Perry Lefko on coach Taafe on Sportsnet blog

"There's a good reason Charlie Taaffe has two Canadian Football League Coach of the Year awards on his resume. The former Montreal Alouettes' head coach knows how to put together a good game plan, particularly on offence, and gave a subtle demonstration of it in his first game with Hamilton.

Taaffe had a plan going into the Tiger-Cats' pre-season opener Thursday against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Canad Inns Stadium. He sat out Jason Maas and Rocky Butler, the team's two most experienced quarterbacks, and dressed second-year Tiger-Cat Richie Williams and rookies Shaun King and Timmy Chang.

Taaffe planned to play the three pivots in the first half and employ the Tiger-Cats' projected starting offensive line. This gave all three players the benefit of quality protection to truly showcase their skills.

Normally coaches will employ three quarterbacks in the first pre-season game, but spread the playing time over the four quarters. The last quarterback usually receives garbage time against third- or fourth-string players and without the benefit of experienced support.

The results may not be a true indication, good or bad, of the quarterback's ability. And some coaches become too preoccupied with the score in their attempt to make a statement and abandon their game plan, limiting the third quarterback's minutes.

Taaffe's plan to use a quarterback rotation in the first half and repeat it in the second half is rather novel.

The quarterbacks had a chance to play some minutes, go back to the sidelines to assess what happened and then repeat the process in the second half. Can't remember seeing that before.

The Tiger-Cats beat the Blue Bombers 35-23 with some stunning defensive play, thwarting Winnipeg's offence and picking off the quarterbacks with ridiculous ease. Yes, the Blue Bombers didn't dress projected starting quarterback Kevin Glenn, running back Charles Roberts and slotback Milt Stegall, but the Tiger-Cats were also missing some key regulars, too.

It was a good opening effort by the new-look Tiger-Cats and their savvy head coach. No wonder Taaffe was general manager Marcel Desjardins' first -- and really his only -- choice to become the Tiger-Cats' new head coach. Things could be looking up for fans in Hamilton."

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Wholeheartedly agree. Williams could have received more reps, but using a 3-man rotation that allows each QB to establish a groove is not going to be an exact science because of changing game situations. Nonetheless, a tone has been set.

Oski Wee Wee,

The quarterbacks had a chance to play some minutes, go back to the sidelines to [b]assess what happened and then repeat the process in the second half.[/b] Can't remember seeing that before.
I found the above very interesting.

For sure interesting whoknows. I'm wondering if the word 'communication' comes into play here where unlike before perhaps, now when a qb comes back to the sidelines there is some constructive communicatin going on between player and coaches as to what just happened on the field a few minutes prior. I don't know.

That was an interesting read. It certainly sounds like Charlie has quite a bit of respect around the league just from the tone.

It was only a pre-season game, and I know we won both last year, but from what I have heard from training camp and last night's game about attitude and how we prepare, I get more and more excited for the season.

To continue his quarterback assessments, I wonder who the starters will be in next week's pre season game.

I would like to see Jason Maas as the starter, followed by Williams and then Butler. This would give a similar evaluation to last night's performances.
I further think, that no matter what happens, Chang stays.

If Williams fails to perform again, he should be the first cut.

I continue to have some reservations about Jason Maas. If his injuries continue to impede his game in any way, he too, should be cut or sent to the practice roster.

Training camp, of course is to give the coaches a chance to select their very best players at all positions, particularly based on pre season play, and I would trust Charlie Taaffe to do the right thing.

I am definitely not calling for the head of Jason Maas here. I would much prefer that he comes on the field next week and really lights it up!