Importance of Coaching?

A very talented and high quality professional team with average or mediocre coaching may or may not do well. The players cannot coach themselves as there are egos and opinions that do get in the way. That is why they have a coach in the first place, to call the plays, to motivate, to strategize with other coaches, to basically find ways to win.
An average team on the other hand with a very experienced and successful coach will usually play above themselves but unfortunately can only go so far. I do not believe that if Wally Buono had a less talented team that he could take them to the Grey Cup. He could make the playoff rounds with them but the only winning formula is excellent coaching with talented and coachable players.
Players do not make the team nor does the coaching staff make the team, but together, with the right balance, talent and volition, only then can a team be as successful as they look on paper.
I am impressed so far with the team and coaching staff that the 'Cats are putting together and I am positive that there will be some bugs to work out but that at the end of the season the fans will be pleased with our team.

I agree …great article SandmanFan!

Alot of us have been calling for development of QB’s with the Cats.

Great article and an example of where assitant coaches are underrated by fans and definately under the radar.

It was most likely best for Chapdelaine to attain his experience out west with Buono away from the local frying pan.

Over the years that I have followed professional sports I have noticed that head coaches or managers can be divided into two catagories, recruiters and on field generals. With the first catagory I would put Sparky Andersen or in the CFL Leo Cahill. Both these men were great at finding talent and getting the most out of the players they found, but neither were great when it came to making on field decisions. In the second catagory I would put the famous Earl Weaver of Baltimore or Don Mathews. Wally Buono is the only CFL coach who seems to be a master of both to some degree although the personel problems of the B.C. Lions do find there way to the media from time to time. I personally like the recruiters because you can always hire assistants to do the play calling for the club.

I think the role of coaching in football is more critical than in other sports because of the nature of the game.

In "Garney Henley: A Gentleman and a Tiger," Garney described the strengths and weaknesses of Jim Trimble, Ralph Sazio, Joe Restic, Al Dorow, and Jerry Williams as coaches in the various sections of the book that deal with their respective tenures with the club as head coach. Garney was particularly incisive re Ralph Sazio:

"Sazio was an excellent coach; he coached a ittle bit the way I like to coach, and the way Lombardi coached, except that Ralph didn't have an offensive mind; he was strictly defence. The thing I admired about him was that when you went into a game you were prepared for everything. You knew exactly what you were going to do and what to expect, and if there was one question or one doubt in anyone's mind, he stopped and went over it. He was a perfectionist, but you felt confident when you went into a game that way. I could bring up a lot of circumstances, asking 'What happens if they do this?' and he'd stop and say "O.K. let's get it straight.' He'd stop and think it out, or I'd make suggestions and he'd say "Sure let's do it that way.' Offensively, he has practiced plays all week, and the day before the game if a guy screwed up only once he'd throw it out; he wouldn't run it, This is the way he ran it, and I believe strongly in this way of thinking, because if one guy messes up out of twelve, you may as well throw it out, because the whole play is gone. I think this is why he was successful.

-- Garney Henley, in "Garney Henley: A Gentleman and a Tiger" by Robert F. Neilsen, Potlatch Publications, 1972, p. 79

In the book, on page 99, Garney contrasts Sazio's perfectionism with his eventual replacement, Joe Restic:

"He's not a very demanding person, whereas Sazio was very demanding and forceful. Restic reasons things out with you and he was the first coach I ever had who was this way. He's much more offensively minded than defensive; I think he has learned an awful lot about defences, but he does a lot of different things and he puts more demands on some guys than we had been used to. Defensively he put a lot of stress on various people it shouldn't be put on, myself included, and he didn't really prepare for what might happen. He just said 'Oh, they don't do that.' This is something I abhor. I would think 'There's a possibilty that if they come out in this formation, they could do this. What happens if they do? What do we do?' and he would just say 'Well, they don't do it.'"

Keep in mind that Garney's dyslexia made him concentrate on the formations of his opponents far more in his preparation than a player without that condition. He essentially had to become equipped with a "photographic memory" to decipher what the Cats and their opponents would be doing to react by how teams lined up. Sazio's perfectionism in working out game scenarios during practice and preparation must have been huge for Garney to develop as a player (and as a basketball coach, I might add).

Coaches who cut corners ultimately get cut. The inability to put one's players in position to excel on a regular basis is what separates the pack from the Parthenon of football coaching.

I would not want to diminish the impact of great coaches in other sports like Scotty Bowman in hockey or the aforementioned Phil Jackson in basketball. However, given that many of those sports are fluid in gameplay, the capacity of individual talents (like a Bobby Orr or Michael Jordan) to literally take the game by the throat through their talent and capacity to improvise, it can make coaches look a heck of a lot better than they actually are compared to football. Since football is more system-oriented, the need for pregame preparation and continual practice on play execution is heightened. The "chess for violent people" analogy is instructive here.

The learning curve for a QB to excel in football, for example, IS higher on the average than being, say, a center in hockey. The impact of Sid The Kid at 19 on the NHL is far greater than the average rookie or sophomore QB in the CFL or NFL. Even a Vince Young cannot dominate the game by his sheer talent: his supporting cast must excel as well for him to be successful in executing his game plan.

One truth: if your offensive line is mediocre, there is NO way a star QB can overcome that deficiency and win. Watching Joe Namath with the mid-seventies Jets teams is a case in point, ravaged knees and all. The game's static, play-focussed approach to moving the ball demands far more of each member of the supporting cast than in other sports, all things being equal.

My all-time Tiger-Cat head coaches' list (1950-2006) at ... highlight=
is a testament to the necessity of great coaches. Sazio, Trimble, and Voyles blazed a trail that not many have been able to follow in Tigertown since the team's heyday in the 1955-1967 era. We can only hope that the Taaffe era will usher in a new standard of excellence in the years ahead.

Oski Wee Wee,

Coaching is very important. The thing I am most concered about this year is other than Charlie, most of the "assistant" coaches have little or no CFL experience. That concerns me.
If I am not mistaken reading in the Spec this week, one coach did not even know we had 3 downs. THAT IS A PROBLEM.
Good players could almost coach themselves, I can't help think of the teams from 84,85,86. Although I adore coach Bruno, towards the end of 85/86 "some" players did take advantage, and the team took a turn for the worst into the late 80's early 90's.
It is hard to be an arm chair coach, but I am concerned and will wait and see what training camp brings, but if I had to make a good or best guest for this season , I am concerned.

For every successful coach there is a
successful scout behind him!!!
with hamilton this is yet to be proven!!
I will wait to see before i buy my
seasons tickets.