Cats' GM

I've said this before but as i watch the Argos this season, I see lots of first year players start and play well. Collaros steps in for Ray, Steele steps in for Kackert, Chiles steps in for Inman...... They also have 5 rookies on D. And they dealt for Ray. I attribute much of this to the Argos having a full-time GM. In this day and age, I don't think Austin can possibly do both jobs of HC and GM and it shows. With one or two exceptions, the team's talent level is so-so at best. The Cats need a significant upgrade in talent and Austin is preoccupied with his coaching duties. Maybe a full-time GM could've found a way to break the impasses with Williams.

I'm not sure what Tilman is doing but I'd make him GM.

An Argo-Cat fan

As much as I dislike the A#^&oes I have to agree with you. It's just plug in and play. No crap about rookies, there is a lot of talent on that team....no question a GC contender.

Barney,
I hear what you are saying and respect your opinion stating there are too many jobs for one guy, but,
We came within one dropped 3 yrd.easy peasy wide open, right in his hands, swing pass with 5 seconds left on the clock from defeating the Arblows in T.O.!
Gable catches that pass and Austin's record looks whole lot better.
Arblows aren't playing Sask. back to back with their injuries
BTW, Nobody could get Williams back, he is history

Stupid comparison. And thats not even factoring in the injuries. Austin has been at it 6 games. Barker's been at it how long ? and gets Ray dumped in his lap to boot.

Hard to make arguments about what may or may not have happened with Williams in an alternate universe, but I would argue that the talent of the Hamilton rookies is the only reason we've managed to eek out two victories with an inordinate number of injuries early on in the season on top of the tremendous amount of turnover in the coaching staff and on the team itself. One rook in particular is Greg Ellingson who looks like the early favourite for rookie of the year thus far. If Hamilton's young defence continues to improve week by week as it has been showing despite their injuries, it could be an exciting Eastern Final this year, probably with Hamilton visiting Toronto.

I think some of you guys are making my point. Sure, if the last minute pass had been caught their record would be better. But that refers to my point about a lack of talent on the team. That ball shouldn't have been dropped and wouldn't have been if they had a better guy on the receiving end.

Also, i realize Barker has more experience than Austin but that's all the more reason for Austin to focus on doing one job. How well would Trestman have done if he'd had to do Popp's job too?

If Milanovich had to be GM as well as the HC, do you think he would've had Prefontaine ready to go when Waters went down? Or the others who went down with injuries? Barker is still tweaking his O-line looking for the next Armstead. He wouldn't be able to do that if he was still coaching too.

I look over this lineup and there probably isn't more than a handful of guys who will be here two seasons from now. They are either too old or they are just guys no better than a zillion other guys. There isn't one guy that I can see, around whom you can build a team for the future. Five years ago it would've been Burris but his days are numbered. The team needs a major upgrade in talent and that requires a full-time GM.

An Argo-Cat fan

Solid points and I can't disagree with you on any of them really.

To your point of

"I look over this lineup and there probably isn't more than a handful of guys who will be here two seasons from now. They are either too old or they are just guys no better than a zillion other guys. There isn't one guy that I can see, around whom you can build a team for the future."

I'd say that this Austin's first year. He's remaking this team from top to bottom. Although I agree there's not a lot of "sexy" stars that it seems that this team is being built around, I would point to much of the Non-Import vets and future prospects & development projects ... At the top are Pete Dyakowski, Brian Bulcke, Andy Fantuz ... In the middle are Giguere, S. Williams, Wojt, ... In the early stages are Hazime, Delahunt, Stephen, Plesius ... Future prospects of Atkinson, Gascon-Nadon, Gaydosh, Urban, C.O. Prime.

The import talent will come and go as Mr. Austin builds out his team. But remember, he comes from a college coaching/recruiting background. He'll go after guys that fit his system. As you say there are are a "zillion other guys" and the fortunate thing (or unfortunate depending on your viewpoint) is that is the truth. So back to what I said before about Coach Kent coming from the college ranks of Ole' Miss & Cornell ... Plug and play. Your roster turns over every 2 years. It's all about scouting and plug and play.

Let's give him more than a 1/3rd of the season ... Argo's gave Barker more than that ... He had two seasons before he had to relinquish his coaching duties almost by force after before he hired Scott Milanovich.

However, the guy who dropped the pass was Gable. He had a touchdown earlier in that game and has 4 on the year. I think this guy will be good once he gets consistent game action and touches throughout the game.

Although the Argos have 5 rookies on defence and a rookie QB, etc., they have an established coaching staff in place. As someone mentioned Austin is in his first year as a Ticats HC/GM. The Argos have Chris Jones as their DC, we have a rookie. I believe this team, when healthy and have gelled together will be a talented team.

Totally Agree with you, the Tiger-Cats need a separate GM from the Coach, let Austin concentrate on Head Coaching what he does best and give the GM to Tillman or whoever? I think currently because of the contract Tillman had with Edmonton previous he has the remainder of this season where he cant commit to another team because of contract, however I think next year they want to bring Tillman in as GM? I heard there is something going on similar to this situation and Austin is doing both duties currently?

I agree that scouting and recruitment are a critical part of a team's success. I think history shows that there's about a 25% turnover rate of CFL rosters each year. I understand that the Argos started the scouting and recruitment process almost immediately after the Grey Cup last year when Barker and Jones held their first try out camps in the US in December. Get out there early and secure the best prospects while the other teams are still thinking about it. The fact that some teams are able to assimilate 25% of the roster almost seamlessly each year does not happen by accident - it's mostly by hard work.
I would suggest that scouting and recruiting at the professional level is an entirely different process than scouting and recruiting at the college level. One of my issues with Kent Austin is that his football resume and experience do not, IMO, support the decision to hand him total control of the operations of the team. He is learning on the job, but at this level, I do not want to be training somebody and hoping that he may eventually succeed. For the critical position of head of football operations, I want somebody who has served the apprenticeship and demonstrated competence/success on somebody else's dollar.

One last example came to mind as I thought about Ray's domination of the Al's last night. When Barker was both coach and GM, he came up with Cleo Lemon. As poor a starting QB as I've seen in the league. They rode that lame hirse for a season and a half. Then, when he gave up his coach's hat and was able to function 100% as GM, he was able to make the deal for Ray.

An Argo-Cat fan

Oh C'mon Barney!
You cannot make me think that Barker was able to make that Ray trade because he could focus,
Tillman must have been on glue when he made that trade.
Barker was handed Ray on a silver platter by Tillman
Ricky Ray for Jyles and a kicker is a gift from god!
Everyone in the league was questioning the validity that trade even accusing Braley of manipulating it.
Could have been the most lopsided trade in all pro football.
I could have swung that trade! :roll:

Don't you guys know that "consultant" Eric Tillman is our G.M.

except for the fact that Kent Austin has to give final approval to his suggestion/decisions.

[Which is a good thing, by the way.] I would match his record of success against Barker's any day.

I would use different words but I think Grover's point is absolutely right. And I second ronfromtigertown's point on it being good that Austin has a veto over what Tillman might propose. Edmonton wishes someone had vetoed the Austin trade. And the McKnight trade.

Ive never liked the dual gm/coach role...the gm negotiates the contracts(and sometime the player is pissed) and then has to coach the guy like nothing happend....it can make for a tough role at the best of times....especially when we have a coach with ONE years experience and NO gm experience...coaches should concentrate on coaching,i feel. i just hope they can find us some good DB'S with the nfl cuts :slight_smile:

And Hamilton came very close to getting Ricky Ray just months before the Barker deal. So let's not give the guy too much credit.

It's like the situation with Jim Popp, how much of the player finding talent is the GM and how much is attributable to his scouts, who do the vast majority of the legwork. Take, for example, Mike McCarthy in Montreal. Look how badly Popp's latest coach, Hawkins and his staff, worked out. That failure would now suggest that the Trestman hiring is like the old expression that once in a while every blind dog finds a bone. Just plain luck.

In hindsight, I would have chosen my words differently, and I apologize for it.
The fact is, Is that the perfect scenario is a separate GM and Coach and that they would work in harmony, but,
Austin would not be here, If it was just the coaches position being offered,
He would still have a very secure dream job at Cornell where his kids are attending.
Caretaker had to offer all or nothing.
A Professional Coach could very well be one of the most insecure professions,
How many instances have you seen where it is the Coach that gets fired but the GM and VP stay.
The VP tells the GM, Fire the Coach or both of you are gone.
Paul LaPolice, an excellent coach, fired by Joe Mack and Buchko who finally got canned yesterday is a perfect example.
It is a nasty business and you must protect yourself from the inevitable.

And as a coach you protect yourself by being the GM as well, being able to pick your personnel and having a greater say in your destiny.

Austin was hired in 2010 specifically to rebuild and turn around the football program at Cornell. In his three years at Cornell, the team's record was 11 and 19 overall and only 6 and 15 against Ivy League teams. The team never had a winning record and never finished better than 6th in the eight team Ivy League. More importantly, the team regressed to a 4 and 6 record in his final year - a sure warning sign that the rebuilding program had hit a wall and was not proceeding as planned.
"Very secure dream job at Cornell" ... well maybe. I think it's more likely that due to the circumstances, the Tiger-Cat offer came at a very opportune time for Austin to exit Cornell.

Point well taken Seymour,
IMHO there is no secure job in CFL Football, unless your name is Wally Buono.