This is my first official post - and I apologize for making it so long.
I feel everyone's pain. I have read the rants over the last two weeks. We all represent a loyal & passionate fan base that simply wants to win more games than we lose. This fan base knows football better than anybody in the league. Frustrations are very high at the moment. And I suspect the most frustrated person is Bob Young. The second most frustrated person is likely Rob Katz.
We all have to be careful not to lose sight of the core issue with this team. It's easy for all of us to point fingers at a number of things.....and when you are not winning --- we all have a tendency to get distracted from what really needs to be done.
Bob has done everything he can to turn the business around. This has been well documented in forums over the last few years. He is a strong & committed owner. We need him.
Rob Katz (while not an experienced football person) - has worked hard to acquire players this past off-season after assuming his new role. Think about how optimistic we were heading into preseason --- we were excited about the players he brought in - they made sense to all of us since these guys had proven credentials. The acquistions were applauded by all of us - and that's not easy since we know our football. He did not sit on his butt....he made things happen. And he did not choose his coaching staff - he inherited them.
This brings us to the core issue - the issue that is at the heart of the problem. And we can't get distracted from fixing it. The issue has & continues to be coaching. Bob hired Marshall and Marshall was over his head. This really is Bob's only mistake, and it was driven by the fact Bob is not a football guy. That is where it all started. Marshall made things worse by hiring assistants over their heads. It's been obvious we have been outcoached for several years - just look at second half performances. They don't adapt to what the other team is doing.
They made one change this year - and brought in our new OC. Mistake #2 (probably jointly made by Marshall & Katz...because Katz was inexperienced in football and Greg had lost his own confidence). Why was PaoPao a mistake?...two reasons: 1. He has never ever won in the CFL anywhere as a coach (nice guys finish last) and 2. he wants to be a head coach - not an assitant. He is not a detailed guy who can develop a winning gameplan. Recipe for disaster. And the disaster has happened.
Katz had to fire Marshall to save face with fans. He did it and no question Marshall had to go. He had lost his own confidence and players felt it. Lancaster is interm solution (not the new leader) & players know it and it is tough to commit to a coach who will only be here for 10 games. They know they will have to prove themselves again with new coach by next year. So why listen to an old guy whose last season was 1-17? The core issue on the field continues to be offensive strategy & execution - have to blame it on OC. PaoPao has to go....just a matter of time. The playbook does not leverage the talents we have accumulated - and does not put our best players in position to do the things they do well. It's a misfit at moment. It was from the start and scary thing is I don't think Marshall and PaoPao even knew it. The defense has played well and deserves some recognition - they are losing their "fire in the belly" because the offence continues to let them down.
The issue is what do you do now. Solution: Katz has to find his new coach. Everything else is just a distraction at this point. The guy who comes with winning credentials & will grab this team by the throat is the key. Players will then know he is here to stay....and they will respond if it is the right guy. Until then - everything is a band-aid solution & worse thing we can do is make a bunch of player changes that will only create more noise & confusion. The only thing we should be discussing is who the right guy should be...who is the person who knows the game, the league, has winning credentials...wants to be in Hamilton and will bring with him a solid assistant coaching team. Who can Develop a play-book that leverages the talented group we have here --- and make changes if he feels they don't fit it. So who is the guy? I offer up my choice: Kent Austin.
Why - he is a proven winner. (Reason argos won that grey cup was because of him) He can bring with him an Offensive scheme that will excite us & leverage the talent we have. He is of the same mindset as Maas....both played the game with same fire....Kent has those great Hamilton values - aggressive, down-to-earth - play the game hard - tough minded....etc. I think that's the guy. Question is - do we have to wait until offseason or can we go get him now?