Popp

A couple of questions regarding Popp.

-Is he back in action today after being away for the weekend? Any ideas why he was away?
-In last weeks game he deflected to the offensive coaches that they were responsible for the QB rotation. That caught me by surprise a bit. I guess I would expect the HC would use the word "we" somewhere in there when discussing the planning process. Anyone else surprised by this? I kind of remember Higgins for catching heat over his delegations. Maybe semantics or just a preseason situation.

Daughter's graduation I think. No big deal.

He's always been a delegator in his coaching stints, so I'm not surprised. I think it might be different if it were just Calvillo making offensive decisions. Having Chapdelaine there really adds an unofficial second OC to keep everything on track.

That said, the delegating aspect is part of why I'm really not a fan of Popp as head coach. The HC has to provide some oversight; otherwise, he's just a pointy-haired boss nominally in charge. A good HC delegates when appropriate and gets involved when appropriate.

I don't see a problem with Popp attending to his family for a couple days with guys like Thorpe, Reed, Chapdelaine. Kavis is in charge of coordinating camp anyway.

His staff has said that what they count on Popp for is to keep uphold and promote discipline.... So they expect him to be the bad cop to their good cop act and that makes plenty of sense to me. I'll be judging Popp mainly on how disciplined his team is on the field. Penalties is where we'll know if he's carrying his weight.

Nor do I HFX..

yeah. I just hope he takes responsibility for decisions made. They ultimately rest with the HC.

All well and good, but an HC who can't intervene on a Xs and Os issue is putting his team at a disadvantage. Because you better believe that Milanovich, Campbell, and Austin can all handle the on-field part of the game and thus provide an extra layer of accountability. So if a coordinator isn't calling a good game or is stuck on something that isn't working, the HC can overrule him when needed during the game and make adjustments to get the team back on track. Popp can't do that and it's a disadvantage for us.

You bring up an interesting topic. If we look at the Quarterback selection/evaluation for example. I personally think this is should be left up to AC and Chapdelaine. Since Popp is both the GM and the HC, the coordinators should be allowed to have the last say on who the players they want to hit the field with are.

I don't think that will be a problem. I remember when Bellefeuille wanted nothing to do with Avon. Popp switched him over to defense to keep him.

While I prefer the HC and GM be separate individuals. I don't think the HC has to be an X and O guy. That is really a coordinator's main task. If you look at Buono, he's done both jobs with great success without getting into his coordinators way. Yet when he was GM only he couldn't get out of the way of his HC... So its not black and white.

Yes, I agree with you there. OC should be the arbiter of who hits the field on offense.

I don't think that will be a problem. I remember when Bellefeuille wanted nothing to do with Avon. Popp switched him over to defense to keep him.
But that just means that Popp the head coach bailed Popp the GM out for hiring Bellefeuille in the first place...

Or Popp the HC bailed out Popp the GM by parking Avon on Defense. LOL !

Buono has a long, distinguished history of coaching in the CFL. Multiple Grey Cup rings, former defensive player, former DC. So you better believe he's involved when he wants to be. When Benevides was doing things that weren't working in-game, Buono was not shy about stepping in. Don Matthews had his fingerprints all over offense, defense, and special teams. All the recent Grey Cup winners have featured hands-on head coaches: Jones, Hufnagel, Chamblin, Milanovich, Trestman. This is what successful head coaches have to be today. You can't just be a bad cop with respect to penalty trouble. You have to be able to be an effective supervisor of your assistant coaches. That doesn't mean micro-managing them but it does mean being willing and able to step in at crucial moments to right the ship. Popp would never have been hired to coach this team based only on his coaching resume. That's the difference between him and Buono.

I think Popp's coaching style is very much like Don. If you watch the Around the Table TSN just produced. You'll hear Chris Jones and Popp explain how it was working for Don. Don set a tone and a theme for his coordinators and let them do the work. Some even complained that they were doing his job :lol:

Don designed the offense! Was always involved in everything. Took a heavy schematic interest in special teams. Yes, he delegated but he also had no problem stepping in and making decisions (playcalling or personnel). He ran the D in 2002 when we won the Cup. The man had been coaching successfully for so long that there was no doubt of his ability to step in if needed. You can't say the same about Popp and that's the problem.

I have less problem with a guy who's been in the CFL 20 years and 11 grey cup appearances 4 rings than I do with a Corey Chamblin, Mike Kelly type.

But that's a "throw baby out with bathwater" scenario. I never said that being involved in a unit guarantees that you're a good coach. You can be hyper-involved and still be a terrible coach, like Mike Kelly (as you pointed out) or Bart Andrus. But I still maintain that in today's CFL, being involved is a prerequisite for success as a head coach. It's not the only factor but it's a factor IMO.

Pour ma part, je trouve que Popp n'a pas les attributs pour être un entraîneur-chef efficace. Ce poste nécessite la capacité de s'ingérer dans le travail de ses coordonnateurs, d'en requérir l'évolution ou l'amélioration, et de pouvoir identifier ce qui peut clocher dans une partie et y mettre son grain de sel si nécessaire. Pour ça, il faut que l'entraîneur-chef soit une bonne tête de football, qu'il ait la capacité de prendre des décisions stratégiques lorsque ça devient nécessaire et pour le faire.

Pour moi, Popp ne répond pas à ces critères. Il est un gestionnaire apprécié, à mes yeux, un excellent DG, mais pas un entraîneur-chef. Je préfère que les Alouettes aient des personnes différentes pour assumer les deux fonctions, à défaut d'avoir un espèce de Hufnagel pour les combler.

Je comprends que dans les circonstantes, le retour de Popp à la barre de l'équipe pouvait servir ses intérêts, mais je trouve qu'il doit tout de même voir à son remplacement après cette saison. Cette histoire de continuité finira par faire perdre des gens compétents au sein de l'équipe, et dans l'optique où elle est en situation de relève en plusieurs points névralgiques (quarts-arrières, bloqueur à gauche et tertiaire), il ne sera pas de trop d'en conserver un maximum à Montréal.

Don't want to bother you with the facts

He's managed to surround himself with much better guys than Higgins did.
He resigned all players except one who left for Toronto to advance his media opportunities.
He's put together a solid mix of Quarterbacks for now and the future.
This is not about him advancing himself. The owner created this by hiring Hawkins and Higgins and asked/begged Jim to fix it.

In any event this is his team and his crew so he has to show results this season.

How does any of that speak to his ability as a COACH?

I'm a fan of Popp the GM, but Popp the coach has nothing but a losing record to show for many, many coaching stints. So it's only natural for fans to be skeptical until and unless Popp the coach gets results.

The owner created this by hiring Hawkins and Higgins and asked/begged Jim to fix it.
Agreed.
In any event this is his team and his crew so he has to show results this season.
Again agreed. It's his a$$ on the line now. No more excuses.

All Higgins had to do was coach and he couldn’t even put together a staff… Yet Popp is doing both jobs and he found a way to get Kavis and Jacques to come on board. In fact Higgins fought Popp when he wanted Reed hired. The season prior Higgins had given himself the ST coordinator job and we had the worse ST in the history of the franchise. Just pointing out that because a guy is just the HC does not mean it is better. We have four teams where the roles are combined and a fifth if you factor Calgary up to this year.

Oy. Higgins was a disaster, but that has nothing to do with wanting Popp to do more than be an absentee dad head coach. Is Popp better than Higgins? Sure. Is that still good enough when you stack him up against other HCs in the league? Not for me.