After watching Marcel Bellefeille for 3 seasons and the many suspect decisions he made as well as being outcoached in most games, I was pleased with the signing of Cortez. The guy has tremendous experience and has been around the CFL a long time. I expected that at the very least the Ti-cats would have strong leadership and the fans and media wouldn't have to complain about the coaches. After only a few games though I'm starting to lose faith in Cortez and the coaching staff.
I'm not overly keen on his choices for assistants. He should not have selected a first year DC. Creehan might be a decent positional coach but it appears he's in over his head as DC. The numbers and stats don't lie. Daly was also a poor choice for STC. There were many posts in the Roughrider's forum claiming his schemes were poor when he worked there. Other than William's returning the odd punt for a TD, the Special Teams have indeed been poor, especially in giving up field position. I have a feeling Cortez's selections were more of an "old boys club" type of thing.
Questionable decisions remain. Why dress only one rookie running back and leave a high paid veteran on the bench? Then there was the Knowlton fiasco at the beginning of the season. What about when he was too slow at throwing challenge flag on a play that would have been ruled in their favour? How about why throw a pass from shotgun on 3rd and 1 with a minute to go and the game on the line. Because they got stuffed once earlier in the game he suddenly loses faith in his O-Line and on a 5th Quarter interview claimed that they weren't getting the push they needed. After that he decides to punt or throw passes in that situation. All teams get stuffed periodically during short yardage or goal line stands. Something stinks here.
While he appears to be an offensive mastermind, I don't feel he has taken charge or control over all facets of what's happening on the field. Half-time adjustments are non-existent as has been demonstrated by our horrible 3rd quarter performances. Furthermore, he should have addressed the ongoing trend of a brutally deficient defense. Firstly by working more closely with Creehan and helping out the rookie Co-ordinater, and secondly by assessing the talent and working with Obie to bring in the right players. The man had part of the post season and all of training camp to figure this out and this is the best defensive squad that they could come up with? Plus questionable releases of players who had potential such as Baggs, Turenne, Collins and Means.
Maybe all of this adds up to the fact that after 30+ years of coaching, this is his 1st head coaching gig. He's obviously an excellent OC and positional coach but the jury is still out on his HC abilities. I'm hoping Cortez works out but we'll know for sure in November.