Usually, when a coach gets fired, he will offer his last words a day or two after the dirty deed has been done.
Not Kavis Reed. He was required to do it a day or two before being removed as Edmonton Eskimos head coach.
Sunday Reed stood in the interview room not wearing Eskimos apparel for the first time almost certainly answering questions for the final time.
He didn’t come right out and say he expected to be fired in the next couple of days. But it was there to be read between the lines in everything he said.
At one point Reed even said “God grant me the opportunity again? referring to having a chance to be a head coach after he gets fired from being one here.
It was a surreal scene as this classy man found himself in a position of saying goodbye before he was gone.
He’ll leave with nothing but respect from his players and the people who cover the club.
It’s sad, considering that coaching the Eskimos was the dream of the former player, whose career as a player here ended early due to a neck injury. He continued to live in Edmonton in a decade of working in different CFL assistant coaching jobs.
Despite a 4-12 season — the worst year in Eskimos history since 1963 — Reed wouldn’t say he made a mess of it.
Quite the opposite.
“I wouldn’t change an absolute thing,? he said.
“There wasn’t one thing I felt I did in intention of not allowing this franchise to grow. I’m very proud of that fact. I never put myself before this franchise.
“Now the season has been culminated, what will happen will happen. In this position you are going to be judged on Ws and Ls. There isn’t going to be that investigation into whether you are a good coach or not. It’s Ws and Ls,? said the coach who went from 11-7 to 7-11 to 4-16 and had to deal with more noise than just about any other coach in Eskimo history, especially with the Tillman & Rhodes Circus last year and everything which happened this year with this dysfunctional franchise.
“This is a microwave society. I think people think the more changes you make the closer you get to something. Actually, the more changes you make the further away you get,? he did offer.
Your correspondent fired Reed in this column a month ago. When your record is 6-23 since heading to Calgary for the Labour Day game last year, you don’t need a laundry list of reasons for dismissal. I offered them then. There’s no reason to repeat them today.
“There is nothing that Kavis Reed did that I’m not proud of. If this is my last year here I believe we put this franchise back on track where it needs to be and where it will enjoy success and I would wish it only the best.
“I know the men in that locker room are stronger. I know the men in that locker room have character that has grown. I know they have grown as players and men.
“Whatever will come will come but for me, it has always been about this franchise. Whatever is decided is decided. It’s not something I’ve ever lost sleep over. I’ve been in the business long enough to understand that part of the business.
“As a coach, I’ve always said your resume is the players. It’s how you treat them. It’s how you coach them, it’s how you train them and more importantly how you lead them. I’ve never lost sleep over it. I won’t lose sleep over it.?
His coaching staff knows what’s coming.
“I met with the coaches in the morning and obviously our record says that there is going to be deliberation on us. That’s reality. You can’t hide from that elephant that’s in the room,? said Reed who says there are player evaluation reports to be written.
“And for us as a coaching staff we need to continue to work until someone comes and gets the keys and escorts you out of the door. You continue to do the best for this franchise.
“I bleed green and gold. This community has been great to me for 20 years. I’m positive that I love this franchise. I’m confident this franchise got everything I could give it. I wish this franchise only the best.
There is that part of me that wants to see this thing through. But I’m going to go with whatever is decided.
“But I will write a book.?
With what has happened being the scenes in Kavis Reed’s time in his dream job, if it’s a tell-all book, it may sell more copies that the Eskimos will sell season tickets next year.