So do you Schonert

Being a calming influence, in my opinion, isn't enough as head coach if you don't have the football IQ to be a difference-maker. When we're in a crunch, I want the guy who can step in decisively and make a smart, tough decision, whether it's challenging a call or overruling his coordinator to call a specific play. You look at every other good coach in the league and you'll see that they are heavily involved on one side of the ball, at least: Hufnagel, Milanovich, Austin, and Jones are all right there in the trenches with one phase of the game (offence or defence). Higgins? Is not involved with much, if anything, on the field, as far as I can see. The defence is Thorpe's. Schonert has control of the offence and Higgins isn't from any offensive background. He's conceded special teams to Kavis Reed, mercifully. So in the end, Higgins is pretty much a figurehead, a guy who runs practice and organizes meetings but who doesn't actually have much impact on what we do on the field, putting us at a distinct disadvantage when matched up against the top coaches in the league.

Also, I don't care whether Wetenhall likes him or not. The owner's job is to let the GM build the team, not to vet coaching staff hires. I hope that when Higgins's contract is up, we let him ride off into the sunset so we can hire a real head coach, whether internal or external.

Cant disagree with anything you said, just that I cant see the team making a change unless the win-loss record is really bad. Just as I have accepted Therrien with the Habs, I have learned to live with Higgins. The onus is on the co-ordinators to make him look good.

LOL, don't get me started on Therrien. :slight_smile: But yeah, if we're winning I doubt anything happens to Higgins. However, when his contract expires, surely we can move on to someone else? Going from Trestman to Higgins is a pretty staggering drop.

If going from Trestman to Higgins was a staggering drop, what kind of drop was going from Trestman to Hawkins? :wink:
If nothing else, Higgins is the lesser of two evils here, haha.

Oui, mais passer de MM à Schonert en passant par Worman et Dindewiddie est une remontée sidérale! :twisted:

Sérieusement, je donnerais une grande qualité à Higgins : sachant qu'il ne peut contribuer dans quelque phase du jeu, il a l'humilité de le reconnaître et de laisser la marge de manoeuvre à ses adjoints qui sont plus compétents que lui.

Viewing Trestman's appearance at half time against Calgary, I thought that he is a person with super class. It was clear he was enjoying his visit to Montreal and, keeps up to date on the Als situation. Until he came along I thought Marv Levy was the most outstanding Montreal coach ever. From Trestman's comments last week, I now know both of these coaches were very gentleman like in their relationships and, both were our most proficient coaches. After Montreal, Levy was the most successful in the NFL to date. Trestman's successful status in the NFL has just begun.

Other teams poaching the OC or DC could give JP a push to consider a change.

Other teams poaching the OC or DC could give JP a push to consider a change.
Good point. Do you want to lose Thorpe or Schonert or even AC because there's no opportunity for advancement?

If Schonert were to become head coach down the line, he could do that Trestman-esque dual HC / de facto OC role with Calvillo as the titular OC / Milanovich-type protegé. It would also allow us to hire someone at receiver coach, since AC would then presumably be the QB coach in addition to being OC. That's stable, healthy growth for the organization -- spots becoming available because guys get promoted, not because people are fleeing the org.

Conversely, if Thorpe becomes head coach, we can audition internally for the new DC (Willis or Tormey) and promote Anwar Stewart to whatever position coach spot (D-line or LB) is vacant. And we can also bring in a dedicated DB coach too.

If we're not going to promote from within, then I would definitely want to poach someone from another organization (like Brady, Cortez, etc.) who can be a hands-on HC, not just a figurehead.

While picking either Thorpe or Schoenert does establish the succession plans you suggest, the concern is whether the other is then more likely to leave and destabilize the other side of the ball. Outside, opens the possibility of a complete shakeup but then again if the Als trust an outsider as HC then you have to trust he either sweet talks the Cs to stay or picks the right replacement(s).

True, but that's a possibility with any team. I mean, Dickenson is set to replace Hufnagel next year, which means no opportunity for advancement on the defensive side of the ball. But Calgary has done just fine with different DCs in the past few years: Chris Jones, Rick Campbell, now Rich Stubler. There is also the option to tag "assistant head coach" to the other side of the ball for what would likely be a decent pay bump and a sign of respect from the organization (also a way to prevent the coach from getting poached by other teams for anything less than a head coach job).

For a guy like Thorpe, with his particular family challenges, I would think that stability and continuity in the city of Montreal is what he's looking for, but that, of course, is just a guess. And it's also fueled by my desire to see coaches spend longer periods of time with the same team. There is so much movement nowadays and I don't think it's good for them or for the league...

Thorpe is a young man with a young family. I think as long as they pay him nicely. He's fine for now. This new craze of promoting coordinators after a year or two as successful coordinators makes little sense. It kind of happened out of necessity because most of the main stay HC in the CFL all came to retirement age pretty much together but there are only nine positions to fill. Once a guy like Austin or Milanovich are established these jobs are tied up for 5 to 10 years. On average there is one HC position available every year in the CFL.

[i]Calming influence? Maybe, but a box of camomile tea will have the same effect. Camomile tea's much cheaper, and it wouldn't have the dear in the headlights look on the sidelines!

This is from Herb's twitter today:

"Herb Zurkowsky ?@HerbZurkowsky1 7h7 hours ago
#Als know the condition of @TheBEAR45 but won't announce it until Thursday, when roster must be declared. I'm sticking with torn pectoral."

Higgins is always playing these lame roster games, never wanting to say who will play, or saying everyone will play, etc. Really? Does Higgins really think he can mind f*ck CFL coaches like Hufnagel, Chris Jones and others with this pathetic crap?

You are correct Sheldon when you say that barring a disaster, he will be around for a while. But he is useless. Every CFL head coach is better than he is; and some by a huge margin. Higgins will not win one game for the team this season by pulling a rabbit out of his hat football wise. He may get lucky, but there is no merit in luck. Mark Johnny's words, Higgins will cost the team 2-3 wins, games a better HC would win :cowboy:


I think Kyler will do a great job. Paris Cotton will test him but I think he will have his hands full.

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I agree. I would really like to see some stability at coordinator in the league for the next five or six years. It's ridiculous that guys are blowing through the chain in 2-3 years to head coach without putting in the work to learn their craft at the lower levels. O'Shea, Chamblin, it's a bit too much for me. You look at Chris Jones in his second year of being HC after a decade as a DC; that's doing it the right way. Or Milanovich learning the craft as QB coach / OC in Montreal for five years before moving up to HC. Brady as receivers coach for three years, QB coach / OC for one year, now in his third year as QB coach / OC for Toronto. Dickenson is going to become head coach after 5+ years of coordinator experience working for one of the best football minds in the business (Hufnagel). To me, that's the way to go (and what I would want for Calvillo, incidentally).

Thanks for the link, but wrong thread perhaps?

I entirely agree, except for one thing:

I would really like to see some stability at coordinator with the Als for the next five or six years, but utter mayhem elsewhere.

P.S. - DOES NOT mean that Higgins must remain HC, just that over that time the coordinators change a little as possible.

Heh, of course, wearing our Als fan hats, we want to see chaos on every other team, but smooth sailing for us! :wink: