Many thanks to Coach Miller--NOW WHAT OR WHO?

Thanks Coach Miller for all your hard work and perseverence. I think you have done the right thing for yourself, your family, and the Rider organization. Time to start a new regime from the top on down. But who or what? I like Kent Austin or Joe Womack for my top dog. Maybe Taman deserves a look in a more typical GM role, but I suspect a vast majority of people would disagree with this, so I'm not even totally sure about that one myself. Maybe he would be a better fit as an Asst GM and salary cap expert, if a new GM still wants him on board.

Dave dickenson as hc, joe womack as gm. I would love to see Austin back, but his heart is not in Sask at all...not even remotely.

Dickenson would be a good choice, although I’m not entirely certain he would want to uproot his family from Calgary, and also may ultimately wish to pursue a HC position with the Stampeders first.

Unfortunately, I can see Womack as G.M. in Hamilton next year, so Riders missed out on that one. He is currently Ass't G.M. there and on the Hamilton board they are saying O.B. is also looking at getting out after this year and enter Womack.

Good luck coach Miller, all the best to you and your family.

Austin I assume makes a ton of money down south, even in the ivy league schools they do pretty good.

The GM job will go to someone in the league or who has been involved in the past. Coach may not necessarily come from Canada. Trestman is a good example.

I think they should employee Kent Austin to help them find that jewel of a coach who he feels would fit well in the CFL. He should have a ton of contacts by now. Hell I'd use him as a scout of potential college players to draft. I'm sure they could hire him to help us out in HIS off season.

I will be shocked if Tanam goes anywhere

Personally, I'd like to see Taman ride off into the sunset. I'm for Hufnagel as GM. He might be wearing out his welcome in Cowtown.

I say that Brendan Taman will be named V.P. of Football operations and General Manager,next week.

A structure that makes sense. Difficult to blame Taman when Miller had the last say on all football matters.


I am no huge Tanam fan, but yes, I do agree. I mean, he never wanted Marshall in town, but was forced to hire him. This makes me question what moves are who's...we simply don't know.

I assume Hopson takes the easy way out and keeps Taman. Taman hires the new HC. Hopson can step away and say it is now Tamans team and wait to see how they do. If they do poorly, Taman is gone and 50/50 that Hopson is gone as well.

Apparently next week both Hopson and Tama are talking to the media about what happens next.

I think Taman has taken a lot of heat for decisions made by others. I could still believe in him if he shows he can find the right type of HC and the team helps him expand their scouting system down south.

Given what happened the past few years in Winnipeg, I think that Miller overseeing Taman was a necessity. And then look at the people Taman brought with him....Berry, bad OC. Daley, worst Special Teams guy in the league. Receivers coach (whatshisname), wow, bang-up job there. Dimwittie, a 30+ year old never-was.

I think if Taman was left to his own devices, that the damage would have been worse, and longer lasting. I think Miller did a great service to this club, and I, for one, appreciate it.

Even if the moves were not Taman's, I'm not convinced that the players trust him or his organization. That spells disaster. Whether this year was his fault or not, I think he has to go for that reason alone.

I've questioned before the hate-on for Doug Berry, and don't recall seeing a response.

He was a pretty good OC when in Montreal. He was a pretty good OC in Saskatchewan last year (Durant threw for over 5,000 yards in Berry's offence last year). So what happened, do people think he got stupid all of a sudden?

Hey there MadJack. I can’t speak for others, but I’ve never been a fan of Mr. Berry.

I think that last year, DD had a great year in spite of Berry, not because of him. I think they started the year using basically Miller’s offensive philosophy from the previous years, and then as Berry made the offense more his own, they struggled. Great start (Miller’s offense), lousy finish (Berry’s offense), then a burst in the playoffs (Miller intervention? Lucky?). I’ve always found Berry’s playcalling to be uninspired…runs up the middle were predictable and stoppable. Under Berry, we pretty much lost the dynamic end-around and shovel plays to Dressler that were so successful when Austin was coach and Miller was OC. That’s one example. Another example could be how Berry put a leash on DD and tried to convert him into a pocket passer. This is not DD’s strength, I think that Berry’s stubbornness and refusal to adapt to the talents of his star player hurt not only the team, but DD’s confidence, as well. That started last year, and continued this year. Durant got happy feet because he was a stationary target, and didn’t have enough experience yet to unload the ball with quick reads a-la Calvillo/Ray. I tend to credit DD’s performance last season more to his rapport with Crandell, his QB coach at the time, than to Berry or his play-calling. Killer talent at receiver helped a lot there, too.

Fast forward to this year. The Riders’ offense was missing some key weapons, yes, but DD also struggled under Berry, and it was obvious that the two did not have the best relationship. Crandell must have served as an intermediary the previous year, because this year, the lack of chemistry between OC and QB cost the team big time. Again, DD was forced to stand in one spot with a target on his back, and the O-line was porous. Couple that with play-calling so predictable that a 7-year old girl could call the play before it happened, and the Riders got off to a disastrous start that cost Marshall his job.

Of note here, I do not blame Marshall for the early season woes, I blamed Berry. I would have fired Berry, put Miller in at OC, and kept Marshall. If you care to take the time, go back and look at my old posts, and you will see that I have been consistent in that area. Or don’t bother, its not really worth it. :wink: I think it was Berry who cost Marshall his job. I don’t think Marshall was given a choice in his OC, and that makes me wonder about the chemistry there, as well. In retrospect, perhaps Miller trolling the sidelines didn’t help, but either way, I really don’t think Marshall got a fair shake.

And, to your final point, yes, I do think he got stupid, though not all of a sudden. 3rd and under a yard, and he calls a play from the SHOTGUN? TWICE? And that was only the final straw, there were lots of woes leading up to that.

Maybe Berry wouldn’t be a bad OC with a Calvillo or Ray, or other stay-at-home pocket type QB, but he was definitely not the right fit for DD or for the skillsets offered by the current Rider team.

Oh, and he was Taman’s man from Winnipeg…which started the whole hate thing for me. The rest was just confirmation of my gut feeling. :smiley:

Thanks hit-em-hard, very well explained.

Next year will be a make or break year for Durant. His career stats don't exactly scream 'elite' He throws way too many int's to be considered elite. No longer will he have his head coach or OC to blame for lack of production. Don't forgot the riders were in a terrible slump at the end of the year and got hot in time for the playoffs. (They had 4 losses in a row before picking it up going into week 19 and into the playoffs.) My point is DD has run out of excuses, in 2012 if the riders continue to struggle maybe it is time to look for a new 'elite' qb!

as I and others have said before, the lack of a balanced playbook/calling killed the Riders, and only DD’s amazing athletic abilities kept them a contender. Without a run game the D does not really care to cover Cates as a running threat that much, and also the lack of a run game keeps the OL one dimensional, so the D knows what kind of pressure to apply…IMO that was the largest issue with the line the past couple years…not the guys manning it. You need to have a run game that the D is scared you will be in 2nd and 4 or under if they don’t watch it, but the Ds all know the Riders are looking at the run as something they throw in now and then…that is why I have always said DD needs to be a rolling QB…either run the ball more or get your QB out of the pocket to keep the D honest…Berry’s inability to adjust that one way or the other was always what upset me about him. I loved his playbook, just not his play calling.

Well, I dunno. You oughta check out the stats on a guy named Lancaster. Dude wouldn't be considered elite if the bolded part is what defines them. Not saying DD is or isn't elite but that particular stat is just that, a stat.

I would also like to thank COACH KEN for the outstanding job he did while in RIDERVILLE and rides into the sunset
you leave being in an elite group of most win coaches, also having the team in 3 of the last 4 GC. It was said today on the cage just imagine if coach KEN would have showed up 20 yrs ago.

Great post, particularly in bold, despite the fact that I, like MadJack, am at a loss to understand the Berry hate. I mean, it's not like the Riders rebounded when he was fired. If Miller was responsible for the good stuff last year and Berry the bad, why couldn't Miller reignite them this season?

To me, it was a personnel issue. Questionable O-line, aging running back (Cates) not good enough to pick up those five-yard first-down runs, Fantuz gone, Bagg and Koch starting the season on the 9-game IR. I opined last offseason that the loss of Fantuz was going to be very difficult for the Riders to overcome, and unfortunately, I was right (though I had no idea the team would tank to this extent). Losing your star receiver and go-to target for over half the season was a huge blow. Sure, you can technically replace Fantuz with another body, but it's like asking the Lions to replace Geroy Simon or the Als to replace Jamel Richardson. Replacements are no substitute for the real thing.

Finally, I would submit that you can't roll the QB out all the time, or even a majority of the time, not in this league, because you cut the field in half in terms of available receiver options and you need to have receivers savvy enough to run good scramble routes in case the play breaks down, which it frequently will.