This may surprise some of my most severe critics (usually the whiners and mopes who infest bomber boards and are beholden to past bomber greats like Maggot Kelly, Jeff Reinbold, Garthy Buchko, Tim Burke, Joe Mack, y'know all the legends!)
I'm leaning to O'Shea as a Super Coach - perhaps the #1 rated coach in the league now!
Its taken time, some trying times - and I'll give you O'Shea's #1 asset - during his first couple years, instead of coming out of the chute like a house on fire - the guy stood stoically on the sidelines watching an inferior Joe Mack/Brenda Taman built team flop 'n fail on the gridiron. He could have exploded watching some of the classic fails of his team but stoically took it all in, never bending seldom wavering. That's the hallmark of a good coach.
Now, he's been supplied with better personnel, a well above average offensive coordinator, a QB who's working his own path to redemption (let alone greatness) and he's starting to succeed.
O'Shea's weaknesses are he's not very good with the media - he's cryptic and brief. BUT THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SUCCESS ON THE FIELD. He seldom stokes the fire - and he doesn't go overboard putting them out either. Just answers questions the Mickey O way. Its a good way. Its the way that works!
O'SHea still doesn't have the top personnel in the league and he's got a sub-par lackey as his defensive coordinator but somehow the bombers trudge on to a great season.
fwiw Here's how I'd rate the current CFL coaches. This should make for some interesting replies and criticisms.
O'Shea - based on what he's working with
Dave Dick - de facto #1 but when you see what he's got perhaps Mark Kilam would have the same record
Quirky Jones - the Sask'n leader is not well-liked in the CFL, but he's a dedicated and creative coach. Personnel still lacking
Rabbi Trestman - still the most learned coach in the CFL, not even close. Starting to assemble better personnel. Watch out.
G.I. (June) Jones, done wonders since taking over from Austin
Jason Maas - pretty close between him and the next guy
Porky Campbell - very good personnel, are losses on Porky or injured QBs?
Wally Buono - time starting to take its toll
Kavis Reed - dump city; coaching version of Joe Mack
.....Well said Lyle and I agree...Have to say I was not convinced at first that Mike O would succeed ...going from a co-ordinator to head man... BUT he has, and proved a lot of people wrong......including me.
In retrospect O'Shea was the best choice just because HE WASN'T READY!
But he was ready to learn - and combined with the enforced patience at the top of the organization it seems to have worked out!
Plus, when O'Shea was plucked for the job - I really don't know who else was ready. Winnipeg starched white-shirt board would never put up with a putz like Jones. And while Lapolice was capable we already had him one go - would have been wrong to bring him back no matter how much I like the guy!
I think we got lucky bypassing Khari Jones. He would have no doubt been the next guy if O'Shea wasn't available. Or Noel Thorpe!
He is a good coach but I can't stand his whining to refs....I get that he is pressing them in order to gain an edge but it is something I don't really like and think the odd flag needs to be thrown on it...not saying he is the only one nor the worst.
My biggest beef was always the fishing and the fact he was on the forefront of that. I can understand looking for that edge to...don't blame him but it still drive me nuts.
If O'Shea was the only guy who whined hard to refs I'd agree with you. BUT HE'S NOT. He is the most persistent though - always communicating to refs in a pleasant but persistent voice when they get into sideline audio range.
As far as whiners are concerned I'd certainly rate Dave Dick & Shovelface Austin ahead of O'Shea. Jason Maas doesn't whine, he rages! Wally walks onto the field like he owns it and never gets penalized. Trestman is probably the most polite I've seen in 30 years. Quirki Jones is surprisingly subdued to the refs. Campbell is beginning to learn how to be a pest. Can't rate GI Jones and Kavis because neither seems to know if they're foot or horseback.
Dickenson - He has the best team and has for several season. Time to give him credit and not say he inherited a good team
Trestman - call me biased but anyone but Trestman has the Argos this year and they are last in the league. The team is starting to gel under his system and look like a team that is better than their current record
O'Shea - Liked him when he was an assistant under Millanovich. It was his departure and Jones that showed who was really responsible for the last Argo Grey Cup. O'Shea needed time and personnel and it is finally starting to pay off for him
Chris Jones - Not well liked but he is a good coach and might finally be turning the Riders season around
Jason Maas - So he has a temper, if he can get that in check and be the example he will have success
G.I. (June) Jones - Jury's still out, he's too new but off to a decent start
Wally Buono - Legendary CFL coach who's time appears to have passed
Rick Campbell - Most over rated coach in the league since the departure of Millanovich. His record as a HC is.409, unless you're batting cleanup that number is never good just like Campbell as a coach
Kavis Reed - I assume he's coaching Montreal, they're the only team left. The Als have a coach? Really?
Despite putting him 3rd I think O'Shea is the front runner for coach of the year.
I applaud the Winnipeg organization for giving O'Shea time to learn his job and make the team his own; too often it is 2 years and out. Will Hamilton do the same with JJ or will they dump him at the end of the season if he doesn't run the table?
It's been interesting to see O'Shea grow as a coach. I'd rate he and Dickenson neck-and-neck. While I'm no fan of Jones, I have to admit he gets the best out of what he's given, and I think the Riders will place third, while the Esks get the crossover. Time has passed Buono by, sad to say. Not impressed with Maas, too soon to say about J. Jones, Trestman still effective, Campbell still learning, Reed as big a bust as coach as he was as GM.
Exactly Earl. Wadzilla Miller & Kyle Walters decided to stick it out thru thick and thin with O'Shea - despite obvious failings and not being fully head-coach ready in his first year or two.
Miller & Walters as much as confessed that prior coaching and management vermin like Joe Mack, Marcel Bellfay, Timbo Burke, Barf Buchko, Hillbilly Jim, Jakkas Reinbold, Mike Kelly, Lyle Bauer, Brenda Taman, etc. were not up to snuff
Combine that with Winnipeg not exactly being a prime destination for top level coaching and management talent and Vola,you have the O'Shea situation!
I just don't think Bob Young was willing to go through much of a learning curve, you win and quick or you're out. Hey, I don't know the specifics but maybe that's how the computer software biz works so he was applying it to football at the time. Who knows. To be honest, I don't know at the time how much he was even involved in the makeup of the management of the team or coaching. :-\
Hillbilly Bob has proven that he's no more than a asswipe multi-millionaire who gut really lucky in the early days of the tech wave.
Other than continual apologies and a semblance of a football team I don't see much managerial or creative brilliance.
Regardless of his team's success on the field I do admire anyone who puts his money where his mouth is (several million put into improvements at THF, practice fields, etc.) vs. cowards like David Asper & Lyle Bauer who spent a ton of time shilling for a new stadium, threatening to pay for it privately but in the darkness of night slithering out of town and leaving Joe Taxpayer with a near 1/4 billion dollar debt. From that point of view I admire Bob Young more than scum like Bauer, Asper and a few other takers!
Lyle, I was glancing thru Lord Bauer's new book @ McNally's last weekend. Indicative of his time running the Club, the pressing is one of the poorest I've seen since "Doc Savage" was being sold.
First thing I scanned for was any mention of the famous "Call Out" he laid on you. Couldn't find a word.
Perhaps for those not familiar with your long standing Texas cage match with Wee Davy and Lord Lyle you could re-run the tape for us.
All I've got is an old "Wanted Poster" with a grainy pic of what they claim is you on it. Rest easy, friend, although I think I could find you, I'd never turn you in, The Club doesn't have that much free cash these days, I doubt they'd pay up.