Hamilton, Bob Young, Scott Mitchell, Kent Austin, Media - Keep Calm and Carry On

This post is an amalgamation, of sorts, of all the various posts on this forum over the last week. It is also directed at anyone and everyone associated with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, from the Owner and Management, to the Coaching Staff, to the fans and to the Media. As my heading states, as a community and as a football franchise, everyone needs to KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON - with all due respect in stealing these famous words from Sir Winston Churchill.

Folks, being 0-8 is not fun for anyone involved. Okay, maybe the Hamilton media has more to talk about and sell. But other than the media, no one in the Hamilton football community is having any fun at all.

I have read that (just to name a small portion):
1- Bob Young should sell the team - this is likely the craziest suggestion of them all (I will elaborate)
2 - Fire Scott Mitchell
3 - Fire Kent Austin
4 - Fire June Jones - even though we just hired him
5 - Trade Zach Collaros
6 - Get rid of Brandon "Speedy B" Banks
7 - Get rid of the whole Offensive Line
8 - Get rid of the DB's (except Kennah and Davis)
9 - Fire Stephan Ptasek
10 - Trade the rest of the players for a bag of new footballs

OKAY - the last one is likely the only thread I haven't read about on this forum in the last week - but it illustrates my point of just how silly everyone is acting - it's a panic, typical over-reaction.

Again, we need to KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON

Yes, we are 0-8; yes, there have been some mistakes made by pretty much everyone from the top to bottom; yes many players have underperformed, etc, etc. But the worst thing we can all do is follow through on all of the above points.

Lets look back at this franchise, pre Bob Young, the caretaker. I remember sitting at Ivor Wynne for many many games when the attendance was always in the mid-teens. It seemed like 80% of our games, save for Labour Day, and the odd important or promotional game, resulted in a paltry attendance number of 13,000 to 15,000 fans. I used to call the North Stands the "triangle" because the crowd seemed to sit in a triangular formation. Section 7 was the tip and it spread out both ways to the front row in the boxes at both ends, leaving the rest of the sections pretty much empty.

I vividly remember going to an exhibition game at the very early stages of the Bob Young administration - I was astounded to see that there were about 25,000 people in the stands. I remember seeing emails at work, at many of my friends and families places of work offering very cheap, or even free, tickets. They were just beginning to build what we have now. They were finally putting butts in the seats in the early part of this decade. Slowly but surely, they created a large demand for the team and the brand. Hamilton Health Sciences, Dofasco, Stelco, etc - large groups of tickets were offered to these large corporations for their employees at a discount. They were finally marketing the team. People were talking Tiger-Cats again. People were buying merchandise and more importantly tickets. People started tailgating all around the stadium. People then became "fans". Scott Mitchell came aboard and continued to build the brand and brought it to even greater heights. The final piece was bringing in a great football mind like Austin. The 2 Grey Cup appearances, the atmosphere at games, the brand all made for a very respectful franchise. We became the envy of all teams in the East and most in the West. This brings us to our current state. We are an extremely well run football organization. Ten weeks of football and one week with many mistakes cannot take all that away.

To backtrack slightly, yes there have been other mistakes over the last 14 years. No organization is perfect. In talking to many people, even within the organization, I am led to believe that even they know the stadium being built at the waterfront would have been the better idea. They know they made a mistake. Yes this is another topic on this forum, but it is the only stadium or arena in Canada where you can't take your family out for dinner. At the time, the belief was that a true entertainment district could be built around the stadium, or at least in the area - ie Barton, Cannon, Gage, etc. Well they now see that will not happen. And even more of a sore point is everyone sees just how terrific the James St South area has become. Craft brewers, restaurants, great shopping. I won't go on.

Yes this current administration dropped the ball BIG TIME on the stadium. And, yes, this week there has been an inordinate amount of negative press. The team is 0-8 and they tried to bring in one of the greatest offensive minds I have ever witnessed in college football. I watched many Baylor games and honestly, they seemed to score a touch down on every drive. Once Briles learned the CFL game, I am certain we would have easily become the most explosive team in decades. I am not exaggerating. He is a genius. But his hiring, at this time, was a mistake. Football was put ahead of what happened just 15 months ago at Baylor. Maybe he will prove in court he knew nothing. Maybe it will be proven in court he hid what he knew. This will be revealed in time. But this organization was trying to bring an 0-8 franchise out of the basement. They erred, they admitted, and its time to KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON

I also believe what is adding to the dismal showing in 2017 is that many of the current admin just have too much on their plate. Scott Mitchell seems to be doing the work of 5 people. Austin was the VP, pretty much a co-GM, Head Coach and essentially Offensive co-coordinator. I truly believe that once Austin settles into the player personnel role and realizes that he no longer is coaching, he will once again start evaluating top notch talent and rebuild the team back to the 2014-2015 heights. I feel Mitchell also needs to maybe delegate, hire a true CEO, etc.

Lastly, we are not an 0-8 team. We have Fantuz, Kennah, Tolliver out. We likely do need some help along both lines. But lets not panic. Letting Zach Collaros go will be akin to the Doug Gilmour trade 20 years ago. It devastated the Calgary Flames for many years and almost put the Leafs into the Stanley Cup. It is also akin to how we let Anthony Calvillo go. Under no circumstances should be let Zach go. June Jones is also a great offensive mind, similar to Briles, but wasn't as successful at the college level as he was. Lets let him build the offensive schemes. I believe he will run the ball more. Zach will get in again in the very near future. Don't repeat what we did with Calvillo. Trust me on this one. We will step back many years - you only find a franchise player like Zach every so often.

In closing, Bob Young, don't sell the team.....don't fire Mitchell and Austin.....100% don't trade Collaros. Re-evaluate everything you do....but whatever you do....


Sorry to do this but
For those that want to carry on with the same old, same old

Mark Fulton?
23m23 minutes ago
It's been 316 days since last #TiCats victory! Let that sink in a little! #CFL

Awesome post oskee. Grover is one of the ones who would likely do all 10 of your points including trading for a bag of balls. Seems like that is all he posts. Since I've been a Cats fan it's been cut Marler, cut Kerrigan, cut Calvillo, cut McManus, cut Glenn. Hamilton fans always want drastic changes whether we are winning or losing. Some changes are obviously required but getting rid of the whole organization including franchise players like Collaros is not the answer.

I would not.
I would like to see Masoli win the next 13 games under June Jones, Austin, Mitchell, Tillman and Caretaker and let Zach get his game back to where it should be


As long as Austin, Tillman and especially Scott Mitchell are still around the Tiger-Cats are going nowhere.
If the Caretaker keeps these people around after this season we can expect more of the same bad decision making and lousy football as we have seen since Mitchell took over in 2007. And the past couple of seasons.

I don't understand how any Tiger-Cat fan can suggest we simply "carry on" like this.

In my 56 years of being a Tiger-Cat fan I have NEVER felt so bad or so pessimistic about this team as I do now.

How on earth can you or the Caretaker believe that these same three people who got this team into this present chaotic mess.... suddenly find the wisdom to fix the problem? They have had their chances and have failed miserably.

Bob Young: You are getting bad advice. Get yourself a temporary advisory board or "Brains Trust" of proven CFL football minds from wherever you can and follow their recommendations.

The Tiger-Cats need to regain their integrity...a quality that is missing right now. The Tiger-Cats are way beyond any tinkering or tweaking as a solution. A management change is the only way to do it.
You deserve better.

If Scott Mitchell, is doing the work of 5 people as CEO. Then that's a failure of Scott Mitchell, not properly hiring and delegating. As far as Kent, I'm not aware of any time in Football, where a coach who failed to produce a win, was suddenly welcomed with open arms into the GMs role. Usually that's reserved for older, proven coaches (like John Hufnagel and Wally Buono). I also noticed you left our fire Eric Tillman, who had us running twice as many rookies and sophomore players as Calgary and Edmonton are currently fielding.

  1. I agree, a ludicrous proposition - I can't play Devil's advocate on this one. Who else is going to buy the team? MLSE? Nope, they're too busy running/trying to destroy the Argos. Braley? Nope, he's on the way out. The City? HA! They wouldn't even pay to upgrade Copps, yet alone buy the team.

  2. Garth Buchko was made to resign in disgrace for less then what Scott Mitchell has done so far. Just the on field failure was enough for him. Mitchell has the stadium debate, the awful Fan590 response and his role in the Briles hiring under his belt as well. That said...you can still make a case for him, if can somehow demonstrate some accountability.

  3. It's bizarre that coach running an 11 game winning streak is getting promoted into management. Frankly, it's unheard of and given Austin has always held a nebulous place between coach and GM with this team too long, one must question how much he was involved in our clear personnel issues this year. The Cornell thing is slightly embarrassing, emphasis on slightly.

  4. Depends on how outraged you are about Briles and question Jones' commitment given he wasn't able to get his guy. That said, I agree...he deserves a chance to make it work. That said, if he wants to purge the team, you had best be sure you are getting good value for guys.

  5. If we are being lead to believe that Masoli will be the guy moving forward (or these Johnny Manziel rumors), and Zach is the second stringer now, you cannot have your second string QB being that much of a cap hit. This ties into Jones. If you are 100% behind Jones, and he wants Masoli or his own guy to start, you have to trade Zach. That said, I think unless Jones miraculously produces a perfect season, you keep Zach on unless you get offered something absurdly good and weighted for him.

  6. Lets be honest, he hasn't produced this season and he's had several off field issues (Drug Use and Family Issues) that have hurt the team. We are tied for 6th in the league on Punt return average and bottom of the league on kickoff returns. If he wasn't on a reduced salary, I'm pretty sure he'd be gone already.

  7. Only a few days ago, two of our ends got their walking papers...so...there is something to this. The fact that Zach has the most QB pressures in the league is the telling statistic, this indicates blocking failures, which mostly falls on the line, and partly on the Running Back. That said, good ends are hard to find, and we didn't find any in the off season, which should have been a priority.

  8. The secondary has been porous this year, bottom in the league in interceptions, points allowed. The most telling is how little experience has been here. Leonard, Wooten, Rogers, C.Davis are all rookies or Sophomores and Unamba has played two CFL seasons worth of games despite 3 years in the league. That said, many of these players are no longer with the team. Kanneh has been too hurt to properly evaluate and E. Davis is about the only vet there.

  9. It is hard to gaugeStephan Ptasek here. One one hand, it was clear since day one that Austin was calling plays and Ptasek wasn't having as big a role you'd normally expect from an offensive coordinator, on the other hand the offensive play calling has been an addiction to Shotgun (even in short yardage spots) absent of a rushing attack, and doesn't seem to be addressing or identifying issues, which the role calls for. Since we don't know how much involvement, you have to assume he has a hand in it and failure to lead in any offensive categoriesis a problem, and you have to ask, does Jones want to keep him? That said, as a person and as an inspiration, I like Stefan Ptaszek, but I wish he had been pulled in as a position coach role first. The coaching jump from the CIS to the CFL is large enough, that moving into a Coordinator position, trying to get accountability from adults vs young adults is a different beast.

  10. This is a mischaracterisation. No one is saying blow up the team for a fire sale. What should be happening is the GM should be making trades to teams on the cusp (like Edmonton, Winnipeg and Toronto) who need to fill key positions and are over a barrel right now to find short term success and who we can exploit for long term gain. This means, targeting young, Canadian talent who have a year or two of experience, who are sitting on the second string. Draft picks simply aren't worth as much in this league as proven talent.

So onto the ones that were missed.

  1. Fire Eric Tillman -Calgary started the season 4 guys on their roster playing their first year in the CFL and 6 on their second, Edmonton started the season with 6 in their first year and 3 in their second. We started with 11 in their first and 8 in their second. We started this season with twice as many inexperienced players as the top teams in the league. It is a failure of those in charge of personnel to find and retain veteran talent. That's Eric Tillman (unless Kent's half coach positionhad a role in it too)

  2. Fire CJ Gable - QB pressures aren't always an O.Line issue. It's often a result of the running back failing to identify and pickup blitz. Our good friend Marshall Fergusson of TSN1150 has produced several scathing gifs of Gable simply failing to identify or pickup blitz. This is something you simply can't afford if you are going to run a pass happy offence. With how easy it is to find a good running back, it's hard to make a case for CJ this season.

House cleaning is needed, and as I've stated before. Other CFL teams have posted performances that weren't as bad on the field this season and canned their management and coaching staff to find success. The on field issues are enough of a reason, and when you add the Briles controversy to it...well that's more then a straw and our camel seems to have an unbreakable back. We've seen one coaching release (Austin changing roles doesn't count), two linemen released far too late in the season and a host of DBs released without being able to have scouted a replacement or made a trade for a veteran signing.

Mitchell, Austin, Tillman, Burke andPtasek should all be on notice, as with the entire team. We don't have enough good personnelto get the job done, and that means you need make trades for them. John Chick (who has been a bright spot on this team) shouldn't be the only guy to go, if the team is actual in rebuild mode.

Anyways, that's enough screaming online. We'll see what happens at labour day, at least if we can keep the Argos winless at THF that will be something.

If Bob Young continues to be a well-funded non-assertive, half-chortlin', half-invisible hillbilly caretaker - he'll no doubt end up having his nickname changed

from The Caretaker


The Undertaker


Paul Bearer

It's not the first time I have posted this bit under the whole mismanagement umbrella Cats had an opportunity to bring in ACDC and Paul McCartney to THF. Loss of revenue there. And recently stiffed one of their corporate sponsors for music fest. There is a lot wrong at the top of this org.

Keep calm and carry on...to 0-18 yay!

1- Strongly disagree . What Young has to do is quit being so naive and trusting in listening to what the "old boys club" that is currently assembled in upper management keep telling him in order to keep their jobs .

2- Strongly agree . see - 1

3- Disagree . I think maybe if he became GM and only GM then perhaps we keep him around .

4- Agree . BUT at the end of this season . Basically these mid season replacement firing/hiring scenarios rarely if ever pan out . Give him the rest of the year as the Stop Gap to end this miserable season then let's go out and get a real HC that has some real knowledge and experience coaching in this league . Somebody like a LaPolice or a Benevides or even a Claybrooks . There are choices out there believe me .

5- Strongly disagree . two words here come to mind , Anthony and Calvillo . As the saying goes "Those who don't remember the past are doomed to repeat it . Mark my words here , this team will live to regret the day and repeat the past if they are stupid enough to allow Collaros to get away . Zach just didn't all of a sudden morph into Drew Willy over night here . It's kinda hard to do your job when your handed an empty tool box . The big problem though with this situation is that damn contract . If the team could get him to agree to renegotiate for the good of the team , then perhaps they could go out and get Zach some of the tools he needs to be successful ( better O-Lineman , better receivers etc )

6- Agree . Yup , I think it's long overdue that Banks gets pink slipped . He hasn't done a damn thing for this team now for the last year and a half if not longer . Watching him in this time he just doesn't seem to be the same explosive player he once was and it seems like he has been going thru the motions and dogging it on most nights . Now I realize that there are some on here that will strongly disagree with me on this BUT in all honesty a one dimensional player like Banks isn't really all that hard to replace.

7- Disagree . Anybody who knows a lick about football should know that the most important unit on a football club is your O-Line . So getting rid of or replacing the entire 5 man starting unit just wouldn't work . Basically if you think the line is bad now believe me it would be much worse if you switched up all 5 positions mid season . Unfortunately at the moment we are stuck with what we have for now . A tweak perhaps here or there like for example maybe switching in Revenberg at centre or switching up the guards and tackles is about the best we can hope for at the present time .
The off season is the time to make wholesale changes , not mid season .

8- Disagree . One of the reasons this team on the defensive side of the ball has been so weak the last two years is the constant revolving door of Import players that have come and gone on a regular basis in our Secondary . This team with no thanks to the piss poor job that Tillman has done in scouting and recruiting the last year and a half has seen no less than at least 30 different players starting at one time or another in our backfield . Granted some of these changes have been due to injuries and some to defections but for the most part it's been due to a lack of proper evaluation of talent brought in , which lies directly at the feet of our scouting (or lack of ) and our incompetent over rated GM for not finding consistent competent talent instead of dumpster diving for bottom feeders that are barely adequate at best .

9 - Disagree . I feel bad for Ptasek the way he has been treated by this organization . How can a guy get possibly fired when by all accounts he's never been allowed to perform the duties that his job commands ? I betcha that Ptasek is ruing the day that he quit his job at Mac and came on board with this club only to be treated it seems as a glorified gopher and coffee fetcher ,not to mention also as a 3rd class citizen . Disgraceful (insert thumbs down here )

10 - Agree/Disagree . I would also ask for some new kicking tees and some free 2 for 1 coupons for dinner at Swiss Chalet . :smiley:

We are an extremely well run football organization .

:-[well if this present group of misfits is what you consider as extremely "well run" I'd hate to see what you would consider as an extremely "poorly run" football organization :o

We are not an 0 - 8 team .

Uh actually yes we are . In fact if the truth be known we are technically going back to last season an 0 - 11 team . Sad but True....no matter what way you spin it .

So onto the ones that were missed .

11- Strongly Agree - Yes 100 % Eric Tailspin has got to go and as soon as possible if not sooner . The guy is simply one of the WORST , Most Over-rated G.M's if not the WORST in the entire CFL . (Insert multiple thumbs down here )

12- Disagree - Here's a thought . Why doesn't the team maybe just maybe perhaps give this guy the rock more than 5 or 6 times a game on avg ? It's kinda hard to be productive when your basically nothing more than a glorified decoy . I sometimes wonder why this team even bothers carrying a running back on their roster since they're apparently unaware that they can use one like other teams do .

5- Strongly disagree . two words here come to mind , Anthony and Calvillo . As the saying goes "Those who don't remember the past are doomed to repeat it . Mark my words here , this team will live to regret the day and repeat the past if they are stupid enough to allow Collaros to get away . Zach just didn't all of a sudden morph into Drew Willy over night here . It's kinda hard to do your job when your handed an empty tool box . The big problem though with this situation is that damn contract . If the team could get him to agree to renegotiate for the good of the team , then perhaps they could go out and get Zach some of the tools he needs to be successful ( better O-Lineman , better receivers etc )

I guess the question to ponder is what if Zach indeed did morph into Drew Willy? Or is he a Jason Maas or Casey Printers?

We still have 10 games to assess him, and I think the Monday game will give us an idea of how the team can play without Zach. I believe he is still under contract for 2018, so there is no need to trade him now, when his value may be lower. We are better to wait and see what happens to the other teams in contention. A QB injury and sense of urgency just may boost his value if they really feel his time here is done.

We will quote you on that Oskee. Let's see where this all ends up!

Yes please quote me on this.
Blowing up EVERYTHING never works. Cleaning house from top to bottom is simply not the answer. I am not saying we don't need changes. Of course we need a few.
We have a new head coach. We have the highest turnover of players this season that the CFL has seen in many seasons.
Promise this post won't be as long but let's look at a few things:
Mitchell - Trust me I am not his biggest fan. I explained that he was the driving force behind not going to the waterfront. But I am certain even he knows he erred. But let's be honest, under the Mitchell regime we now have a full stadium every game. We have outstanding game day experiences. Everything is first class. In my opinion the Ticats game day is one of the best in Canada, and North America for that matter. Yes we're 0-8 but that falls more to football ops than him.
So let's look at football ops. Austin has now relinquished some of his responsibilities. We have a new coach and a new def coordinator. And realistically even a new offensive coordinator as Jones will run the show.
So what more do we want?
Lastly let's look at the players. Zach has not had the same offensive line for any two games in a row. No he is not running as much, but give him a nice O line and let's see if we see the Zach from 2015. I would bet the mortgage that if you put him behind the Esks or Stamps lines and we're looking at him being in MVP contention.
If Masoli comes in and tears it up and we go 7-3 or better, then and only then do we look at moving Zach. Then I agree we can't have a $500k backup. But he is not the backup. Just for Monday as it stands. . Masoli hasn't started a game with this offence. Let's see how he does. I'm hopeful we clobber the Argos. My heart says we'll win. My head says Masoli will struggle as bad, or worse, than Collaros. What then if we've traded him?

Have to agree with you. I've been on the side of now blowing it up just yet. I still believe in that with a decent Oline Zac would stand a chance. If the rest of this season is bad...start with Mitchell on down but with a staff of EXPERIENCED CFL personnel. Not NCAA cast offs.

My guess is though NCAA "castoffs" are a priority with Scott Mitchell and Mitchell trumps Austin in the Ticats hierarchy but I doubt Caretaker gets that or even cares if he gets that, as much as he loves the Cats. Not his thing such an issue, he's distant from this aspect of the team which is generally an excellent thing but in this case, not so sure it's that "excellent".

I see the Cats "issues" as a conflict between Scott Mitchell and Kent Austin and the players and their performance are an end result of this issue. Just what I think.

One of the two will have to go soon I say for the Cats to succeed. Again, just my view.