No doubt John Hufnagel is a good coach and Calgary are the choice pick to win the Grey Cup on Sunday, Tiger-Cats are the underdogs but look at the fact that Kent Austin has been in the CFL as a head coach now for 3 years, 2007 with Saskatchewan, 2013 Hamilton, 2014 Hamilton and three visits to the Grey Cup with a current 1-1 record.
Kent is an all around head coach, a players coach and by far the best in the CFL although someone else will probably be voted coach of the year instead like John Hufnagel, Chris Jones or Tom Higgins, but Austin doesn't care, he wants the Grey Cup for his team, for the fans in Hamilton who have endured the most up's and down's out of any team in the CFL and deserve the Cup the most.
Since Austin's arrival to Steeltown in 2013 the Cats have played the majority of their games in one a half seasons without a home field, without proper locker rooms, or areas that other teams just have on a regular basis and expect to be there. Hamilton has lived through adversity and this young team has grown with the changes under the guidance of coach Austin and the other assistant coaches who have done a great job in getting the Tiger-Cats to the Championship two years in a row.
The 2014 Grey Cup is the Tiger-Cats to Win or Lose and the players will decide that on Sunday!
Great Job Coach Austin, Cat Coaches, Tiger-Cat Players, Caretaker, staff and team.
Although I also have a great deal of respect for Huffnagel as a coach and see many similarities between JH and KA. While Huff may not be seen as a "players' coach", these two coaches have a lot of savvy and have shown that they can build competitive teams that are going to be in the mix and championship contenders. Huff has just has a five year head start on Austin but I see the Ticats, under his continued leadership, becoming a team much like the Stampeders who will be top of the league every year and tough to beat (Sorry Alouettes your glory days are over for now! ). For sure Austin has overcome a great deal more adversity in his two years that Huff likely ever faced in Calgary and has managed to get his young team to the main event two years in a row - no mean accomplishment as you mentioned.
Austin seems to have dialed back his rants on the sidelines. He now seems more in control of himself and his team. His explosive behaviour led to some players playing a little out of control as well, which of course, led to unnecessary penalties.
I was one of the guys who put the knock on Austin, but while I questioned some of his moves and his attitude on the sidelines,
I was never a proponent who said "get rid of him."
Kent is still a young coach and would likely admit that he continues to learn the trade. I have noticed a notable change in
his attitude to his players and staff and his demeanor on the sidelines in the past several games. He has toned it down a notch and is certainly proving his worth by getting us back to the Grey Cup game.
He also runs a complicated system but I can't knock his success in this area either.
Win or lose, I wish him every success. :thup: Go Cats, Go!!
In comparing the depth chart for GC101 (2013) & the most recent depth chart in the 2014 EDF ...
Amoung Starters ...
Only 3 defensive players remain in their same starting position. Breaux, Lawrence & Norwood. That means 75% of the defence is different from what took the field in Regina last November 24th. 1 more player, Murray, still starts but occupies a new position having moved from Strong Side LB to Strong Side DB. 8 new names on defence in total or roughly 67%. 2/3rds turnover.
On offense, 5 players still occupy their same starting positions in the 101st Grey Cup last year. Tasker, Grant, Fantuz, Giguere & Figueroa. 1 more, Brian Simmons, remains a starter yet having been moved from LT to RG. So 50% new names on the backs of jerseys amongst the starters on offence. And roughly 58% or 7 out of 12 starters are in new positions!
Overall ... 8 of the 24 starters in last year's Grey Cup are starting in their same positions. That's only 1/3rd of the starting roster!
It's rather obvious looking at the roster we had for last years Grey Cup that this version of the team is 100% Better and Improved over the team that lost to the Riders. Just look at who we have on the team now who we didn't have here last year.Austin has done an amazing job of finding new and better talent to keep upgrading this team to where they are today.Here is a list of what we can call "Austins Thirteen" not to mention all the unsung Canadian additions that have contributed this year as special teams demons and workhorses,players like:Mike Daly,Beau Landry,Kyle Miller,Matt Coates,Aaron Crawford etc I absolutely LOVE the makeup of this team and it's to me unbelievable how Austin has totally remade the roster and upgraded the talent to the level it"s at now in his two short years here as coach /GM. :thup:
AUSTIN'S THIRTEEN (Not to be confused with "Ocean's Thirteen )
Guy knows how to win, apparently. Looks like he’s finally learned to run the ball, too. Perfect timing, as the run game propelled us to these last two wins over Montreal. Makes him that much more ‘dangerous’ as a coach.