Can the Als rally round their boss?

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Professionals are always accountable to themselves first and foremost. Then their family,organisations, teammates. I haven't seen anything that points to these guys not busting their derrieres..

Playing below talent level yeah maybe but talent is just one aspect of an athlete. Many of these guys have little pro experience or CFL experience. I think that is why you see a lot of them having a good game then a bad game...

Seagraves, Bourke, Drew, Claybrooks, Romero, Estelle,Boulay,Ferri,Hill,Desrivaux,Deslauriers,Davis,Cobourne,Bratton,Payton,Carter

are all in their first year as starters a few were here last year splitting time or on the practice roster. That's a LOT of new bodies and young guys for the most part.

Popp has made some mistakes but he showed a lot of courage taking on so many rooks and he trusts them too. Hopefuly they appreciate the opportunity.

Excellent point, HfxTC.
I find myself getting angry at the silly penalties guys like Cox take. Then I remember that they are only in their second year and haven't really had the time to become saavy, seasoned vets.
The Als have made more than their share of mistakes this year. The big question, right now, is whether or not they will learn from them in time for the 2008 season.

Can the Als rally around their boss? Yes. Will they rally around their boss? No.

To rally around someone, you have to respect them, or like them, or both. My feeling is that most of the players on this team neither like nor respect Popp in his capacity as head coach. Why should they? To get their respect, he'd have to be qualified for his job and competent, and he's not. To get them to like him, he'd have to show that he cares about them more than he cares about his ego and reputation. When the bulk of your halftime speech in a game consists of telling the players that they're 'making you look bad,' you're not going to convince them that you give a crap about anyone but yourself.

Matthews was a players' coach. He would fall on his sword to protect his players. The media abruptness, the closed-door policies, the curt answers, the practicing without pads -- all of this bespoke a coach who put his players first. Players knew that and fed off it. The Grey Cup final last year was an instance of the Als doing it for coach Matthews.

Popp gabs to the media about his player and staff shortcomings, rates himself as having done a 'fantastic' job despite clear evidence that the season has been a disaster, and then brings in someone with no relationship to the team (Levingston) a few days before the playoffs, thereby implying that Bratton and Davis can't cut the mustard. He's alienated players left, right, and centre.

They will not respond to him. The only way they'll squeak out a win is if Winnipeg self-destructs. And even then, they will get destroyed in the East Final.

I wouldn't say that. Montreal had a bad year, yes, but Winnipeg and Toronto are beatable. If we can beat Winnipeg, we sure as heck can beat Toronto, like they've proven already.

Playoffs is a new season, anything is possible, even if your head coach is Jim Popp.

And now word comes out in today's Gazette that Duval isn't happy with Popp because Popp made some pretty critical remarks about him on the field within earshot of other players.

Oh, joy. This guy sure knows how to inspire his players.

I was just happy to find out that Duval is Smith's son-in-law. Knowing that Smith has that much inside info on how things are run makes me confident that that info will be passed along, something will be done about Popp's lack of leadership as a coach and the team will have an opportunity to have an exciting season next year. New players or not, there's no reason that a group of players this talented couldn't have been able to at the very least have a winning record this year. If the players don't trust the coach he's not going to be able to lead them anywhere.

I don't know but considering Duval married Smith's daughter maybe Popp felt that he needed to tell Duval straight up in front of his peers that he wasn't playing to expectations, so that everyone knew there was no "special treatement" because of his personal life. And why is it such a big deal for Popp to tell Duval "straight up"? But Duval is allowed to make his feelings known puclicly to reporters no less? Why 2 standards?

Duval himself said he hasn't had his best year. Actually this season has been a lot like his senior year with the Tigers. Duval was looking like one of two top draft picks as a kicker entering his senior year, had a subpar year as a senior and his stock dropped.

For those who think Smith is such a good guy. Remember that he quit on the team to go to the gazette.
he fired Matthews
he fired Strasser
he hired Popp as HC

So looking to Smith to save the day requires Hallucinogens.

HfxTC, no offense, but you've been alleging that Smith fired Matthews and Strasser for quite a while without a single shred of evidence to back you up. I'm not happy with Smith's job this year, but please stop trying to paint goat horns on him for problems that are the responsibility of the team's GM.

I have to agree with the Mathiews point.
Untill the Don says he was fired…He quit!

Well your painting goat horns on Popp and I don't tell you to stop. Your entitled to your opinion. I just don't think Smith can do anything to improve the "football" aspect of this team.

The only person in any organisation that could fire Matthews who had 400k a year and has a guarranteed contract, with a year left on it. and that is the President. Don't need proof. Having said that the circumstances around the "Give us your resignation or else" Smith didn't have any choice given what happened.

As far as firing Strasser one of the Coachs on this forum gave you verbatum what was said. Proof enough for me.

As far as I know he named Popp head coach. And really how could he refuse. Smith named himself President when Whetenaul mandated him to find a new President LOL! Only fair he gave the same benefit to Popp that he awarded himself.

Like I said you have your opinions. I have mine and after a 100 plus posts bashing Popp maybe you should cut me some slack :wink:

RO: If you were making 400k a year, would you quit your job in the middle of a project? Answering that question will give you your answer. I know the details and I can't post it, its too messy. Smith had no choice...

You are confusing objective facts with fair comments on matters of public record.

Yes, I have been bashing Popp a lot. But if you look at what I've written, all I'm doing is voicing my displeasure over events which are a matter of public record, i.e. which no one disputes happened. Some examples of Popp's actions:

Criticized Bellefeuille's playcalling after a game but did not overrule Bellefeuille in the actual game situation
Asked Okeke to retire so they could have an all-Canadian O-line
Said that Robert Edwards wasn't an every-down RB because of his age
Rated himself as having done a 'fantastic' job as coach
Said to his players during halftime that they were making him look bad
Has drawn the ire of several players who have gone public with their grievances (whether legitimate or not), such as Watkins, Strickland, Bratton, Davis, Fritz, Lambert, and Duval
Appointed Brad Miller, who only had one year of experience with the team, as assistant coach, instead of Chris Jones or Marcel Bellefeuille
Let Terrence Edwards, now one of the league's top receivers, slip away to another team over a clerical error
Assumed the position of head coach instead of hiring a replacement for Matthews

Look at these examples. All of them are matters of public record. You can interpret them as you wish, but you can't deny that they happened.

By contrast, you keep alleging the following about Larry Smith:

Fired Don Matthews
Fired Kevin Strasser
Forced Popp to become head coach

You do not have a shadow of proof that Larry Smith was responsible for any of these things! Not one shred of proof (comments from a 'coach' on these forums whose identity can't be verified is not proof, BTW). You are alleging that certain events transpired without any evidence to support you. I'm simply complaining (bitching and moaning, heh!) about events that are a matter of public record. You and other users may find it irritating. Fair enough. That's your God-given right. But my problem with your posts isn't that they're irritating, but that you are alleging that certain events have happened without proof and then using these allegations as the basis for why you want Larry Smith to go. Those are opinions founded on quicksand.

If we ever get public confirmation about anything you have asserted, I will happily come in here and eat copious amounts of crow and admit that I was wrong and you were right. Until then, though...:wink: :slight_smile:

Thorough and well stated points, discipline.

Did I ever say Smith should be fired? What I am saying is that a lot of the problems your attributing to Popp I feel are the responsability at least in part of Smith. Smith gave the ok for Popp to take the HC job. I think we agree that this was not the best move so you don't think Smith bares responsability for this?

And because somethings aren't in a newspaper or on a website does not mean they are false. Not everything is "public record". The reason why a lot of Smith's decisions are not made public is because he never gives a straight answer. Never ever dirties his hands, this week Herb asked him if his daughter Ashley phoned him to complain about Popp and his answer was "Yeah that's a nice story", the guy never give a straight answer about anything, he reminds me of Brian Mulroney. By contrast Popp shoots from the hip.

Can you give me a couple of examples of things Larry Smith has done that have benefitted the Als on the field? I can't think of one hiring or an idea or anything that has done anything positive on the field for this team. The move to McGill he can't even take credit for. It was an accident because the team didn't reserve the date at the BigO for playoff schedule.