Cortez's final decision

Even if my initial excitement over his hiring had dwindled, I had stuck by Cortez all season. I had given Cortez the benefit of the doubt throughout this entire year. I had brushed off his errors as rookie mistakes, I had assumed that over time he would learn to better deal with personnel and all would eventually come together over time to reveal that there was a great football mind below the surface that would bloom and prosper into the next great Ticats head coach.

This was an opinion that I held all the way up until literally his very final decision of the season.

Was it the most consequential coaching mistake ever made? No. Ozzy 98 aside, chances were slim that it would have changed the outcome of the game. But in terms of sheer obvious, plain cut, right vs wrong, this was the absolute worst decision I have ever seen in all of my years of watching this team.

This wasn't an unconventional risk gone awry, its merits panned by most but still open to be debated, this was a decision with absolutely no reasonable rationale behind it whatsoever.

I'm of course talking about his decision to stand right next to the linesman and wait, running down the clock from 20 seconds to 3 before calling a timeout with the Argos ready to kick the game winning field goal. There is no argument here. Call a time out ASAP. If they make it, you'll have about 15 seconds to grab 35 yards and kick a field goal or throw a Hail Mary.

Instead you let the clock run to nothing for what purpose? To put a kicker - who's under zero pressure - on "ice" for an extra 17 seconds? .....

Am I blaming our season on this decision? Of course not. We should not have been in this situation in the first place. Blame our D for allowing the Argos to march into field goal range. Blame Creehan for the lacklustre D we've suffered through all season. Blame Obie for stacking our Offense while ignoring our issues on Defense. In the end we'd have been only 7-11 even if we had called a timeout and pulled out a miracle. Hardly a playoff worthy record.

However, this decision proves in my mind that regardless of the other factors for our performance over the course of the season, George Cortez is a problem. For all of the bad decisions that I had given him the benefit of the doubt and accepted the excuses for throughout the season - maybe the booth didn't see the replay in time, sometimes a conservative approach is better, rookie mistake, whatever - for anybody at any level to make such an obvious and basic decision making blunder, it just goes to prove that the problem all along truly was that this man simply is incapable of making proper in-game decisions.

It took until the very last play of the season but I know now that this man simply does not have what it takes to be a head coach.

Watching the clock wind down, I actually thought Hamilton had already used their TO.

Maybe Cortez was thinking Toronto would just let the clock run out? Even assuming Toronto would make the FG, why leave yourself 12 to 15 seconds and give Williams a chance to break a long kick off return? And if Toronto squib kicked, you don't think Hank could get into FG range and pick up 20 or 25yds after he'd already hung 500yds on Toronto?

Most unbelievable coaching decision I've seen in a long time.

George is out of his league. :cowboy:

IMO very much so.

And IMO so is whoever hired Cortez. And so is whoever hired our DC. And so is whoever let this happen. If the Cats don't have a vacant GM, HC and DC position within a few days, (if not hours), then IMO Bob Young hasn't got the "right stuff" to run a successfull (meaning competitive) football team. A nice man, you bet. Good person, no question.

Bob it's time to take the bull by the horns. If you don't like what's going one, you have to take charge and make the right things happen.

The hopes and expectations of Tiger Cat Nation aside ... Cortez was a first year head coach. The list of people who have won Championships in their FIRST year, in any position (let alone HC ) - has to be a very short one, indeed.

I am not here to sugar coat, or downplay - or even dispute any of Coach Cortez's various, and numerous mistakes this season. However, I am here to say that the man deserves a fair shot at success, and a chance to learn from them.

Count me among those who were screaming for Bellefuille's head on a platter last season ; and count me among those who were rosy pink with satisfaction upon hearing of Cortez's hiring. There were reasons for both of these positions, and those reasons still exist ... Bellefuille had run his course as HC, he maximized his individual potential and did all he was ever going to do as a HC - of that I am certain. Cortez was hired for his football DNA, as well as his vast knowledge and experience in the game of football ... these things have not changed either.

Has TiCat nation not learned ANYTHING over the past decade of futility ? Throwing the baby out with the bath water, year after year is no blueprint for success.

Much of life is about learning ... Everybody makes mistakes - it's how you deal with them that matter most. Give Cortez some more time to fulfill his potential as a head coach. Provide him with a better DC, and some better defensive personnel , and see where he can take this team.

I will say this ... any hubris, and feelings of import and superiority which Cortez brought into this season MUST vanish if he is going to take the next step. He should realize just how outclassed he was by the other HC's this season and learn from his experience. If he doesn't lose his mightier than thou attitude then all of this is moot.

Consider this the opening salvo for the keep Cortez campaign ... play on.

Great Post.


Good post. I feel the same way despite that loss last night.
However....come next September we should all know if this assessment is the correct one. If not then count me among those who are calling for his head already.

Cortez looks like he belongs in the movie Its a Wonderful Life. I am sure I saw him in it.

I have to agree with you flyingA. As much as I hate the way this team has consistently tanked for over the last 10 years. I hate the constant turn over of coaches and players.

My blood pressure has still not lowered from last nights absolutely brutal game. It's a good thing I live out of town..out of province, because I have a strong urge to ask Cortez..or Creehan...or anyone from the Ticat organization..."What the hell???"

But...I'm trying to look at things in a different way. Look at this years Ticats as having a similar season as the 2010 Bombers...pathetic record but alot of those losses were close ones. So maybe....just maybe next year the Cats will come out strong and make it to the Cup. Of course that's where I want the similarities to end..based on the results of THAT Grey Cup game and the folowing season that the Bombers have.

For now...the rest of this season..I guess I'll throw my support behind Kevin Glenn and Marquay McDaniel and hope that they can at least get a Grey Cup win.

No excuses-Your ALL Fired!!

I would love to hear Cortez's reasoning behind his idiotic decision.

Another poster stated that they thought that Cortez had already used his time-out and that's why he didn't call it. I was thinking the same thing. I mean, surely anyone with half a brain would call a time-out immediately (if they had one) in that situation.


I guess Cortez doesn't have half a brain. He probably shoved his sharpie too far up his nose or something.

Cortez - The field goal would not have happened if the defense (special teams) could have stopped the large kick-off return. The field goal would not have happened if the defense would have made a series of critical stops preventing the 4th string quarterback from gaining yardage to allow the kicker to be with in field goal range. Cortez has made some stupid mistakes as we all have. The biggest mistakes George has made so far are; 1/ hiring Casey Creehan 2/ thinking he has the knowledge to access player talent. 3/ Not having a scouting staff that can find talent like other teams do without any difficulty.

I'm glad this season is over, the team would have got smoked in the Eastern Semi Final against the Ar%$ H*&^% anyways. That team had secured the very best QB, coach and defensive mind and player talent well before Cortez was hired. The Tiger Cats are sadly enough, a day late and a dollar short.


Great points. I would like to add one more mistake. The belief that he could take on all the responsibilities on his plate. He seems to have the OC part down quite nicely. The offense seemed very potent most of the time but he's completely asleep at the wheel for other critical decisions.

Good post! This parallels my own thinking. :thup:

A lot of mistakes made that cost the team the game, and prevented the comeback. But does he mention his own mistake that prevented a comeback after that 51-yard field goal?

Han Solo's got nothing on this guy. ("It's not my fault!")

I disagree making the excuse that Cortez is in his first year as HEAD COACH.

What about Trestman in Montreal ( came to CFL and hit the ground running ) and Milanovivh in Torornto this year ....

Cortez has had plenty of CFL experience as an offensice Co-ordiantor and NFL time as well excuses ...

I think he mankes a decent OC but terrible head coach ..not a personable guy and not good at motivation and preperation and not liked by the team ...

and so many dumb personnel decision and dumber on the field decisions

He also had henry Burris whom he worked with for years with the same offence and then a great set of receivers how could you go wrong ...

The defensice co-ordinator did not do well but he had a terrible cast ..he had no real pass rusher until peguesse got into town and he had no real DT's until MOORE AND DAVIS arrived ..he had to do with KNWOLTON for most of the year and jamal was out a bit too ...he had nobody in the backfeild that could guard man to man and right now only a few worth keeping in WEBB and Colclough

Your post is an accurate analysis. I would add that for me the most frustrating aspect of Cortez is that he did nothing to help Creehan except keep bringing in a constant flow of new players. He should have helped him or assigned somebody to help him with game planning. Problems were apparent early on and were never properly addressed right to the end of the season. The final results prove this. If he saw his rookie DC struggling where was the guidance from Cortez? Was he afraid to step in because he would bruise Creehan’s ego? So now instead he will become the scapegoat for the team.

Well said my friend.

I too am disappointed in Cortez, but more disappointed in myself for getting too high on all the hype in the spring over all the signings. I KNEW then it sounded too much like the Argos winning the GC in the spring and ending up in last during the season. (Everybody sing "Goodbye Leo").

I am disappointed in Cortez - from his first press conference I thought he had the knowledge and the attitude (teacher type) to be a successful head coach. But he rarely used the challenge flag appropriately or effectively, had problems with clock management, used a shotgun formation on 3rd and short (and rarely used Porter on 3rd down), had problems with import/NI ratio (been commenting since very early to use both Walker and Cobourne in the backfield, at least dress both) only to be told "not possible" and suddenly in the last part of the season it became possible. Then he used speedster Walker wrong - he's NOT a between the tackles RB, get him the ball outside the ends (screen, hitch, lateral QB option, etc.). I rarely saw him communicating with the players on the sidelines - he should have been congratulating/celebrating a good play, teaching what went wrong on bad plays, NOT flicking his Bic. And Stala should have been starting, OR at the very least rotating with Giguere and Fantuz

Creehan - we don't know how much is his fault, how much is Cortez', but every week new DBs, new DL, or using DBs in different positions. We seem to have 3 good NI DBs, surely 1, maybe 2 can start, or rotate with each other? The LBs spoke up about mid-way through the season and wanted to blitz more, we got it a game or 2 later and pounded the Eskimos, then the blitz seems to have been relegated to last possible option. Yet we faced so many rookie/young QBs who tend to be very susceptible to blitz. Why weren't we blitzing the Argos 4th string QB?

That's all for now, maybe more this season IF the Ticats make any significant coaching/personnel moves.