Some musings by Obie

New GM offers insights into
a number of football topics

December 07, 2007

Ken Peters

The Hamilton Spectator

2008 TICAT EXPECTATIONS:

"I expect us to play hard, be a very competitive team

and I hope we win enough games
to get us into the playoffs

and then go from there.

Like we saw this year, anything
can happen in the playoffs."

Charlie Taaffe, Jesse Lumsden,
Wally Buono and Mike (Pinball) Clemons.

The new Hamilton GM has his take on all of them,

as well as his views on the club's offensive line

and the defence. And criticism that he's is too old at 67,

or too Argo as their former head coach/GM.

Obie has his views on that, too.

click here

Thanks ron,

CHARLIE TAAFFE’S FUTURE: “There is a chance he is still going to be here. We’re just going to have to work through that and decide if that is the right thing to do.”

Ouch.

this is almost all right from the press conference. and if he said that about charlie i think we might see a new coach pretty soon.

Truly........"there is a chance he is still going to be here" is not what one would call a ringing endorsement, is it?

Going by what I could glean by Obie's body language at the press conference whenever the coaching situation came up, Charlie is done. My guess.

Oski Wee Wee,

Imagine that Taaffe goes back to Montreal and gets Brady to play like his namesake in the NFL, Desjardins signs O'Shea and trades for Flick...and the Al's win the Grey Cup at home.

AAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!

Interesting, because Obie also was quoted as saying that he was very favourably impressed by Charlie when they met and talked. Next week's meeting between them will be crucial. If it isn't Charlie, we better find a new coach ASAP so we don't have the same situation as last year when we hired a head coach late and then, by many people's accounts, it was too late to find the best available coordinators.

Gotta love O'Bie's stand on Canadian players.

O'Bie is so right with his cliched, biased, CFL old boys club thinking here; no need for real competition in TC - just ASSume any import players you have are better and find ways to "start" just the minimum 7 NIs and hand all the other jobs to Americans - and pre-determine which positions belong to import players (Lumsden is better suited as a back-up cause Canadians aren't really fit to play tailback in the CFL - i think the job should be handed to Caulley or some other new import back - Jesse could be a decent back-up or maybe a fullback).

The "ratio problem" is a real quandry for all CFL teams, but it might be a lot easier for the Ticats now with O'Bie in charge - let's think what should work best - maybe 4 NI O-linemen (though tough to find a Canadian skilled enough to play OT) + one receiver (Ralph or Bauman or some other such Canadian stiff), + a NI fullback (Radlein, Piercy or Lumsden) / or another NI receiver who takes the fullback's place for 5 pack. That would make 6 NIs starting on offence and then you only need one of these inferior type players on D - maybe a platoon at one of the DT spots would work (Wayne or Bekasiak or Reid or Dunbrack maybe) or maybe McKay-Loescher could start at DE, but DE is really better suited for Americans so Loescher could be a good back-up to whoever that is.

And O'Bie's leadership and input could maybe lead to some more CFL change down the road - to get rid of a few more NI spots on the roster or maybe even eliminate that damn nuisance ratio all together, so we could see more and more superior American players.
The CFL has been moving in this direction with the last time they made league roster changes and the Canadian talent pool is shrinking all the time - hardly any good players come out of CIS ball and it's just the odd Canadian player fortunate enough to get superior American college ball training. Anybody old enough to remember the CFL of old days like the 60s or 70s can recall how bad CFL football was back then with more Canadians than Americans on the roster, and how the Ticats struggled to field competitive teams then; even the last Ticat GC winning team in 99 had to play a few Canadians as starters and they were damn lucky to get a win then while being dragged down talent wise with those guys.

So, way to go O'Bie - love your attitude. Get to trading away any draft picks and start concentrating on scouting and finding & signing some more awesome American talent and stop the foolishness - more than 7 NIs starting in the CFL - that's just ludicrous in this day and age of "radical" Canadian football - and a sure way to lose. I'm predicting a 12 plus win season and easy first place in the East if O'Bie gets to install his thinking from day one of training camp.

dood, calm down,

there's no anti-canadian agenda here....

but if an american player isn't good enough to start he shouldn't be here.

whats wrong with that? not more american players, just ones that are better than our current american players. stop gettin all up in a huff about nothing.

Personally, I have some sympathy for TCanuck's view, though I don't feel as adamant about Obie's comments as he does. I would like to see more, not fewer, Canadians playing in the CFL. However, concerning Obie's observations, we should all remember that the roster is big enough that not all American players are starters anyway. The ratio requirement means that 7 Canadians must start, then the rest of the starters can be Americans if the coach decides that, then the backups are a mixture of both.

In fact, the way I would like to see us return to the "good old days" would be to reduce the roster to say 36 players, with 20 of them Canadians. There would be fewer backups, and a little more two-way play occasionally. It would put a premium on dual-purpose players like Joe Zuger and Garney Henley and John Barrow, who were so special. It would also save money on salaries, something the owners should find appealing.

While at it I would eliminate the special roster rules re quarterbacks and just include them as regular players. This would perhaps make it feasible for a team to consider a Canadian player as one of them.

"Now, Johnny Unitas...there's a haircut you could set your watch to!" Abe Simpson

Obviously Obie's comment on Taafe having "a chance to still be here" means "See ya Charlie"!!! Throughout the season there was a lack of discipline (penalties for the same things over and over...Dwight Anderson tantrum...etc.etc.), players not tough enough (Brock Ralph, Bauman needs to beef-up); things which Obie is determined to restore. So long Charlie, Dwight, Brock, and several others! By the way I take TCanucks comments as "tongue in cheek".

So, why have Terry Caulley on the roster then, if he isn't going to start over Lumsden? Would Caulley be one of those "not good enough" to start types? - i thought he looked like a very good RB for the Ticats last year; he just isn't as good a RB as Lumsden (not even close, though different RB skill set); but if guys like you or Obie want to ASSume that every American player on the roster gets to start and just hand the job to Cauley over Lumsden, then you end up with inferior players starting, and maybe in several places (McKay-Loescher was one of the best and most productive pass rushers in the league last year, but here I read Obie mouthing the "better use of the ratio" cliche in regards to the team's pass rush - does he just assume you can plug in imports at DE or DT in place of NIs and they'll automatically be better?).

The real way to ensure having good talent at most (or hopefully all) positions is to have real honest competition in a training camp and not pencil in or assume things about the roster - and that means finding good NI players as well as good import ones, and at all positions - and if the Canadian player is better at position X, he's the guy who starts. The other way around, what Obie may be subscribing to - starts with pre-determined thinking that only 7 NIs start and only at certain positions and that all import players are better to begin with - that is ludicrous, biased bull$h*t. Now, there may be some cases where the team's personnel people find and sign all sorts of great import talent and also do a lousy job of finding NI/Canadians, and then there could be I guess a case of the dreaded "ratio problem" where a team has trouble fielding 7 good NIs in the starting line-up and can't play some Americans that they'd like to. So, do a good job of scouting, drafting and signing quality Canadian players (as the Ticats have the past few years IMO - guys like Radlein, Lumsden, Hage, Gagne-Marcoux, Dyaksowski, Bauman, Mariuz, McKay-Loescher, Reid, Bekasiak for example) and you likely won't have this "ratio problem". And more times than not, IMO, it's a tired old CFL cliche anyways - mouthed by Americans who control CFL decision making, dutifully "reported" by clueless football media types, and bought by lots of sucker CFL "fans".

Really sad & pathetic IMO to see Obie start off right away with the trotting out the ratio problem / lets only start 7 NIs cause we'll find better imports stuff. But also not surprising - Obie is a veteran CFL guy who has that type of stuff deeply ingrained in his thinking. And I'm not against finding very good import players or having them play in the CFL - (Moreno, Setta, Caulley and that new DE were fine examples last year). I'm just sick of hearing all the pre-determined bias towards Canadian players and favortism towards American ones - try finding good players from both the talent pools and you'll likely build a stronger roster.

TCanuck, what was meant is that Desjardins was looking for American players who were not good enough to even be CAPABLE of starting... depth guys. Caulley is CAPABLE of starting should Jesse go down. Caulley is a great back and that's why he's on this team.

The problem is when Brock Ralph is your #1 receiver statistically and Americans are backing him up. That's when you know something is up.

He is good enough to start, yes? our starter is just better, no problem with that is there.

but if guys like you or Obie want to ASSume that every American player on the roster gets to startand just hand the job to Cauley over Lumsden, then you end up with inferior players starting, and maybe in several places
i defy you to find where i said that OR where Obie said that in any interview.
(McKay-Loescher was one of the best and most productive pass rushers in the league last year, but here I read Obie mouthing the "better use of the ratio" cliche in regards to the team's pass rush - does he just assume you can plug in imports at DE or DT in place of NIs and they'll automatically be better?).
yes, #9 was one of the best in the league. how was the rest of the pass rush? Clinton Wayne, Roger Dunbrack, Jermaine Reid and Bekasiak are all good linemen. maybe not good enough to start yet, or play full time roles.

The US has such a deeper pool of talent that its just EASIER to find highly talented players. You also don't have to DRAFT them, (as is the case with Canadians)

Hell, i'd love to have a team where McKay-Loescher was backing up. that'd be great, why? because that'd mean the starter was better than him and he's pretty damn good. whatever his passport says.

The real way to ensure having good talent at most (or hopefully all) positions is to have real honest competition in a training camp and not pencil in or assume things about the roster - and that means finding good NI players as well as good import ones, and at all positions - and if the Canadian player is better at position X, he's the guy who starts.
sounds good...
The other way around, what Obie [b]may[/b] be subscribing to - starts with pre-determined thinking that only 7 NIs start and only at certain positions and that all import players are better to begin with - that is ludicrous, biased bull$h*t.
exactly.... MAY happen, probably won't though especially since Obie is the GM, not the coach...
Now, there may be some cases where the team's personnel people find and sign all sorts of great import talent and also do a lousy job of finding NI/Canadians, and then there could be I guess a case of the dreaded "ratio problem" where a team has trouble fielding 7 good NIs in the starting line-up and can't play some Americans that they'd like to. So, do a good job of scouting, drafting and signing quality Canadian players (as the Ticats have the past few years IMO - guys like Radlein, Lumsden, Hage, Gagne-Marcoux, Dyaksowski, Bauman, Mariuz, McKay-Loescher, Reid, Bekasiak for example) and you likely won't have this "ratio problem". And more times than not, IMO, it's a tired old CFL cliche anyways - mouthed by Americans who control CFL decision making, dutifully "reported" by clueless football media types, and bought by lots of **** CFL "fans".

Really sad & pathetic IMO to see Obie start off right away with the trotting out the ratio problem / lets only start 7 NIs cause we'll find better imports stuff. But also not surprising - Obie is a veteran CFL guy who has that type of stuff deeply ingrained in his thinking. And I'm not against finding very good import players or having them play in the CFL - (Moreno, Setta, Caulley and that new DE were fine examples last year). I'm just sick of hearing all the pre-determined bias towards Canadian players and favortism towards American ones - try finding good players from both the talent pools and you'll likely build a stronger roster.


what was our record last year? right.... 3-15....
our canadian talent was good... yes? i thought so. Lets concentrate on bringing in some really good american talent now (aside from Setta, Moreno, Cody, Armstead etc...)

I don't remember anyone complaining back in '99 when McManus, Flutie, Amerson, Hack, Williams, Tiggle, Steinauer, Ivory and Joe Montford were running over the rest of the league.

Sure we had great Canadian talent in Morreale, Grigg, and Hitchcock, but they were surrounded by great american talent too.

Seriously, whats wrong with finding guys that are good players? I'd be fine if our coach next year had a hard time figuring out which seven Canadians to play next year because our Imports were THAT good.

let the best players play, but do a better job of finding the best players!

Sounds like we're pretty much in agreement then. I just don't like the biased pre-determined notion that only 7 NIs are going to start - if there ends up being 10 or 12 NIs better at specific positions, then that's how many should "start" and the imports who aren't quite as good could be back-ups or platoon - however, doesn't soumd like that's possible in Obie's world. And BTW, the 99 GC winning team started several more NIs than the ratio minimum I believe.

if there are 10-12 NIs starting, i would say Obie isn't doing his job.

finding superstar talent south of the border.

yes we have great canadians.

in theory we should be able to find seventeen players that can compliment them in starting roles from south of the border.

this isn't negative towards our canadian players at all, i'm just saying,

guys like Casey Printers, Cameron Wake, Barrin Simpson etc... these are guys found by Obie, superstar players.

lets get more.

See - that's where I disagree, big-time. I'm not willing to write off the Canadian talent pool so much as to say that if there's 10-12 NIs starting, it means something is wrong - that would mean you had done a great job drafting, scouting, evaluating, etc. The NI/Canadian talent pool is VASTLY under-rated by some IMO and a CFL team doesn't have unlimited access to the American talent pool either. If this team could somehow trade for or sign as FAs players like Clermont, Brent Johnson, Fantuz, Makowsky and Eiben, would you demand the team still had to "start" just 7 NIs? - would some of these players sit on the bench just so they could say all our imports must start?

So, sure, bring on lots of good football players and hopefully find a bunch of excellent import players; just don't assume they are all going to be better than the Canadian players you have or can add via the draft and scouting and FA signings.