Dear Obie - Retire Now

O'Bie's only real mistake was hiring Cortez.

Disagree. He neglected the O-line, D-line, and secondary, and didn't surround Cortez with enough veteran coaching talent to ease Cortez's transition to head coach.

Can't blame Obie for this one. The widely held belief is that Cortez has complete autonomy over his coaching staff. Obie had no say in who Cortez hired as his assistants. It was one of the conditions that Obie needed to agree to in order to get Cortez's name on the dotted line.

Fair enough, though I hope that Obie tried to convince Cortez not to take on too much in his first season as HC.

Obie didn't have to agree to Cortez's terms. A good GM should know better. Obie may be a cool guy, with a cool name that gives cool quotes sometimes ... but in my opinion his resume is not impressive and the results speak for themself.

O'Bie brought in Peach. Peach and Baggs were to be bookends. Then Cortez cut Baggs. Last year they had a lot of raw young talent in the secondary. Chamblin left and they floundered.

Nobody was saying that O'Bie was doing a bad job when he was stockpiling FAs like Fort Knox in Dec-Jan-Feb. Then he hired Cortez and everything started sliding downhill.

Cortez has been touted as the next best head coach for nearly 10 years. During that time he's waffled on even wanted to be in Canada, and now that he's finally got the job, all that he's shown is a penchant for out of date schemes and a bit of an ego.

Obie didn't have to agree to Cortez's terms. A good GM should know better. Obie may be a cool guy, with a cool name that gives cool quotes sometimes ... but in my opinion his resume is not impressive and the results speak for themself.
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Actually, he did. Who was left for the team to hire at that point? The only other candidate that would have taken the job by the time the team hired Cortez was Tim Burke. While I was very vocal about wanting Burke as the head coach, the Cats pretty much put all their eggs in the Cortez basket and needed to give him whatever he wanted.

And don't think for a second that I am absolving Obie here. He helped create this mess and he needs to own up to it. Some of his decisions in the last year or two have been suspect at best. I have not liked the direction this team has headed since last August's trade of Arland Bruce.

I wouldn't say that Peach is a great signing. Not bad, but not a coup or anything like that. As for Chamblin, the secondary was suspect last year too, which makes deals like the Mann-Thompson trade look even worse in hindsight.

Nobody was saying that O'Bie was doing a bad job when he was stockpiling FAs like Fort Knox in Dec-Jan-Feb.
Actually, I had concerns then and I still do. To me, you don't build a championship team in free agency. You build from within, and by that measure, Obie hasn't been particularly successful IMO. He's always chasing the latest hot free agent instead of building a cohesive team primarily on talent he has found. Who's the best player on the Tiger-Cats? Not Fantuz, not Burris, not Peach, not even Cobourne. It's Chris Williams, a 'home-grown' import.

Obie's unwillingness to be patient enough to build a good core from within is why the O-line is a mess. I had concerns about Hage coming back too soon from injury rehab because the team needed him, and unsurprisingly, he's done for the year.

A few more points:

Good teams have strong lines on both sides of the ball. It seems like there was too much attention paid to receivers this offseason and not enough to the foundation of any offensive unit – the O-line.

If you’re going to build a team in free agency, the least you can do is be patient and resist the temptation to blow things up every year if the team doesn’t meet your expectations. If the Cats don’t make playoff strides this year, I’ll be curious to see what Obie does in the offseason. Does he blow it all up again? Or does he lay back and allow Cortez to grow into the HC role?

I'd suggest that Mr. O'Billovich be given his walking papers as soon as the season is over...

I agree with everything you've said regarding how an organization should build a long term winning team.Which makes this years effort by the front office an even worse stinging indictment on the talen evaluations skills of the individuals responsible.I've never been a fan of O'Billovich at all.He's never proven to be able to be successful once the ties are cut from previously successful things he's been involved with...

But putting someone like that in such an important position proves the poor talent evaluating skills of those above Mr. O'Billovich...And by the way,those individuals have been the constants in the 8 years of the 5 Year Plan....

Obie is partly to blame for the mess since he spends most of his time pursuing high profile offensive players but then neglecting the defense.

Yet, this team is an enigma because eventually even the big shot players fall from grace when they sign with the Cats. Players like Fantuz and Giguere have failed to impress this year. Baggs was another big signing that didn't last too long. Burris was to be reunited with Cortez to try and replicate their 2008 Grey Cup run. Even that's been a bust so far.

Everybody's been blamed for the enduring fiasco. Bellefeille, Obie, Mitchell, Young, Cortez, the players, etc.

But finding the true root cause of the Ti-cat's problems is a colossal challenge.

Actually,I don't think it's hard to find the root cause of the Tiger-Cat's problems at all...Who are the constants during the 8 years of the 5 Year Plan???

Please tell me your not actually blaming Bob Young for this mess? How many interceptions has he thrown? How many fumbles has he lost? How many bad play calls has he made? How man penalties has he taken? To think that Bob Young is the root of the problem is just ludicrous.

Bob Young has been the constant but he just signs the big paycheques and keeps the Ti-cats afloat. No small feat. He also hired guys like Obie with decades of CFL experience and entrusted him to bring in the players and assemble a winning team. Obie on the other hand has brought in some primo players who have not performed. So who exactly is to blame? It's a complex combination of things.

Financial struggles aside, when a team is struggling in many different areas, it's not unreasonable to hold the GM accountable. The GM is in charge of every aspect of the football team itself, from hiring the right coach to drafting to scouting.

I agree and I believe Obie:

  • has been gagged by Mitchell since last year when he publicly expressed his thoughts on how the QBs were being used.
  • 's involvement in the hiring of Cortez was likely not much more than supporting Mitchell's plan.
  • 's job this year, despite the fact that his title was up-graded, has really been down-graded.
  • is now really just the Player Personnel Director, at most.
  • has tutored a few, within Football Ops, very well and, providing they get along with Cortez, it will be Obie's own trainees who, collectively, replace him.
  • will be gone from the organization at the end of this season but will be referred to as a consultant.
  • has always, throughout his lifetime in the CFL, been one of the league's best ambassadors.
  • is a great guy. I'd love to hear his assessment of what's gone wrong.

Evidence? Do we know for a fact that Mitchell gagged Obie? Also, a GM talking about how his coach is using the QBs isn't doing his team a service IMO. A GM's job is to assemble the talent and let the coach use that talent as he sees fit. He shouldn't be undermining the coach's authority by making comments in the media. At least, that's my opinion.

- 's involvement in the hiring of Cortez was likely not much more than supporting Mitchell's plan.
Again, do we have any tangible evidence to support this assertion?
8) Yes indeed there is evidence. In Sat. Sept. 15 article in the Spectator, by Scott Radley, on the tenure of Scott Mitchell,
   as TiCat President, it was stated that Mitchell oversaw the hiring of George Cortez as new TC HC.

   It was also mentioned that Mitchell green-lighted the firing of Marcel Bellefeuille, in an effort to get this team over
   the hump.

    Don't kid yourself, Mitchell gets the final say, and must approve of any moves this franchise makes, no matter who 
     makes the initial suggestion.

     Cortez has control over the coaching staff, and the football personnel, and who will play, but don't forget who his 
      ultimate boss is.... it's Mr. Mitchell, not Obie !!

That's not evidence. Overseeing a hiring can mean many different things. It could simply refer to the fact that Mitchell signed off on Obie's hire, that he was a voice in the hiring committee, etc. Overseeing a hire is different from being solely in charge of it, as well as from overruling the GM.

It was also mentioned that Mitchell green-lighted the firing of Marcel Bellefeuille, in an effort to get this team over the hump.
This statement suggests that Obie made the decision to fire Bellefeuille, and Mitchell approved (green-lighted) it. What, exactly, is the problem?
Don't kid yourself, Mitchell gets the final say, and must approve of any moves this franchise makes, no matter who makes the initial suggestion.
That's normal for a team president. Getting the final say on any move is very different from usurping a GM's authority and tying his hands, as ottawacat was suggesting.

In response to disciplineandpunish, asking for evidence to back my thoughts on Bob O’Billovich:

What I expressed were my beliefs based, in some cases, on what I don’t see and hear, rather than what I do. They certainly were not statements of fact.

I can’t recall the last time I saw or heard Obie interviewed anywhere or featured, in any way, even here on Ti-Cats’ TV where he was, in the past, a regular with entertaining and informative comments on players. He’s a great personality and, as such, a good interview. I’d expect, in a situation like the team in these days, that there would be many requests for such good interviews with the man who is, on the management depth chart, the top dog in Football Operations. And, I would even more so expect many such requests because of how unattractive the HC & Director of Football Operations is to the media as an interviewee. That, to the point It would appear TSN doesn’t even bother with him anyone. So, why is the media not reaching Obie? Or, are they but being turned down? I may be wrong but it seems to me that all I’ve seen and heard of Obie this year, were his appearances at the announcements of major signings. And, I believe the change coincided with his comments, last season, on the playing of QBs.