saying is start over on the offensive side. New head coach, new OC and new system. New HC could also mean new DC, etc.
This then brings a lot of new players again.

So, blow this team up?

May be a good idea but I don't see it happening.

I think we all under estimated how good Condell's game planning was. Or how bad Austin is.
With all the injuries this year, can we blame recruiting for not finding decent players?

We'll see what the off season brings. :smiley:

I think there will be a problem finding a head coach from outside this organization who would be willing to work with/under Austin.

Austin would not keep his hands off if the team failed to perform to his liking under a new H/C.

If Austin was to step aside, which IMHO he won't because he just loves coaching too much,
it would be to let Steinhauer step in.
He already has relinquished the GM's role to Tillman, He will not give up Coaching anytime soon.
He just signed an extension in January of this year which will keep him in charge until the end of the 2019 season.
So after he coaches us to the Grey Cup this year he will have 3 more full seasons.

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8) Ironic how you mentioned Tillman !! There has been no mention of his name at all since he became GM of this team.
  I attend every game and have not seen a trace of him, or even a mention of his name from other TiCat personnel .

  Very strange indeed considering he is the GM of this team !!      <!-- s:roll: -->:roll:<!-- s:roll: -->