Should Popp Retire After This Season Is Over?

No this is not a Johnny whatever his name is and I'm not advocating anything extreme here, but I feel right now there are some legitimate criticisms to make of Popp's moves. I'm not saying they're all bad, but this year after seeing some signings that were made I don't know how you can't wonder what he's doing.

I'll grant this, yes the team has suffered key injuries, Bear Woods, Hebert up until this last game, Hoffman, James Rodgers, Deslauriers, now Bowman too and Sutton out a few weeks before, yeah I understand this, but every team in the league goes through that at some point in the season and as a GM you are responsible for giving your team depth, you gotta have depth.


Hefney: that one I just don't get at all. As a bomber fan I saw this guy hurt our team with penalties, and every other team was cutting him loose too, I had started to figure he'd left football until this year and was stunned Popp brought him in. That is just not the kind of signing I've come to expect from Popp.

Giguere: just never been impressed with this guy, he's struggled and I think when a team like Hamilton lets him go to make upgrades, I don't see the benefit of Montreal grabbing him.

Stamps: hey the guy had a great run, but he's past his prime now. Sure he'll make a play now and again, but he doesn't have the old explosiveness he had even 3 years ago, I just don't see how he was worth the money.

LeFevour: ok backup I guess, but that's kind of a wasted roster spot. And honestly I always figured him to be more of a gadget play QB, not a conventional one.

Cato is a good QB and has the potential to be great, but seems like when I see him playing he's not getting a lot of playmaker help. Popp did not do a good job replacing Brandon London, Duron Carter, Ocho Cinco, and a few others and you gotta wonder right now about the Wettenhall contract extension he got.

Now I'm not calling the Als out yet, they turned it around after 1-7 last year, but let's keep in mind a few things. The East was terrible at that point, it was anyones to take. Collaros had been out for weeks in Ham, Toronto's defense had gone bad and Ricky Ray took a few steps back, and Ottawa of course was a brand new team that was what everyone said they were. This year they don't have a sunken east division to work with, their job just got a lot harder. It's one of those bad feelings that if the fortunes don't change around in MTL soon, their streak of making the playoffs for 19 years in a row just might be coming to an end.

I agree that Popp should face a fair share of criticism for some of his decisions over the past few years. Should he retire? To me, no. The past few years have been ruined by the meddling interference of the owner, who hired Higgins without consulting his GM. In the offseason, LET JIM HIRE THE HEAD COACH. Trestman and Matthews were both Popp hires and they worked out pretty well, right? So let him do it again. Wetenhall needs to keep his hands off the day-to-day running of the team and instead trust his GM. Why extend a guy for three years if you don't trust him?

Not retire, but he definitely has to up his game. In retrospect he didn`t have the best off-season, but recruiting is usually a cyclical thing. And do you really prefer Kyle Walters over Popp?

But the poor start to this season is on the coaching staff. Another question to ask is where the exact same team would be with Milanovich, Hufnagel, Jones, or Austin as Head Coach?

Popp might have slipped as a GM but there is NO REASON for the team to be in the shambles that it's in right now. None. An offense that cannot score more than 6 points at home against a wounded team and that cannot win despite receiving a major from its defense and 3 effing turnovers needs a new coach.

Is Higgins's contract up after this year? Barring the ok from Mr W I don't think Popp could just pull a Donald Trump on him, though I'll stand corrected if I'm wrong on that.

I guess my problem with him lately is it just seems like there should be a lot more younger blood and speed out there in receivers that he could get for Cato. I wouldn't call him out for getting a good leader with the heart that Nik Lewis has brought to the team, but they really need to offset age with youth.

As far as Walters goes, I don't know. He's only been a GM for 2 years now compared to Popp's 20 or so, and some Bomber fans have liked what he's done, others not so much, but for me it's tough to judge what he really is just yet. If Marve plays good tonight, well I'll have to give him credit for that one.

Not sure but I hope his contract is up. It’s hard to blame Popp primarily when the coaching mess is something that was foisted on him by his owner and he has done nothing but try to fix that damage (see Garcia and Schonert last year).

I guess my problem with him lately is it just seems like there should be a lot more younger blood and speed out there in receivers that he could get for Cato. I wouldn't call him out for getting a good leader with the heart that Nik Lewis has brought to the team, but they really need to offset age with youth.
This is all true but it is still no excuse for the abysmal state of the offense. Yes, our receivers are a bit long in the tooth but you cannot tell me that a good OC wouldn't be able to get them scoring at least 20 points per game instead of the nonsense we saw last night.

Everyone in Montreal knows that Schonert can’t send in the plays fast enough, which is making it impossible for Cato to read pre-snap. And his playbook is drawn in crayon – super simplistic and static, no options or creativity or clever use of formation to ease pressure on the QB. To me, Schonert is the no. 1 problem right now. Yes there are other problems but nothing will improve unless he’s gone…

Popp did sign one good prospect Cody Hoffman, currently injured. He traded Stafford for Stamps because he feared losing Green. That so far not looking good. I expected more from Giguere, but hard to judge whether his lack of production is on him or the staff. But International receivers like RBs are usually not difficult to recruit.

Let's also not forget that we were counting on Brandon London to step up as the #3 receiver but he retired a week into training camp.

This is all a guess but from the outside I believe the following is in play.

After Trestman and Calvillo left the Als could go nowhere but down. They were riding that combo for success for years. Just like a graph everything levels out. The road goes both ways. You have a good run and then you struggle. It's cyclical in nature.

The transition from trestman and Calvillo was poorly handled because of lack of communication and partnership between Wettenhall and Popp.

Popp wouldn't have given Higgins an interview yet alone hand him the job despite being out of coaching for years and for being useless.

When Higgins was hired how do you think Popp approached his job? Was he motivated to recruit? Is Popp pissed off at Wettenhall? Is Popps signings of washed up Giguerre, Lewis and stamps a reflection of his displeasure of Higgins?

Remember Jim pop has 5 kids, when these kids get busier in school and activities Jim himself will naturally spend less time Working. This could explain the castoff feeling his family life is taking over , he is at the stage where family over football. He got the contract so that's good, plus popp knows that Higgins and reed and Schonert are all not professional level coaches. Pop knows that Higgins reed and Schonert will all be fired for the Als struggles. I added Reed in there because reed is Higgins bodyguard not allowing any other coach or player to talk to Higgins during the game.

These type of cycles are normal. Could Popp have signed better guys? Yes . Is he Human? Yes. Does he have 5 kids? Yes. Is he stuck with the worst coaches in the keague? Yes. Did he get outranked by his owner in the search of a coach? Yes. Has Popp been in this role for an eternity like a Tom Landry don Schula? Yes. Did Landry and Schula struggle when Marino and stauback left? Yes.

Bottom line. Pop is tried true and tested. He can't do it all, politics politics politics.

In life there are no certain conclusive answers to these situations, there is s lot of " it is what it is". This means judgement is futile as it all based on perception.
The current demise of the Als is the result of " it is". It is what it is.

^ Excellent, fair, and honest post.

Ahh, yeah having that happen certainly is a blow. I think all are good points about this, and I know there's still a lot of football left to be played. Things can change in a heartbeat. But yeah, right now it's starting to look a lot more like it was Jeff Garcia who was running the show late last season and not so much Higgins. He left and obviously ... well the results speak for themselves.

Now you start wondering would missing the playoffs this year be a good or bad thing for MTL? I mean no fan should hope that happens, but if MTL just makes them and has a quick one and done, Wetenhall might still think that Higgins is doing a good enough job to stay on as coach, whereas if they don't make it, change is certain to come which would likely mean Wetenhall won't protect Higgins anymore and would let him go, putting Popp back in the role that got taken from him when Higgins got hired.

I don't know, figure there's a silver lining somewhere in this.

It's simple. It comes down to brain child's and Ego's.

Let's look at the Als since 2008. When they were successful it was the brains of Trestman and last year Garcia that was the brains behind the offence. How did Hawkins, mike miller, bellefeuille, dinwiddie, and Schonert do?

You need a brain behind the organization. The Als had a good brain in Popp. Popp has consistently done a smart intelligent job over his career.

Ego's. Wettenhall hired Higgins. If he fires Higgins he has to take an Ego blow because it was his hire. Firing Higgins is a slap in Wettenhall's face. higgins will be given all the chances in the world and I suspect that blaming the players and execution is to take the heat from Higgins-wettenhall who share the same interest, they will make each other look good and will fight to not look bad together.

This is all true but Jim Popp is the Alouettes. My only beef with Jim is that he resides in Mooresville instead of Montreal. Having said that he still claims to this day that this was brought on during contract negotiations that had gone south. Basically he's saying that he had moved on or was about to. This happened again during the last negotiations. I don't know if one is cheap or the other greedy, might be a bit of both.

Talent on this team has been consistently good to great over a span of 18 years ! Every year there are quality players that are developed, many from obscure football backgrounds. This year: White, Elsworth, Blake,Cato,Bede,Charrette,Coady,Davidson,Irvin

Most of the league is run from a tree coming directly down from Popp. There are too many to list, probably close to two dozen guys in coaching and management positions. Barker,Murphy,Milanovich,Jones,Willis,Philion,Miles,Washington,Desjardins and those just jump to mind, there are others.

Frankly when individuals have that impact on an organisation, they are offered to become part owners or stake holders in the org. That's how you keep people motivated, loyal. Popp should have been made a part owner a long time ago and when/if Popp leaves this franchise may very well tank. The team is in a French province, it has no stadium of its own, no civic support, no practice facility and an 80 some year old owner. There are two reasons why the Als exist today. Popp and Calvillo. We are reeling from Anthony's retirement and people are suggesting a 40 some year old GM retire ??? Be careful what you wish for.

As I`ve mentioned before, with Mr. Wetenhall going into the CFL Hall of Fame, is this the off-season he turns the team over to his son(s)? Which will complicate things further.

Popp should buy the team or become owner. 80 year olds are stubborn and set in their thinking.

Popp deserves to be a part owner. He is a fabulous gm.

Anyone who is not treated well will decline in performance.

Quick fix- Fire Higgins and Reed schonert and let Popp find another Trestman.

Well Andrew got off to a terrible start last year. I'm almost ready to nickname him "Lonie"

You did start this pole
You are advocating something extreme
You are likely the only guy who voted yes so far.

Maybe you didn't see it this way, but it was meant to be a thought provoking discussion. Hence why it's written as a question, not an indictment.

I acknowledged the injuries, his work so far and gave credit where due. I was thinking along the lines of what gridiron guru said about how now his family is starting to become a larger priority, which is perfectly fine and I would expect that. But if that's the case, don't you think there could be at least a consideration that he could hand the reigns over to someone who has more time and resources to put into scouting and recruiting and all the things he currently does?

To also acknowledge what other posters have said, what the owners have done and specifically what Andrew did has affected Popp's job, and I think it's a fair point that him having his hands tied on the Higgins situation has created a bit of a resentment on his part to do the masterpiece job that he has before. But as others have said, that doesn't mean he's totally blameless in this.

If Higgins tanks it this year, I'd have to think he (Higgins) is out of excuses and the Wettenhalls won't keep him on. Popp would certainly get back some measure of control you'd think.

The other thing is though, I've heard rumors, not really substantiated ones, but rumors nonetheless that Popp would intend to become both coach and GM and stay in there as long as he wanted. Just rumor and I don't hold that as truth, but has anyone else heard of such intentions?

If that's his motivation, you have to look at it. I am probably the only one here ok with him as a HC/GM but it would be conditional to him living in the community year round. While they come from the other side of the equation Austin, Buono, Hufnagel have shown it can be done with great success.

No one can argue that he's been more successful than Higgins, Hawkins and a few other HC this team has had.

I'm absolutely certain that there are teams. Saskatchewan comes to mind that would give him that opportunity but again, they would demand he be part of the community.

And some on this forum were pointing the finger at the D for the demise of the team. :wink: