Hope and the upcoming off-season .....

I'm concerned about the upcoming off-season. At least last year we knew change was coming and we were right. We had lots of hope for this season. I couldn't wait for it to start.
Now we have seen the results I think the management and coaching staff should be analysed as much as the players. Do we have the right people in place to run this team? Can we write off this season simply by saying "oh well its the first year of re-building etc, what do you expect?".
We have a core of great players but as this season has progressed I got the sense that Charlie and the coaching staff are slow at reacting to problems, way too conservative in their game plans and cannot make maximum use of the talent we have. There is a lack of excitement about this team. Even when Moreno, Setta and others have good games, Charlie seem reluctant to recognize it other than the usual generalities. Once in a while it would be great to see him run up to a player and congratulate him on a good play. I haven't seen much, if any of that.
So I don't have anywhere near the optimism I should have for 2008 as we go into the off-season.
I want to hear more from Scott Mitchell. What does he think of the on-field performance and what changes does he want to see? Its been quiet at the top when there is no reason now to be quiet.
Its not good enough to focus strictly on the players when we still have a largely unproven coaching staff calling the shots. I think this could be a recipe for yet another season of disappointment next year.
And...we could be in for a long, quiet winter on this forum if things keep going like this. :frowning:

8) You make some excellent points and observations there, and at this time I have to say that I agree with with you wholeheartedly !!!!

There are too many unanswered questions about coaching, management, and players going into this off season !!! There sure are changes that have to be made to turn this dismal team around, and hopefully this time the right changes will be made, or we could be in for another very long season next year !!!!!

Management: Jury is still out. Year one of cleaning house and rebuilding is too early to judge them. At least one more full year, if not two

Coaching : I like Charlie but I feel that strong CFL teams need CFL experienced assisstants ie: Pinball Clemons. Our failure to improve over this year leads me to believe its more coaching. I don't think our player talent is lacking that much. Also the injury bug hasn't gotten the attention it deserves. We've had our fair share of impactful injuries.

Players: Great core. I like the QBs, RBs, LBs, K and yes, even the secondary.

Our top priority is a receiver or two, pass rush and improved pass blocking.

Tweak those player needs with CFL experienced coaching and I believe it would make a significant difference especially when one considers how many newbies will have one year CFL experience under their belt after this season.

ask and ye shall receive mr62cats ... this Q and A with Scott Mitchell was in the Vancouver Sun yesterday. Why the Spec doesn't do these kind of articles, who knows?

The article's short so I've posted the whole thing here rather than a link (the original is in archives and I don't know if you need a subscription to get in there now)

Looks like coaching changes are coming maybe ....

Q&A with Scott Mitchell

Scott Mitchell
Vancouver Sun

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The son of former CFL commissioner Doug Mitchell is taking the Hamilton Tiger-Cats' 2-14 start very personally. Appointed president of the Tiger-Cats in January, Mitchell is a former quarterback who led the University of Toronto to a Vanier Cup in 1993 -- the university's first football championship in 30 years before the program became a synonym for losing of epic proportions.

After graduation, Mitchell became involved in management, sports broadcasting and the player agency business, first with the CFL's Baltimore Ravens, then with CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, and latterly represented high-profile athletes and coaches in the NHL, NFL and CFL.

The Sun's Mike Beamish talked to the top 'Cat, whose team plays the Lions Friday night at Ivor Wynne Stadium.

Q: You made Casey Printers the highest-paid quarterback in the CFL when he you signed him as a free agent in September. Yet his efficiency rating is the lowest of any starter in the league. Do you think he was worth all the trouble? Was it necessary?

A: It was beyond necessary. We absolutely needed him. He's a difference-maker, an athlete, a leader, and we got all those things in Casey. He's been outstanding in every way, a tremendous worker, and his positive attitude has rubbed off on our team. Believe me, we really needed a change in attitude. He's done everything we've asked him to do. He just needs better support. We need to surround him with people like himself. Difference-makers.

Q: Your owner, computer maven Bob Young, the 'Cat in the hat, is the epitome of boyish optimism. What effect is the constant losing having on him? The Ticats are struggling to finish 4-14, the same record you had last year.

A: It's been hard on me, so I can only imagine how hard it's been on Bob. He's a fantastic owner, the greatest you could possibly ask for. And we reward him with this? I know he's in it for the long haul, but it must be very frustrating for him. Because it's frustrating for me, and I've only been here 10 months.

Q: Was Charlie Taffee, your head coach, the right man for the job? After all, he hadn't coached in Canada for seven years when the team hired him.

A: Charlie is a very good coach. But, that's right. It had been a long time since he coached up here. What we needed to do was surround him with more experienced CFL people. That would have made his job easier. But he is a good football coach, and he will continue to be a good football coach, if we can surround him with better personnel and more difference-makers on the field.

Q: How would you rate your own performance?

A: I don't believe it takes years and years to turn a football franchise around, as many people do. But, absolutely, I never intended to start out 2-14. Absolutely, it starts at the top. I have to do a better job, the GM has to do a better job, and the coach has to do a better job. It takes a while to put together a good organization, but that's not an excuse. What's happened here is beyond acceptable.

Q: Do you ever lean on your dad (governor of the Calgary Stampeders, former governor of the Calgary Flames) for advice?

A: I talk to him every day. My dad and Cliff Fletcher [former GM of the Flames] were my inspirations growing up. My dad is a great man, morally centred, intelligent, and he's been successful at everything he's done. That's why I don't put too much on him. It's not a situation he's familiar with. I started working with the Stampeders as a go-fer at age 13. All I ever wanted to do in life was run a professional sports team. This is my dream job, although some would say my dream has turned into a nightmare. But I wake up every day determined to turn it into something else. We're not trying to build a 9-9 team. We want to win a championship.

Great find castaway! Thanks for that!

Can't argue with anything Scott says.

I'm glad to hear that the President understands this. The baffling thing to me is that no one realized it about 8-10 months ago. Expecially after Greg Marshall had made the identical (pro-career-ending) mistake.

Next time we hire a new head coach, I wonder if we can make it a condition of his contract. As in, "If you hire coordinators with no CFL experience this contract is null and void."

Okay then...

Who's available that has CFL experience?

Can we build a list here?

Dunigan is a name that intrigues me. Sure his coaching experienve is limited, but there's no doubt that he knows the CFL game.

Coach Sal impressed last year when he stepped in and there was instant improvement.

I don't care if Scott Mitchell said that Taffe is a good coach... Good coaches do whats best for the team by surrounding themselves with a good coahing staff ( not their buddies)... Has Mitchell been watching the games this year...Taffes blunders are to numerous to mention...If mitchell really believes Taffe is a good coach he's as big an Idiot as taffe is....

I think the key here is that we have a leader or two in Casey Printers and Moreno etc. who will demand out of himself and therefore others. I see big things for this team to be honest.

Coach's and scout's salaries do not count against the cap so I would beef up both areas considerably. Since we're only dreaming here, for starters I'd offer Stubler the vault to leave TO (not that I want to see that happen), Tom Clements to return to Canada as QB coach, Browne for the 2ndary and Chapdelaine as OC. Apparently, Stubler has been all but promised Pinball's job if he ever moves on so that vault will have to be big to get him to move down the QEW. :slight_smile:

The coaching has been so poor this year that it's been difficult to really say how good/bad the players really are. There may be some real gems here who have not been able to play to their capabilities.

An Argo-Cat fan

Thanks a million for posting the interview with Scott Mitchell.
I feel better already.....even though I just left the game for a second after we ended up with 13 players on the field...AGAIN!!!

Thanks for posting that, Castaway. (You are right, that should have been printed in the Spec as well)

Reading between the lines: “surround Charlie with CFL-experienced people” and we need a “difference-maker” means, to me, new assistant coaches with CFL experience, and a couple of high-profile players coming in.

I am sure Scott will wait until after the Grey Cup to say anything more concrete.

Agreed, capn'! Proven winner who knows the game- I'd love to see him in charge of our offense.