Montreal Fires Dan Hawkins

8) Latest breaking news is that Montreal has just fired their HC, Dan Hawkins.
  Al's owner, Bob Wetenhall has asked GM Jim Popp to take over as the HC !!

The timing of this is really, really weird. Hawkins actually won his last game, albeit a close one at home against Edmonton. Then they wait a full week after that win to fire him?

Plus, I'm going to miss the clueless look that Hawkins always had on his face.

If he has the ability to travel North America to find football talent who can play, we should hire him. :smiley: :smiley:

The win masked the fact that the offense continued to struggle. We needed the last play of the game to pull out a win against the worst team in the league, playing in our own stadium. Hawkins's game and player management has been awful. Cats fans may not know this, but there have been numerous criticisms from Montreal media about the sloppy way Hawkins ran practice. Apparently, he couldn't even coordinate the units properly to ensure that players weren't wasting their time on the sidelines. Throw in his arrogance with the media and it all adds up to a deserved firing (though of course I'm never happy to see someone lose his job).

On the full week front, Popp and Wetenhall must have thought about it long and hard over last weekend, and this week is the bye anyway. Hawkins and a lot of the offensive staff had already left on vacation as of Tuesday, so it's not like we lost practice time...

Plus, I'm going to miss the clueless look that Hawkins always had on his face.
I'm not. Talk about a guy impersonating a coach.

that was quick.

I'm surprised given it is only 5 games into the season and the Als are currently in second place only 2 points back of Toronto.

It appears the club still retained OC Miller, another NFL disciple, who should share some responsibility for the lack of production and seeming confusion with the offensive unit, especially in regards to Calvillo.

Curious as to why the Als/Wetenhall named GM Popp as interim HC when they could have just inserted Doug Berry for the time being.

Cue circus music.

2013 off season MTL will be the only team with a coach and GM shopping for a job down south while at the same time has to fill the vacancies that he created - and have to replace a H of F QB.

This sucks. I was hoping it would take Montreal much longer to decide Hawkins wasn't right for the job.

Interesting that they are putting Popp in as HC rather than one of the coordinators. That implies they will dump pretty much the whole coaching staff in the off season. Popp is the only guy guaranteed to have a job with the club next year, and the players know it. If you keep a lame duck coach around too long, players may start to feel like they have nothing to lose by slacking and falling out of the coach's good graces, as they would have to prove themselves all over again the following year to a new coach. Making a long-term guy like Popp (who is also the GM) the interim HC sends the message to the players that phoning it in for the remainder of the year would have dire consequences.

To me, it's much more important to look at how your team is playing, rather than the wins and losses, because both winning and losing can mask a lot of the real issues in the short term. A team sitting at 2-3 could go on to lose the next four straight. Better to be proactive and fire the HC if you don't think he can get it done IMO...

It appears the club still retained OC Miller, another NFL disciple, who should share some responsibility for the lack of production and seeming confusion with the offensive unit, especially in regards to Calvillo.

Curious as to why the Als/Wetenhall named GM Popp as interim HC when they could have just inserted Doug Berry for the time being.


Oh, believe me, we're discussing that nuance as well in the Als forum. My feeling is that by naming himself interim head coach, Popp is sending a warning message to all the coaches and players: "Don't feel like it was all just Hawkins. You'd better get your act together or else.."

I would not be surprised to see Miller walk the plank in a few weeks if the offense doesn't improve.

Throw in his arrogance with the media and it all adds up to a deserved firing
I don't understand this line of reasoning. It has been offered on this forum before about coaches in Hamilton and other cities as well. What does a person's media interaction have to do with their abilities as a football coach? I don't think that anyone can find a correlation between the two.

I have a feeling that this is a line of reasoning that has been started by the media themselves. They don't like it when coaches call them on their BS questions and the terrible habit they have of continuing to ask questions on a topic that a coach has said they are not going to talk about. I guess their feelings get hurt when the coach calls them out and they take to their medium to criticize the coach. The media set the agenda and all that.

It's also easier to hold "secret" meetings about a senior employee when they are away on vacation. Not specific to the Als or the CFL or pro sports.

I'm certainly not surprised at the decision. The guy was a disaster. I figured it would make more sense to have made the decision earlier in the week, but I forgot about the bye, so I suppose it doesn't make that much of a difference. I didn't realize that even his practices were a sideshow as well.

Exactly! :smiley:

BillyDee, I get and respect your general point here, but specifically in the Hawkins situation, it's not applicable. Part of a HC's job is to maintain a decent line of communication with the media. They're human beings, they have jobs to do, and they don't deserve to be mocked repeatedly just for doing their jobs.

The problem with Hawkins is that he acted as cocky and arrogant as Don Matthews without having done anything to earn that attitude. He refused to own up to mistakes (Trestman always took responsibility for his own errors). He misled or lied to journalists about basic injury updates even when it was clear that player X had a concussion (e.g. Woodruff). He demonstrated his ignorance and arrogance even when journalists asked legitimate questions ("Why did you call a shotgun handoff on 3rd and 1 inside your own 30?" "Why don't you have a QB sneak option in your playbook?").

In a market like Montreal where the Als are always fighting for mindshare with sports fans and competing with the Canadiens and Impact, your head coach can only be an arrogant SOB if the team is winning. :wink: Obviously, you want a HC who is affable in the media AND who wins. If you can only pick one, you go with the winner (stealing that line from Tridus). But Hawkins was neither. I'm not saying his media attitude was the primary reason for his firing but it didn't help his cause IMO...

I suspect that along with the other problems...Calvillo had a lot to do with Hawkins being let go.
It was pretty obvious from his demeanour on the sidelines after he came off the field that he was not happy. Likely the play-calling and the fact that Hawkins system did not allow him the freedom he had with Trestman.
Any bets on George Cortez for next season?

[url=http://forums.ticats.ca/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=83333]viewtopic.php?f=2&t=83333[/url] Over on the Alouette fan forum,8 pages and counting,going back to
                                                                      start of season.Hopefully this doesn't mean a turn around for the
                                                                      team,I was kind of liking watching the Al's look mortal for a change.

When AC threw Hawkins and staff under the bus a couple of weeks ago Hawkins' fate was sealed.

When your best player essentially quits on the coach and his system the rest of the team takes that as a cue - after that its pretty much impossible for Hawkins and his staff to get the team back.

With Popp and Calvillo signing off on this huge change in direction and going through training camp knowing full well what he was all about and what he had planned they have to share a part of this debacle too.

Oh, nobody comes out of this looking good, I agree. Everyone has to take a share of responsibility for the debacle so far: Popp, Calvillo, the rest of the players and coaches. But you can't fire an entire team. Popp evidently made a decision based on who he thought was the person most in need of replacement. But it's a warning shot, not an end stop, as I see it. If the team can't turn it around in the next few weeks, we may very well see more changes...

I think you'll see Doug Berry take more of a role in the offensive game-planning & coordination. Miller will have his hands tied, de facto demoted, or outright released.

Berry is Senior Advisor to the HC ... And now Popp is the HC ...

I can see it happening, but not immediately. Popp hasn't been at ground level until now; he needs to get a read on the day-to-day issues with the coaching staff. It might take a few weeks for him to make a determination on Miller, whom he's said to like...

Think you're right on this one. :thup:

Part of a HC's job is to maintain a decent line of communication with the media. They're human beings, they have jobs to do, and they don't deserve to be mocked repeatedly just for doing their jobs.
I guess we have to agree to disagree on these points. I believe that it is on both parties to maintain a "decent line of communication" and that the media share the bulk of the blame for the way they undertake coach interviews. While I agree that they are just "doing their jobs," that doesn't entitle them to not maintain some journalistic integrity and be good at their work. Just badgering a coach or not having well thought out questions (or leading the answer with the question) or just trying to elicit a response that will get web hits is not what they are entitled to do.
He misled or lied to journalists about basic injury updates even when it was clear that player X had a concussion (e.g. Woodruff). He demonstrated his ignorance and arrogance even when journalists asked *legitimate* questions ("Why did you call a shotgun handoff on 3rd and 1 inside your own 30?" "Why don't you have a QB sneak option in your playbook?").
Again, I guess we disagree. All coaches in all pro leagues "hide" injuries from the press and thereby from the other teams. Not so much new there. They are also not doctors and cannot diagnose an injury. Also, I would take offence to hack reporters who are not professional coaches questioning my playcalling. It's basically saying "well I wouldn't have done that if I was coach." Those types of opinions are for opinion pieces, not post game interviews with the coach.
Obviously, you want a HC who is affable in the media AND who wins.
Again, I would disagree. I would prefer a winning coach who was a bastard over a winning coach who was nice to the media. The media cause their own criticism in my view.