Devil's Advocate: In Defense of Taafe

And only basing it on last night's game.

Punting on 3rd and anything deep in your own end.......I'm torn on this. On the one hand, you should be able to make it since you're given a yard. On the other hand, if you somehow don't, you're already giving up at least a point and shifting momentum. What happened later on with the last 3rd down gamble is proof that maybe it's not as easy as expected. And yes, I know it wasn't the same distance, but my point is that punting deep in your own zone isn't the worst thing in the world.

On the 3rd down gamble, even the commentators said that Piercey should have gone right, instead of left and into the double coverage. I blame it on Piercey for that one, since there was a hole. It may have been sold a bit better had Lumsden moved instead of standing there like a statue.

As for Lumsden not being there in the 4th.......perhaps (and I'm only speculating here) he was still a bit sore, and was a bit gimpy. I still think Caulley is just about as they're both amazing rushers.

And with the 3rd challenge......well, that falls on his lap.

I'm just trying to offer a difference of opinion and maybe an alternate reason as to why things happened the way they did last night.

I agree with everything you stated, but on this point I would put a caveat. It depends on whether Piercy has the clearance to simply pick the open hole or if there is a specific design to the play that precludes such improvisation. My view is that Lumsden should have lined up as a FB with Caulley, have Caulley motion to the right side to get into a blocking posture and and run Jesse behind Hudson and Thomas.

The fact we still only have runs to the left or the hold-your-breath-it's-a-sneak routine on third down games is telling. It's reading a open book.

Thank you for your admirable attempt at tarting up 5-22. :wink:

:D :D :D

Oski Wee Wee,

Unfortunately for me, Kavis Reid is illiterate.

You dont even have to be a "devil's advocate" to defend.
The game came down to one play and they didnt execute.
Why isnt the players fault?
How is it Taaffe's fault when the PLAYERS don't make a play.
Still havent read a convincing argument why it was bad coaching and not the failure to execute at key moments.

Here's a nice article on coaching vs. execution that has food for thought, Z:

It's written re the college level, but there are a few gems, like this one:

"It is true that players must execute, but coaches are responsible for teaching them how to execute, and, this is the twist that’s sometimes forgotten, for knowing what they are capable of executing. As a former OC of mine was prone to say, “No use learning any new plays until we can get the few we do know right at least half the time?. This doesn’t mean that there were never any changes week-to-week, it just means that the emphasis was on teaching the basics. Over and over."

So you run short yardage plays to the left, right, and center and hone their execution. You study tape and observe on the practice field that Woodard (as one example) can't do any better than standing up the opposing DE and get no push. So you do your damnedest to correct the situation by finding someone who can do the job, or YOU RUN A PLAY TO THE OTHER SIDE YOU'VE WORKED ON WHERE YOUR CHANCES SHOULD BE HIGHER!!! DUH.

Be clear: on third and short, I am sure Taaffe has the final say on what gets called. So it's his job to know his players and the core plays that the team can do in its sleep when the game is in the balance. If an opposing guy makes a play and stops it, more power to him -- but a properly-run play is going to convert with proper design and fundamental execution, talent levels being relatively equal.

If you cannot fix these things in practice, then you find another option on the roster or you seek another player. The GM and scouting do factor into the equation as well.

To absolve a professional football coach of the responsibility to work the collective units to improve their execution is ludicrous. It isn't "oh well, this is sandlot, let's line up and try harder next play, ho hum!" LMAO K? At some point, the head coach has to impose his standards to get it done or he will be done in time. Period.

Oski Wee Wee,

To absolve players for failure is just as ludicrous probably even more so because they're the one's with the helmets and pads on.
Blaming Taaffe is way too easy, imo but you're still complicating a simple situation with theoretics.
Blockers have to block or the play doesnt work no matter how much you practice how much tape you watch or how many schemes you run.
They simply didnt do their jobs.
That's why the play didnt work.

I agree with can absolve the players for the lack of execution. That would mean ever incomplete pass, every run that doesnt result in a first down, every missed kick or bad punt is because the the coach didn't properly teach his players.

And then what? LOL

It's chicken and egg, Z. Taaffe's job is get the players to improve in their execution over time, including devising strategies to put them in position to make plays through proper execution. You need to find players who are capable of learning systems, honing fundamentals, and knowing their role in the unit.

Taaffe OUGHT TO KNOW Jesse Lumsden is a better back than Jeff Piercy, Z. He ought to know that the right side of the line is consistently better at creating lanes than the left. He ought to know what players are capable of doing and adjusting the playcall in crucial situations to maximize the opportunities for success.


Obie? He has to find ways to improve the roster. That is clear.

It's like a three-legged stool. All things being equal, the coaching leg is what makes a stool, from...just being a stool sample.

In a salary cap age, coaching is more critical. Ken Miller has his team in first place while running a MASH unit, FFS! How many times have the Ticats lost to a THIRD-STRING QB like Durrant over the last several years?

It points to the fact that this club is consistently outcoached. They are often not prepared for their opponents getting off to quick starts.

It is a combination of inconsistent playcall and lack of FOCUS. Coaches don't carry the pee bucket, my friend. Their job is to get their players on the same page and play to their strengths.

Ultimately, it boils down to whether you have it or you don't. There's Sazio, Matthews, Buono, even Kent Austin...and then there's Taaffe. It's more than a talent issue. It's accountability and minimizing bonehead game management decisions. It's about consistency.

This team has a 2-7 identity. It is on Obie and Taaffe's plates.

Oski Wee Wee,

Some of the recent coaching decisions HAVE been stools... just not the kind you SIT on Russ, get my drift?

And then what? Simple.
Get rid of players that dont do their jobs and find ones that do. Cats have some , more than last year, but there isnt enough.It takes time.

Again, youre argument is all theory and supposition. Football isnt complicated. Make mistakes and you dont win. Good players tend make fewer mistakes.
You think its a total coincidence the other teams with supposedly better coaches ALSO have lots of great players?

I don’t.


His unimaginative, uncreative and just bad decisionmaking has caused us to lose too many games.

His style isn’t working in Hamilton…time to call a spade a spade!

As soon as O’bie finds someone willing to take over this position…he will be gone! :wink:

Greg Marshall isnt coming back, woody. Get over it.

Of course it isn't a total coincidence, Z. Bill Walsh started 2-14. Chuck Noll? Jimmy Johnson at 1-15? Pinball Clemons, for that matter?? Depends on the context one assumes a team.

It's a combination of the two. You need the on-field talent and the leadership to properly develop it. You need the talent that can be developed to build a program that excels. The work you put in during practice and game prep creates the context for the roster's potential to be realized. It's not theoretical. You seem to imply that you can't work on fixing mistakes, that players are simply plugged in with a skillset and if they make mistakes, oh well.

I don't think you believe this, but it has to be clear that you need good coaching to raise the level of the collective units on offense and defence. Blocking and tackling, basic fundamentals, and getting players aware of what their responsibilities are rep to rep, play to play.

Coaches need to find ways to improve the player or to give a shot to another guy who can improve. If a coach cannot put his standards on his team to excel, then more often than not he's toast.

Not every guy is a playmaker. There is a lot of work to get a player to be consistently good or consistenty great.

Accountability is crucial and the head coach must set the tone. If Mitchell can't catch a cold, you put Jackson in. Things like that. No, it isn't rocket science. That's why folks are frustrated. Most get that.

Oski Wee Wee,

Yet, Marshall had a better winning percentage.

Sometimes it comes down to that old sports adage, you can't fire the roster...

Now why did I JUST KNOW you might come up with a comment like that! :wink:

Greg Marshall is more than happy doing what he is and having some success I might add!( Oh what could have been had we not gotten PaoPao and Greg Marshall had Printers, Lumsden etc.)

I'm sure he knows the rules in CFL football!

None the less...what is done is done...can't go back and re-write HISTORY! HOWEVER we can learn from mistakes!

I'll stick to my guns on this soon as O'bie finds a replacement...Taffe will be gone! :wink:

There's been plenty of accountability. Players have been moved out and/or benched. Wasnt that the complaint a month ago, "revolving door" and all that?
If the team was losing but Taaffe had a roster like he had in MTL I wouldnt be making this argument.
But can anyone seriously think THIS roster should stay the same?
Given the weakness at such important positions like O/D lines its remarkable the team has kept most of the games close.

While I'll agree with you on most of this...I'd like to add that with a couple of different coaching decisions...these close games would have been in our favour. :wink:

That is the difference between winning and losing...good coaching decisions and bad ones.

I agree with TOFAN (yikes) on most of this.

  1. It's never a bad idea to kick on 3rd and short in your own end, and real easy to second gues when the return comes all the way back, although one foot should be pretty much automatic (unless the snap is fumbled)

  2. Jeff Piercy only runs North and South, and not so much right or left. He may have missed the best hole, but as a fullback, he's just looking to pound the line as fast as possible. I agree with you that had Caully taken the ball, he would have made the 1st down, and also if Lumsden followed up the play he may have had time to give Piercy some more forward momentum.

  3. I can't argue that Charlie should know the rules, but ... up to this point this year, I have yet to see a penalty for throwing the challenge at the inappropriate time, just an announcement that the challenge could not be used, although I may have missed one or forgotten. Maybe something was sent to the teams that indicated this would no longer be tolerated (If this wasn't done, it should have been, because this has become common place, and is a delay to the game). If not the refs just made an example out of Charlie, and it couldn't have happened at a worse time.


I vaguely recall an announcement, maybe last year, about penalizing coaches for attempting to challenge inappropriately, but I just searched the rulebook and wasn't able to find anything regarding it.

Zontar, I'm going to ask you a question, and ask that Russ hold off on his reply until you answer, all right?

CT made and/or bears responsibility for making the 3rd and short calls (right/wrong? please comment)

The left side of the OLine is "relatively poor" because of the play of Jonta Woodard (right/wrong? please comment)

So it was a dumb call to take a RB who is/was "less" capable than your premium runners and run him through a hole allegedly to be opened by your "worst" OL in a critical situation...(right/wrong? Comment?)

Its not the players that are making those play making calls...its the coaches, so lets not blame players when the play calling is dumb.

I grant the point that I don't have any solution to offer OB as to who to replace Woodard with, only that he needs to be replaced.

I'm not sure I support OB saying that mid season coaching changes aren't productive, but he is the "man" on the point, and we have to give him is right to do the job as he sees it rightto be done.

This team is much better than last year, and next year its going to be that much better.

Until then (and the improvement to the DLine, and, hopefully, a rethinking and retooling to a 4-3 D) we are going to have to wait for a championship...