Coaching staffs in CFl

I saw a picture of The Sask Riders 2017 Coaching staff and was shocked to count 19 faces in the picture and I couldn’t believe it as from 1961 to 72 when I played we had 3 coaches and I always though that was more than enough because the 3 could always point out all of our players mistakes and tell us how to correct them.

On second count I found the Riders had 15 coaches & I guess the other 4 had other jobs but it made me curious as to how many coaches the other teams had and google told me the following. BC Lions 9 coaches, Calgary 10, Winnipeg 9, Edmonton 11, Calgary 10, Hamilton 11, Toronto 13. Ottawa 11, Montreal 10

Jones loves to spend lots of money for the Riders and lets hope it results in a few more wins

Welcome aboard Wayner - you'll find a much wider range of poster and intelligence on this site vs. your local habitat.
Don't know if you watched the hi-lites of the 1956 CFL all-star game I posted here - lots of action from guys like Frank Tripucka (Sask), Bud Grant (Wpg.), Jackie Parker (Edm), Gord Rowland (Wpg.) & Cookie Gilchrist. fwiw West won 35-0 at old Empire Stadium. Rosters in 1950s were what? - 28 to 30 players - nowadays 50+ so maybe everyone needs a coach, right?

On a personal note I'm still befuddled by the powers to be still holding back your induction into CFL Hall of Fame. I don't think there's a living player in this country more deserving of induction than yourself.
I would have told you this on riderfans but the mopes running the site have banned me for life.

hey this Wayne Shaw alumni? Great to see you post!!

That count of 15 sounds about right...IMO if you have the money spend it. You can't spend it on players so give them tools that help them out. Definitely a changing game for sure...still not seeing the NCAA coaching brigade lol...but it is up there for sure. It wasn't that long ago that QB coaches became regular and that has helped a lot of QBs evolve...I see no reason that positional assistants focusing on small groups shouldn't do the same but it is definitely a huge change.

Also...something that I think comes into play is how personnel are spread out. The Als for example are calling their quality control guys operations while the Riders have basically said ' are a coach' and align them under coaching those bases are a little skewed I think...I have not looked closely at them all though. Calgary does it to...10 staff...but then the conditioning coordinator and quality guys bring them right up to where the Riders are...I mean unless I am missing something.

They really have no more direct coaching staff than most.

  • HC - yes, all teams have
  • DC - no but yes, all teams have
  • OC - Yes, all teams have
  • STC - yes, all teams have
  • Passing / QB coach - most teams have this now...not all. Riders didnt a couple years ago and IMO it showed. I think separating it from the OC is a good thing on many levels
  • Receivers Coach - I think all teams have this now
  • Running Backs Coach - not something all teams have I don't think, but could be...definitely grown in popularity
  • Offensive Line Coach - not sure how many teams package OL/DL together any more or more predominantly RB/OL...
  • Defensive Line Coach - same as above...I am not sure if anyone packages the LBs there any more
  • Defensive Backs Coach - I believe all teams have this
  • Linebackers Coach - I think most have split this off of the DL/DBs for years now

So that is 11 main spots, and I would say 9 to 11 of those are deployed by every team...Riders fill 10 because Jones wears 2 of those tags

From there they have a couple assistants...which i think most teams have 1 or 2 generally
And then the other ones mentioned which is simply where you shuffle the bodies in the hierarchy.

Perhaps I am missing some coaches and there are more than I am aware of...but that is from the team's listing.

I would love to see all teams do a rotational tackling specialist by requirement where they are required to bring in a specialist say 5 weeks of the season. Get players back on fundamentals...good safe technique. Something that slides in practice too often. It is good for the game action, but more importantly it is good for safety and reinforcing natural reactions that do not put people in harm.

Yeah, that's the real Wayne Shaw, CFL alumni D-Pop - nobody else would notice the massive increase in coaching staffs than Mr. Shaw, nobody!
Your idea of a tackling coach is extremely solid. There's a terrible assumption by most CFL coaches that their charges all know tackling technique and can execute whenever required. Fatal assumption I must say.

My most brutal example is 2001 Grey Cup where the favoured 14-4 bombers barfed up a terrible loss to the 8-10 Stampeders. Bomber DB Marvin Coleman blew an open field tackle because he was unable to execute technique - or he just froze up under the pressure and cowarded out. I chose to believe the former rather than the latter although normally subservient bomber fans were sure hot under the collar after that debacle.

Superstars like Charles Roberts, Khari Jones, Doug Brown, Troy Westwood, Coleman, Bob Cameron and others just desecrated the bomber name. Only Marvellous Milt Stegall reported for full-time duty!

I think with the new contract and the stupid short practice times (that are really hurting the game) more coaches is a smart move if you have the money. You need to be so much more efficient with your time now than in the past and the only way to really do that is nail down your quality control reviews for "optional" homework review and by bringing in more staff for more hands on coaching time when you are actually there...way too easy to get spread thing. Assistants can hammer out drills while the positional and coordinators can focus on a couple guys at a time. It is so important until they fix that stupid practice time crud.

As far as the was something that I always found slid over the season and ever now and then there would be a wakeup call. With the attention (and that is a good thing) on head injuries now these specialists could go a long way...the better tackling is just a bonus. In a shorter practice the fundamentals like that which already slid are simply going to slide more...that is a safety concern as well as a final product concern. this is when you get guys going for stupid spears and not wrapping up...that is when you get guys forgetting the belt buckle rule....that is when you get guys lowering the head when they take a tackle....that is when you get guys (especially smaller ones like Ryan Smith) not evolving their game to learn how to position themselves in a safer manner. Time is reduced...something has to give and that is going to be things like this over the season. Like I my experience it already did. Coaches also kind of forget about it to...they worry about the play and execution but it is easy to lose track of finishing the play. IMO about every 3rd week of practice needs this type of coaching for a few hours...I mean there are always things like the Oklahoma drill that are going to help fast...but it is a small insufficient taste. Put it this way...I wouldn't want my kid playing under circumstances where there is a need to backburner it...I don't care what level of experience they might have....and I wouldn't have wanted (in hindsight) myself in that spot back in my time.

Forcing a specialist simply forces attention on it.
Some NFL teams bring them in...generally rugby players where technique is soooooo important...wrapping up...clean hard play. Pete Carroll is one of the better known promoters of this and the results who in the product when he does rotate someone in as a consultant now and then...shows every time. I like the idea of not making it a consistent thing...doing it on spot duty draws way more attention to it and reduces the complacency of it all IMO

Thanks a lot Lyle for your your comments re the Hall of Fame. I am afraid I have been blackballed by the Hall probably because of my many criticisms over the years of how the american coaches etc. fans etc. treat Canadian players in the CFl as 2nd 3rd , 4th or 5th class players and I never happily accepted any of that, Maybe if I would have had your sense or gift of humour with my criticism they might have accepted it better.

I did see the 1956 game you mentioned and watched with great interest because I played against a lot of those guys who were playing in the early 1960's when I started with the Riders.   Frank Tripucka actually came back & played a few games with the Riders in about 1962 when I was with the Riders

Welcome to Wayne Shaw - a teammate of Jack Abendschan, which points to be my avatar. Awesome

Got your name etched in stone in 1994...the peeps who cheered for you will remember you forever. Good on you for standing up for what you know is right...that alone should get you in the Plaza, not that you needed any extra help there.

Great conversation, Nice to hear from one of the greats of the Riders I watched in my youth. Felt very connected to the players then: Reed, Lancaster etc etc.
Wish ya the best! :cowboy:

Hello Wayne Shaw...great career!
Probably an impossible question but how do you think the skill level has changed from your playing days to now? Obviously the size and perhaps speed has changed but what about the skill level? Could you have played well in todays CFL?

The linemen especially the o line are certainly a lot bigger. Clyde Brock was probably the biggest lineman I played with and he was 6'7" 270 lbs and without a big belly. The o linemen today are all over 300-350 I guess but I never have figured out why a 50-60 pound belly helps them a lot, & I think it would be easier to run around them on a blitz than around Clyde.
Ed McQuarters was 6'2" 255 lbs and as tough quick & good as any d line I see today. Ted Urness at 6'3" 240 a Canadian was as good or better than any centre in the league then or now according the Eagle Keys before he died and Eagle played centre & coached for years so he should have known. Wally Dempsey at 6'1"' 230 lbs was tough & quick and was in my opinion as good or better than most middle linebackers today. If we would have had him in the 1972 Grey Cup I am almost certain we would have won
George Reed & Ron Lancaster were smart tough & quick and in their prime could play with lots of teams today. Alan Ford at 6'1" was a tough & smart & a good blocking Canadian with good hands and a pretty good punter. Ted Dushinski at 6'1" , 190 lbs and Larry Dumelie at 5'10"were both tough smart quick good tackling & coverage Canadian d backs who I think could play with anyone today. Ron Atchison at 6'3" 240 was really tough strong & quick and I think he would be a good d lineman today. Don Bahnuik 245at 6'3 & Bill Baker 6'3" 245 could play d line today. Gord Barwell was fast & quick with good hands and could probably play today in his prime. Al Benicick at 6'1 and 245 was very strong & very tough, Hugh Campbell because he was very smart , quick with very good hands when in his prime could play today. Garner Ekstran was very tough & quick & in his prime could play today. I probably missed a few good players but my old concussed brain is played out now.

Jack Abendschan was a very good offensive guard but at 6'2 245 was probably too small to play o line now but maybe he could play d line and he could place kick

Back in the early fifties, the Als recruited Tex Coulter away from the New York Giants Tex was the big man on the team and weighted around 260 pounds which was huge back in that era. He also became the team's punter Around that time we also had another lineman named Jim Staton who was around that weight also. At that time the NFL was not the dominate American pro status as we have today. I remember at that time the Als picked an All American running back for the unheard of $ 10 000. He was highly regarded named Joel Wells and was at least All SEC. We had no difficulty signing All American football players in that era. These players came to Canada usually for an increase in salary, more than the NFL. The Als recruited several NFL players in those years. This team signed a player named Alex Webster from a Southern school who was a real valuable player- one of the best backs who was signed by the Als after being dumped by an NFL team. The Giants, pissed of that the Als were stealing their players, liked what was observed by NFL scouts and, to get back at the Als, the Giants brought him back to the NFL. Webster, who was an elite running back and receiver, played a definite part in the emergence of the Giants success for several years. They had a great QB at the time- Y A Tittle,who led this organization to be the best.