Found this article on www.ottawafootball.com, good read and very good points, especially the one about Kent Austin.
PAOPAO DESERVES TO BE FIRED NOW AND HEREâ€™S WHY
By Mike Nixon, OttawaFootball.com
By the time you read this, Joe Paopao may already have been fired as head coach of the Ottawa Renegades. Certainly he is on his last legs and the result of the Toronto game may determine his fate. This is long overdue but, in the final analysis, Joe Paopao has no one to blame but himself.
Paopaoâ€™s downfall truly began following the second season of the Renegades. As I reported back in July, Paopao and former General Manager Eric Tillman locked heads over then quarterback coach Kent Austin. Tillman wanted to make Austin the offensive coordinator. Considering the improvement in the offense in 2003 and the improvement of rookie quarterback Kerry Joseph, Tillman felt this was warranted and was insistent upon the change. Paopao resisted greatlyâ€¦why, not for the better of the club, but because he wanted to give the job to his friend and offensive line coach, Kani Kauahi. That decision, which eventually led to Tillmanâ€™s difficulties with former CEO John Lisowski, forced Austin to accept the offensive coordinatorâ€™s post with Toronto. The rest is history as Austin went on to collect a Grey Cup ring with the Argos.
Paopao wanted to be in total control and he got it. Lisowski demoted Tillman and gave his decision making power to Joe. The Renegade franchise has gone downhill ever since. Paopaoâ€™s power play resulted in the loss of one of the best GMs in this league but it is more than that. Paopao refused to bring in players even when it was evident there were players on his roster not up to the challenge. He and his buddy, Kauahi, have failed in developing many young prospects including Alexandre Gauthier, Mike Vilimek, Ibrahim Khan and others. The offensive line has been a mess since the beginning of the 2004 season. It has yet to be fixed but Kauahi is still here. It is safe to say that the loss of Paopaoâ€™s job can easily be blamed on his loyalty to Kauahi and others within the organization who succeeded in demeaning Tillman to ownership and forcing his departure from the Renegades.
There are those within the Renegades organization who know the truth. Whether they will ever speak it is another story. Even those in the previous ownership know what really happened but they have maintained their silence. This year, with new ownership, Paopao has again steadfastly refused to upgrade talent by bringing in new players. Yet he and his supporters have put out stories that ownership has vetoed trades and denied him players. This is totally false as I have explained on several occasions. In addition, Paopao has put out the line that he did not have the money to spend on free agents this past offseason. Yet Paopao offered $150,000 to Ed Hervey while not even placing a phone call to Alex Gauthier or trying to re-sign Mike Vilimek, or Roger Dunbrack or Shawn Gallant. Anyone who knows the CFL knows that it is the 30th to 40th players on your roster that determine if your special teams are good. Those players are usually Canadian and if your Canadian depth is depleted your special teams will not be good. Paopao let all these players go and the results have been painfully evident.
Paopaoâ€™s tenure as General Manager has been a disaster. The two major trades he made have blown up in his face. The trade for Matt Kellett cost Ottawa a first round pick and showed how a good GM, like Montrealâ€™s Jim Popp, can take an inexperienced one to the cleaners. The trade for Pascal Cheron, which cost a second round pick, has been equally bad. At best, Cheron is a back up lineman. He is not a starter. Then there are the two Americans currently on the line. Reggie Nelson was not scouted by Paopao but referred to Ottawa on a recommendation from quarterback Joseph who played college ball with him. Fred Moore was picked up from BC after being cut. His play has demonstrated why he was cut. Yet, Paopao has refused to make any other changes. He did this a year ago too when Tillman had players like former NFL 3rd round pick Jeff Hatch and NFL veteran Darryl Terrell ready to come to Ottawa. Dan Goodspeed, another good left tackle prospect, was taken off the negotiation list. He was quickly picked up by Winnipeg and is now their starting left tackle.
It has been reported that Mike Vilimek would not have returned to Ottawa at any price. Yet, how many people know that Paopao was asked, in 2004, to make a commitment to the young man at fullback in place of journeyman Mike Maurer. Paopao refused and later, in free agency, told Montreal GM Jim Popp that Vilimek was not in Ottawaâ€™s plans. Vilimek, Gauthier and former offensive lineman Mike Abou-Mechrek are all starring for their current teams.
There are many other stories that could easily justify Paopaoâ€™s firing but are they necessary. Does the mainstream media report on Tommy Condellâ€™s frustration as play caller because of Paopaoâ€™s constant interference? Yet, Condell is receiving much of the blame recently for Ottawaâ€™s poor offensive performance. Paopao got a break this year when the defense played well early and Ottawa somehow managed to win five games. Looking back, it is truly incredible that this team was able to do that. There are some good players here but not enough and our Canadian talent depth needs to be rebuilt. That may take two years. Very few people realize the quality of the Canadian talent Ottawa had accumulated under Tillman. Just take a look around the league and see how many ex-Ottawa players are playing major roles for their new teams. Tim Fleiszer, for example, was never offered a new deal here in Ottawa. He has already blocked two kicks and is a major force on Edmontonâ€™s special teams. Then there is Patrick Kabongo, another young offensive lineman playing well in his new home. Or Shawn Gallant in Winnipeg, Kelly Wiltshire in Edmonton, Aaron Lockett in BC.
Paopao should never have been allowed to come back. His record over three plus seasons is 21-48. Now it is well overdue for him to leave.