While it’s easy to be full of angst there are some things to keep in mind:

The Als have had the toughest opening schedule: Opponents are 10-5. Edmonton , with the best record, has faced opponents with 6-8.

Whyte is second in punting

Whitaker is second in rushing

Taylor is second in combined yards

Bowman is tied for most sacks.

They have a coach who has won COY awards. Grey Cup winner. Some say he’s been away too long but others may say he’s ben closely involved with all teams during that time as director of officiating. About the same age as Trestman. Not a ducker or diver.

Their best receiver has been missing and will be a huge upgrade.

IMO the main problems boil down to:
Poor QB play from an unproven player: This is the key one and is the one to focus on. I do not see this as primarily a coaching issue.
Poor infusion of new talent: GM responsibility

Other Problems:
Too much blitzing: Need coaching tweaks
Too may penalties: Coaching responsibility. May need to cut a player to signify seriousness.

I do not see the need at all to fire coaches or to overly criticize the play calling. To focus on these will avoid main issues imo

Not really sure why comparing Higgins and Trestman in age is relevant. And maybe they wear the same colour shoes too? Why make those sorts of comparisons?

Here are the differences.

Higgins isn't from an offensive background and thus can't be of much help with the unit that needs the most help (offence).
He fired the ST coach to take over special teams and do an equally poor job, leaving him with less time to focus on coaching.
He doesn't seem to be able to get Thorpe to back off from the blitz in certain situations.
Trestman hadn't been out of coaching for seven years. (and no, being in officiating isn't even remotely the same as being a coach)
He may be a nice guy, but the team seems to have issues with work ethic and discipline that he can't seem to fix.

Having said all that, I do agree that abysmal play from the QB position is our main problem right now. I simply don't think it's a binary equation of "either the QB sucks or the coaches suck." Sadly, to me, it can be both. I don't think Troy Smith is going to last, but I also don't think our QBs are getting the coaching and mentoring they need.

Penalties: agree with you and here's where the team has to show some stones. Guys like Chris Wilson and Kyries Hebert should be on the bubble right now and if there is another penalty-fest next game, a head may need to roll to send the team a message.

Poor infusion of talent: We might have some gaps here and there, but I really don't see where the talent infusion is so poor, except perhaps at QB (where I've preached patience in other threads). Cash, Paxson, and Klassen seem to be a good rotation at DT. Knapton has done well at DE. We've added some good young DBs in Chris Smith and Jamaan Webb (unfortunately, the latter is out with a broken arm). The one area where we might need help is receiver, but to me it's more a question of the coaches choosing to play Chad Johnson and Eric Deslauriers instead of giving Kyle Graves and Kenny Stafford bigger roles (or activating guys like Gilyard, Andrew Smith, or even Bo Bowling). And as you yourself said, we've missed one of our best receivers (D. Carter) for weeks now. Once he's healthy, it will change our ability to attack the whole field.

Ya…I did not mean to compare the two, other than the age thing. There have been references that he is old, and from another generation. While that perception may be from a number of issues age should not be one of them

One thing to consider is that while they may be roughly the same age, Trestman took over the Als six years ago.

On the age front, it's not a blanket statement. I'm certainly not saying that just because a coach is old, he's a dinosaur necessarily. But it can happen. You have to look at it case by case. To me, it's a combination of Higgins's age and the fact that he's been out of coaching for the past seven years, years in which the league has changed dramatically. The two biggest coaching innovators, Hufnagel and Trestman, both came into the league the year after Higgins was fired. CFL football is not the same as it was in the mid or early '2000s. I think oldpro commented a while back on the datedness of Higgins's blocking schemes on special teams. Then there was the fact that Higgins wasn't even wearing a headset until last game. All those things combine to make me think the game has passed him by. So I don't feel like I'm being ageist.

Conversely, a young coach can be put into a difficult situation and excel, just as another young coach can flounder in the same situation based on on inexperience (Dinwiddie right now). It's always something you adjudicate on a case-by-case basis.

I noticed Rick Campbell in Ottawa wasn't wearing a headset either.

Not sure of the rationale on that.

Perhaps following Buono's lead.

And I don't buy that the blocking schemes are outdated because a poster says so. Pure unfounded opinion I say. Fair to believe that though. I just don't.

If he isn't, he'll realize soon enough that he should IMO.

And I don't buy that the blocking schemes are outdated because a poster says so. Pure unfounded opinion I say. Fair to believe that though. I just don't.
Not saying you should believe it either. It's just what I've noticed myself combined with what others are pointing out. From what I can see, our blocking schemes for punt protection are insanely bad, to the point where teams have come close to blocking punts without even trying. Higgins is in charge of special teams. If he can't even ensure that Whyte has adequate protection to punt, it doesn't say a lot about his ability as a coach to me.

hmmm...I have seen a blocked punt
I haven't seen "insanely bad" schemes
I haven't seen "teams coming close to blocking without even trying"

I have. On more than one punt, there have been one and sometimes two guys coming free off either edge and the punt only gets off because Whyte punts it before they arrive. In fact, I have to give extra credit to Whyte for his punting this year, not just because he's improved substantially from previous seasons, but because he's doing it with some pretty spurious protection.

Two teams playing
Two teams trying
As opposed to your exaggerated statement.

You both have made good insight into our situation. I hope politics and blame can be set aside, especially the internal ones between the GM and the coaches plus the OC. I would like to have Higgins remain for the year, much too late for any changes but, as we will look to the time between now and next season to make needed changes. At the beginning of our last debacle, I did make a few positive remarks to myself. Observing Whitaker run, it does appear he has shrugged off the injuries, but he requires additional help as, he is too fragile to carry a heavy 100% responsibility. We might activate Sutton who was strong late last season and, I do trust the coaches will take the wraps off Smith and, give him some running responsibility. Whitaker is great but, he is no Mike Pringle who carried a heavy running role alone. We do have a good OL, as long as the offense is able to spend more time on the field which requires the defense to step up. I have liked Klassen- he has two sacks to date and, I have observed him being effective on the the rush also. Indeed I believe we have a decent defense if, the defensive coach can produce some difference. I agree with both of you, calling a 5-7 man rush on every play showed futility especially in the last minutes of our loss to BC. I would like Popp to be spending some time in NFL considering potential late NFL cuts. Back in the sixties, the big tough coach at the time Jim Trimble successfully brought late cuts to the TiCats in late season getting some Grey Cups in that process. The great Garner Henley was just one example of this activity. I do believe some younger strength is required in our DB situation. We can expect to have the coaches and OC to have made both offensive and, defensive modifications in preparation for the next game. Higgins should begin to fine any player who makes stupid penalties, while expecting am all out effort in the process. Should Smith look horrible again in the first half then, he will demonstrate the requirement for a QB change. Whyte had some great P/K s with a huge wind on his back which is partly responsible for a better average length to kicks. I'm not ready to give him the keys to the Kingdom at this time.

Sheesh that coaching display put on by Edmonton on Thursday makes Higgins et al look like the second coming of Lombardi. The arrogance of Jones' post game comments just blew whatever good will he had banked in that town. Horrific.

I didn't see the game. What happened?

I get the distinct impression that most on this Als forum only watch the Montreal games. That they are really only fans of their team rather than avid football or CFL fans. Is that a correct impression?

Why would you infer that from one fan not watching one game?

I take that as meaning..."no, my impressions are wrong from your end"

I am an Als fan and I watch all CFL games; I can’t recall when or if I ever missed a CFL game on TV.


Eskimos/Chris Jones' gambles are,at least to me, the main reason why they lost against Calgary. With 30 or so seconds remaining in the first half and around their 10 yard line they passed the ball but incomplete; basically no time off seconds remaining; they then ran for no major gain and Calgary called a time-off. On third down and the punter in his end zone and the score 13-13 they gambled and tried to get first down; it failed and,on the next play, Calgary scored a TD. Score 20-13. To me, stupid gamble,particularly inside their 10 yard line. They had the wind in their back and could have kicked,given that there were only 16 seconds remaining. Could have given the safety but not a gamble. The TSN panel agreed with Jones,most probably because the name of the Head Coach is Jones. I doubt that it would have been positive had his name been Higgins.

With roughly 2.40 minutes remaining in the game and Eskimos with the ball and second down and less than a yard,roughly on Calgary 45 yards line, Mike Reilly went for a pass but was sacked and lost 10 or so yards; they had to punt. Calgary could not get a first down; on third down and with 58 records remaining everyone thought that Jones would called for a timeout right away; no,he waited 5 seconds to 53.

Tom Higgins may not be the answer for the Als,but I definitely prefer him to Chris Jones.


Yes I agree richard...Higgins would have been crucified. And Jones' arrogant huff and puff comments at the end of the game was numbing.

Actually I don't think the panel was unanimous on it and Suitor said it was bone headed.

I was at the game and Jones is not the most popular guy for sure. It was bizarre.

Watching the replays this morning was eye popping. Especially the plays at the end of the game. That second and short play was shocking

Did you at least win the 50/50 jackpot?

There was no reason for the first half gamble, as Richard said they should have run on first down to kill time and then could have punted.

Jones said post game he leaves offensive play calling to his offensive coach so that crazy 2nd and short call to pass from shotgun would be on McAdoo.

And a little earlier with 7 minutes or so to go with 2nd and 2 from the Calg. 45 they elected to punt.

Jones also closed practices this week to media and fans which wasn`t very well accepted.

And yes I do watch all CFL games except when my hot social life gets in the way.