Austin has had it with his players taking penalties!
Austin vows to crack down on penalties
by Steve Milton
[b]Kent Austin says repeat offenders will pay a price, but one of his players kind of wishes the coach had more sentencing power than that.
The boss is just like the team's customers when it concerns the flood of penalized misdemeanours that have beset his 1-5 team: he hates it and wants something done about it.
"(We) have to have a little bit more mental and emotional discipline during the game," Austin said of his team leading the league in both penalty frequency and acreage thereby assessed. "And where we see patterns of behaviour in guys who are repeat offenders, they're going to lack playing time. We've put the responsibility on each coach to keep his guys disciplined and that they know the ramifications."
The Cats have lost four times by a touchdown or less, and while it's always an inaccurate science to attribute points lost or gained to specific infractions, surely a penalty or two fewer at the right time would have impacted the record positively.
Brian Simmons, who's been playing well at guard on an increasingly confident offensive line, says reducing the penalty calls is a personal, not structural, responsibility.
"Honestly, it comes down to the player, there's nothing the coaches can really do," says Simmons, who has incurred three flags this season.
"Personally, I know a lot of player-union guys will be against this, but if I'm completely honest I wish we could be fined for it. When we lose so many games, so close ... and then you look at the penalties. We need to be more sound."
Simmons noted that, to his knowledge, nobody on offence jumped offside during Tuesday's return to practice in preparation for Saturday's home date with the Calgary Stampeders. And, among all the possible reasons for penalties, one he won't accept is that the Tiger-Cats are the youngest team in the league with the most first-year players.
"There's no excuses," he says.
"We all played football before we got here."
Austin was asked what creates penalty surplus, and before answering said there was one factor he would not talk about. That, one assumes, likely has something to do with the folks with their fingers on the flags.
"Others are: a lack of focus at particular times of the game, getting too frustrated because of your desire to do well and to win; and letting your focus on things that are really not in your control, to build up."[/b]