Fire Austin!

If Robofan is the same guy who used to post under the name Onknight -- the writing style is similar -- then I seem to remember him saying, at one time, that his spelling and grammar mistakes were due to a visual injury or some kind of concussion-related after-effect. So let's ease off on the jabs at his writing and sentence structure, please.

Robofan, if I'm wrong about this recollection, my sincere apologies.

On the topic of Austin, I wonder if his screaming and ranting is starting to wear on the players. You can't be a jerk 100% of the time, just like you can't be a nice guy all the time (see idiot Tom Higgins for more info). Endless penalties and turnovers, over a long enough sample of games, point more to coaching than to individual players IMO. If it were just one or two guys, you could sit or replace them. But when vast portions of the team take turns messing up, something is off with the coaching. Again, I know this from our experiences with Idiot Higgins in Montreal.

Robofan209":

Tom: Time to quit ragging on Kent Austin for getting rid of Burris. In my view we are much better off with Collaros. He has long term potential and has done a very creditable job so far. He can only get better.
Keeping Burris around this season wouldn't have made much difference to this team anyway. Rookie errors, the lack of a running game and penalties are far more worrisome to me this season.

is this a haiku?

Exactly!! It's not the coach's fault when players throw interceptions, have fumbles. The Cats let this one get away, definitely no fault of Austin. He just needs to instill in these players that disciplined football and costly mistakes have to be kept at a minimum.

Robofan, I have to say. I'm sorry about your misfortunes. I truly am but you are a fairweather fan. It's ok to honestly criticize this team, that's fair but it seems like you have more hate towards this team than liking them.

So why can't he do it? It seems like Austin is unable to get his team to stop turning the football over and taking costly penalties. At some point, you have to wonder whether he's getting through to them, or whether they're just tuning him out. A team with recurring, consistent penalty trouble usually reflects on the coach. It's the coach's job to keep his team focused on the next play. Going offside is a focus issue.

I agree with this post except the issue with Austin and turnovers. Those things happen in football. It doesn't seem to me to be something that a coach can "teach" out of a team. He can definitely teach them how to protect the ball but he shouldn't have to. They've all played high level football and been coached up for years. I think that the youth of the team and the guys who until this year have had limited playing time is more the cause of the high amount of turnovers than the coaches not coaching correctly. They have to adapt to the pro game.

I personally feel that too much emphasis is put on not turning the ball over. Sure you don't want to do it, but it is a part of the game. It's going to happen, full stop. Better to teach how to over come the turnover than to beat a player up for putting the ball on the turf.

Penalties however, are a "coachable" matter. And I think your are on to something. The "focus" and "don't hurt the team" messages seem not to be getting through. Austin is big on the "control what you can control and tune out what you can't" and mental errors/mistakes/brain farts do not seem to be under control or getting that much better.

I agree, Austin is a good coach, his players are young, youngest in the league on average, I think though what Austin needs to decide is which hat to wear is it the Coach or the GM? I don't believe he should do both but still have the control and input over the team he wants here in Hamilton.

If he remains as coach great, but bring in a full-time General Manager for the team let him be in charge of finding the players, handling the scouts and turning this team into a Winner while Austin handles the Head Coaching the Players and directing the assistant coaches, I think this would be a much better system for all involved!!

That's a good point. I agree that at a certain point, turnovers are going to happen. And as I think about it, perhaps we should be holding the position coaches accountable, since it's their job to drill the players on the fundamentals at a specific position. Turnovers can also be the result of trying to do too much and forcing the play, which happens when the team is losing and/or the offence isn't producing. Believe me, we're going through that same crap in Montreal even with veteran players. Everyone is trying to win the game on a given snap and it's counterproductive.

Penalties however, are a "coachable" matter. And I think your are on to something. The "focus" and "don't hurt the team" messages seem not to be getting through. Austin is big on the "control what you can control and tune out what you can't" and mental errors/mistakes/brain farts do not seem to be under control or getting that much better.
And that is concerning in year two of Austin's tenure. There should be enough continuity and absorption of the coach's message by now that players aren't constantly shooting the O in the foot with badly timed penalties. Having said that, winning is contagious, just as losing is. So if Hamilton strings together a couple of wins, all of a sudden those focus issues might become less apparent, because players will be relaxed enough to just concentrate on the next play and not carry the weight of a losing streak on their shoulders. The big question is whether Austin can get the ship righted. Given how weak the east is this year, he has a lot of wiggle room, fortunately.

I looked frame by frame and the tip of the ball came in contact with the field...so by the rules it is incomplete...but it's past now and we have to get together and beat Saskatchewan...if so, we will show the league that we are far better than our record.

The tip of the ball can come in contact with the ground if the player is in control of the ball.
I admit I only saw one replay from a clear angle, and I've since deleted the game from my PVR, but it looked to me like he had control of the ball, even if it did touch the ground.

Outside of the pass interference challenges, where I still have no idea what the standard is, I think the replay booth has a pretty good track record of getting calls right if they have a good enough camera angle, and I think they were right on this one.

Good point. Maybe his messages about focus and penalties and such are being missed because he can't spend enough time on them as he has to focus on so many more things throughout his day. It's not a sign of weakness to ask for help and maybe he has taken on a little too much. Maybe he could do all that his titles require with a more veteran team but with the youth that this year's Cats have, more time teaching and preaching rather than wheeling and dealing?

EDIT: After some reflection, should Austin have to spend an inordinate amount of time teaching and preaching? The players are adults and have all played football at a very high level. They have all had years of good coaching and should not have to be retold about penalties and holding on to the ball. These are notions that should have been pounded into their brains for years and years as they have move up from level to level in quality of program. I can't see why they would just forget the fundamentals and brain cramp as much as they have. Sort of at a loss over this now.

I agree. The one thing that the returning players had this season that they hadn't had for some time, especially on defense, was continuity in coaching. They ARE a young team - but one with potential and I can see them becoming dominant over the next few years if they can maintain most of their players and coaching staff. Yes it is frustrating to see them struggle and commit the same mistakes, but as long as they learn from them eventually, they will be fine. Those who don't will be shown the door because Austin has high expectations and won't keep those who don't show signs of improvement. I think most fans just expected better results much faster - myself included. Personally, I don't want to see the team start once again from square one which would happen if those who are calling for the coach's head got their way.

I agree with keeping them focused. Penalty problems do need to stop for this team and the coach’s job is to keep them in line, but he can’t be on the field for fumbles, interceptions. These players are professionals. I understand that turnovers are a part of the game, it is going to happen.

Honestly, I haven’t seen the cats with great teams since Danny Mac and Ron Lancaster. The ticats have had a revolving door of coaches in the past 15 years and it’s been a long drought of mediocrity but you can’t put the major blame on the coach this time. These guys just have to go out there a get a reputation for being a good team again. It’s going to take some time for the Cats to get rid of this “aura” that they have but now with the new stadium and finally a home crowd again, they will begin the new era of “Steeltown tough”. They have to get rid of their old ways of complacency. Once this turnaround happens it will be great to watch. I believe Austin can lead the team with the help of his players.

Great Edit notes...well said...you are right...these are not school boys but professionals.

With all due respect Bigcat, I am so sick of hearing that we are the youngest team in the CFL. Many have said it before - that is NOT a good thing.

We were in the Grey Cup last year, and had a very good core of vets. Yes, we need to always add great young talent, but when you are in the Cup, you should be adding more veteran leadership.

As someone mentioned, although they said a majority, the reality is that the "core" of the team in the Cup last year was Obie's team...and what does Austin do-he guts the veteran leadership.

Again you do not want to be the youngest team in the league when you have had so many "rebuilding years". I'm sick of rebuilding.

He cut so many vets that were great in the room - Hage, Stala, Johnson, Burris, didn't protect Chevy Walker, etc, etc.

Where are we now with this type of leadership????.....

We are now 2-7 - enough said.

Hage was an expansion draft casualty (with a long run of knee injuries). Exposing Hage allowed them to protect another Canadian. Too bad for everybody that Desjardins was foolish enough to draft a player who wasn’t going to report to his team. Walker is a very good player, but he wasn’t going to start ahead of Gable, and he’s only in his second year now, so it’s a stretch to categorize him with longstanding vets like Stala, Burris, Johnson. Johnson is only a bit player for BC at this stage, with 5 tackles and 9 special teams tackles on the year. For Montreal, Stala has 5 catches on the year for 69 yards. I would have liked to keep Burris, but he was hot and cold last year, and hasn’t shown much for Ottawa this year.

Johnson is the only guy from your list whose current team is doing well, so the veteran leadership of Stala, Burris, and Walker doesn’t appear to be translating into many wins for their respective teams. At least Walker is performing at a high level on the field, but again, he wouldn’t start ahead of Gable.

Veteran leadership has value, but with a salary cap, veterans with fat paycheques need to contribute on the field.

[i]A Fire Kent Austin thread! Oh yeah!!! It looks like the Ticat faithful are getting it.

Johnny fully supports your Fire Austin thread! :rockin: [/i]

Fire NO! Demote yes , Give the GM title and job to Tillman and have Kent focus 150% on coaching! :thup:

That maybe a good move...I think Kent has too much to do....coaching ,especially right now , will take all his skill to get us to the playoffs !!

agreed.
It may be best for the club to keep Austin as HC and QB coach but relieve him of the duties as GM and VP of Ops.

Tillman will be fine as GM on an interim basis, although as a polarizing figure with a spotty executive record in recent years may not bode well for a long term tenure.

However, his contacts and outreach are invaluable and should be kept on in a consultant/advisor capacity.