Popp: I've done everything the organisation has asked of me&

I have a bad feeling in my gut. I think I've banged on the wrong guy here. When I read the above comment by Jim Popp. I realised something and being part of the crew that hasn't liked Popp's move at HC before he coached his first game. I have to ask. When Popp took over the team last year, the main reason the Als were losing was because of the defense. Most people would agree that the defense this year beside a couple sore spot at MLB and a weakness in applying pressure has been very good, definitely better then some of the teams with better records then the Als.

We know Popp had signed Strasser to an extension, we also now know that Strasser was fired by Larry Smith.

So who promoted Marcel Bellefeuille to OC ? Everyone assumes it is Jim Popp but after reading Jim's interviews as well as the complete lack of involvment by Jim in the Offense. It is looking to me like Larry Smith probably made the call and "asked" to have Bellefeuille promoted after firing Strasser !

Because if the Offense is even average the Als have a much better record. Bellefeuille's offense is second least productive ahead of only Hamilton.

In my opinion if Larry Smith has had ANY influence in that decision. I feel the Jim Popp should be given another season to finish what he has started. He should be allowed to pick his men, yes he didn't have the experience but since the investment is now made and considering his track record with the organisation, its only fair. I really want to find out who promoted Bellefeuille.

For now my appologies to Jim Popp

This is what Bellefeuille promised !

I like to see an offence that scores points, whatever it takes _ running the football or passing or having a balance,'' said Bellefeuille. I like to see multiple formations and multiple personnel groups and for us to be able to do both (running and passing) effectively when needed.''

And how did this change?

"Calvillo, who called his own plays under Matthews, will continue that duty most of the time, but Popp said Bellefeuille would send in plays in ``some circumstances where (Calvillo) needs help.''

Sorry, HfxTC, but I'm not buying that Smith was involved. Popp is trying to cover his own ass and is very unclassily throwing his assistants under the bus.

Sometimes he'll complain that Bellefeuille should have called this play or that play. But where was Popp? Twiddling his thumbs? Coiffing his hair? At other times Popp says he 'reminds' Bellefeuille not to get away from the run too much. Sounds an awful lot like a man who's terrified of losing his job and is only looking to hoodwink the media into thinking that it's Bellefeuille who is solely responsible for the team's woes. I can't stand Bellefeuille, but he doesn't deserve to be publicly trashed by a boss who isn't even qualified to evaluate his employee in this capacity.

Put it this way: do you ever hear any other HC in the league talking about his OC this way? Has Charlie Taaffe said a thing about his O.C. throughout all of Hamilton's misery? Did Pinball call out Steve Burratto when Toronto's offense wasn't clicking? Did Maciocia throw Chapdelaine under the bus when Edmonton wasn't scoring points? No, because they are professionals who understand that you do not make your assistants the scapegoat for the team's problems. YOU are the head coach. The buck stops with you. If you're not willing to accept that responsibility, you shouldn't be doing the job.

A final note: a few weeks ago, when Saskatchewan was in the red zone at a critical time in the fourth quarter, Kent Austin stepped in, overruled his O.C., and called the quarterback option for Joseph. They scored a TD on the play and sealed the game. THAT is how you conduct yourself as a head coach. If you see something you don't like, step in like a man and call a different play instead of doing nothing and then whining to the media after the fact.

Austin's situation is a little different. He designed that offense, in fairness you can't compare the two.

All I am saying is if the als have 10 or 11 wins and are sitting a top the division are we having this conversation? I'm not sure. I don't like the way Popp got the job, I don't like the way he handle Philion, Lapointe and the list goes on.

But if you look at the main problem with this team since game one where they got beat 16-7 in their nest, it has been lack of offense production and inability to make adjustments.

I am not saying Popp should stay as head coach but sometimes there is more then what we can see as fans.

Who set the budget?
Who fired Strasser?
Who picked TheLeaf?
Who took play calling from Calvillo?

Don't get me wrong, if it is Popp, he needs to go from both jobs... but if Smith made those or even some of those calls then Smith should go. One of those two made most of those calls and if the wrong guy is made to pay the price. You haven't seen nothing yet...

Don't you want to know who made those decisions? I do...

Ah, but you can! :slight_smile: Austin is in his first year as head coach just like Popp, yet he seems to be far more involved in the team’s schemes and plans than Popp is. Obviously different HCs will have different areas of strength, depending on their background. Austin, being a former quarterback and O.C., is naturally more keyed in on offense. Don Matthews, on the other hand, was much more involved in the defense.

So what’s Jim Popp’s area of expertise? Standing on the sidelines with his long hair waving in the breeze?

The man has no coaching ability, no expertise to draw on, and frankly, no idea what he’s doing. And that’s the problem. A qualified HC would be able to overrule Bellefeuille in key situations and provide some meaningful input when it comes to schemes and playcalling. Popp can’t do anything except state blindingly obvious things that any half-intelligent fan could come up with: we need to run the ball more, we need more screens, we can’t get away from the run even when we’re down, etc. Bah. You and I and the rest of the Als fans on this board have done a much better job of analyzing how and why we can’t generate offense.

I’ll say it again: it’s the blind leading the blind. Bellefeuille sucks, but so does Popp.

All I am saying is if the als have 10 or 11 wins and are sitting a top the division are we having this conversation?
No, we wouldn't be, but what's the point of counterfactuals? Fact is, we aren't sitting atop the division, we will be lucky to finish the season at .500, and we aren't even going to be hosting a playoff game.
Who set the budget?
The league did because we're in a salary-cap era. Not an issue.
Who fired Strasser? Who picked TheLeaf? Who took play calling from Calvillo?

Don’t get me wrong, if it is Popp, he needs to go from both jobs… but if Smith made those or even some of those calls then Smith should go. One of those two made most of those calls and if the wrong guy is made to pay the price. You haven’t seen nothing yet…

Don’t you want to know who made those decisions? I do…


But what is your evidence that Smith made any of those decisions? Jim Popp wields more power in this organization than ever, he occupies something like four different roles, but for some reason, we’re rushing to absolve him of responsibility as a GM and a coach? Sorry, nope, it doesn’t work that way. He’s gotten a lot of credit for our successes. He doesn’t get to pass the buck when we fail.