Ticats Eat Their Own;

Scott Mitchell explains the obvious.

[b]Ticats Eat Their Own;
Gm Desjardins Fired;

'I want people in here who will make an impact'

National Post
Tue 06 Nov 2007
Matthew Sekere


The Hamilton Tiger-Cats' new general manager
will have CFL experience

and will be expected to turn around
the franchise's sagging fortunes

next season.

He will have full control over football operations, including
the decision whether to retain head coach Charlie Taaffe.

That was the pledge

from Tiger-Cats president Scott Mitchell yesterday

upon announcing the firing of general manager
Marcel Desjardins after a 3-15 season.

Mitchell said he supported keeping Taaffe
and director of football operations Dan Rambo,

but was willing to surrender those decisions
to a new GM, whom he wants in place by Dec. 1.

"Ultimately, I can't get the GM that I want unless I give him
full authority to get the people he wants in place.

In all honesty, my opinion is I believe
Charlie deserves another opportunity,"
Mitchell said.

"[But] we're eighth. We're not trying to be seventh or sixth,
we're trying to be first. The people we are going to look at
are not going to be B-and C-list guys,

we want to get the best guys here. And I think
the best guys typically have experience.

"I don't want to guess, I don't want to hope,
I want to get the people in here who I trust

will make an impact and ensure this doesn't happen
he continued. "We're not in rebuilding mode.

The new general manager coming in has to
understand that winning is the only option."

Mitchell, who took over
the club's top position in January,

said the team made a mistake last season
by hiring too much inexperience in one swoop

and that it had been "dysfunctional"
for not hiring its front office
in a top-down manner.

Mitchell inherited Desjardins, who had
never been a general manager before,

and Rob Katz, another first-time GM,was hired
above then-coach Greg Marshall in August 2005.

"When we decided to make the changes we did last year,
we didn't have nearly enough experience,

not only with the front office but
with the coaching staff," said Mitchell,

referring to

the four assistants who had one
or no years' experience in the CFL.

"Continuity is important,
but you only have continuity

when you have the right mix."

Mitchell indicated that he would not talk to
candidates currently employed by CFL teams

until they are eliminated from the playoffs.

Rambo has already ruled himself out, but
his hiring in August signalled that

Mitchell had lost confidence in Desjardins.

Desjardins, who comes from nearby Burlington,
Ont., accepted his dream job in August, 2006,

signing a three-year contract.

He could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Mitchell said Desjardins was
"extremely disappointed"

when told of the decision on Saturday

and one source said

Desjardins left Ivor Wynne Stadium
before the end of the Tiger-Cats'

21-19 victory over Edmonton
in the season finale.

The club used 29 first-year players this season,
which suggested that Desjardins believed
he had time to rebuild the team.

But Mitchell said that was not the case.
"We talked about it very early on.

There was no concept that

we would sacrifice this year
for the betterment of the long-term."

Mitchell admitted that another change
in direction did not "send the right message"

and that the team had taken
another public-relations hit.

Still, given the amount of times he repeated
the team's record,"3-15," yesterday,

it was clear that Mitchell's patience
resides in the same places as the fans'.

Since buying the club four years ago,
owner Bob Young, who said this weekend

that he would raise prices on premium tickets,

has turned the Ticats into the model franchise
everywhere except the football field.

Hamilton has now missed the playoffs in three straight years
and the club's win total has decreased each season since
compiling a 9-8-1 record in 2004, Young's first season.

"Bob Young has made a significant investment
in this franchise in this community.

The frustration is we haven't
capitalized on that investment

and we're in a situation where
we need to start capitalizing
on that investment," Mitchell said.

"The fans have been unbelievable... but
at some point in time, enough is enough,

and I think we've reached that point."

Scott Mitchell explained what
even the most casual fans know.

We should have hired from the top down.

This time the Tiger Cats may have gotten it right.

The top executive, team president, Scott Mitchel,
is hiring football operations people from the top down

and outstanding experienced management
and personnel people are available.

The tipping point which caused a series
of wrong moves and inexperienced hirings

First bad move:

CEO Rob Katz acting as G.M.
while seeking his own replacement.

2nd bad move:

hiring Marcel as G.M. and giving him
full control of football operations.

Marcel was perceived to be experienced
as he had worked as an Assistant G.M.
under the overbearing Jim Popp.

3rd bad move:

Marcel blowing up the roster
without his Head Coach's input

or negotiating with some key veterans.

Marcel just axed them and assumed
he'd find plenty of CFL-ready rookies.

More inexperienced hirings:

Charlie hired CFL inexperienced co-ordinators
because he was hired too late to sign up
some co-ordinators who were CFL experienced.

Marcel blowing up the roster and not finding
enough CFL-ready rookies killed our chances

of having even moderate success,
let alone making a quick turnaround.

The club used 29 first-year players this season, which suggested that Desjardins believed he had time to rebuild the team.

But Mitchell said that was not the case.
"We talked about it very early on.

There was no concept that

we would sacrifice this year
for the betterment of the long-term."

Thats all I need to see, I will re-up my tickets now that they have removed this rogue gm from further damage. I think he was removed somewhere in early august maybe, whatever the case they made the right move. Thanks bob and scott for making the move!

Me too, beetlejuice.

I can't for the life of me understand why
Marcel got so much support on this website.

He had a bad plan and was incapable of carrying it out.


August is when Dan Rambo, with his database
of U.S. players he built up when he worked
with the Denver Broncos, was hired by Scott.

I was already frustrated by the previous years of futility, but the stupid trades that Desjardins negotiated drove me nuts (even though Captain Kirk tried to convince everyone otherwise - he can't seem to grasp the concept that Wayne Smith is worth more than a 3rd string QB).

I had been a big supporter of Greg Marshall's, but when Rob Katz & Co. seemed to stack the lineup with a lot of talent before the 2006 season, I agreed that if the 'Cats could not win with that lineup, it had to be the coaching. Although I was not in favour of dismissing Marshall in mid-season, it had to be done, because he seemed to be drowning in frustration and negativity at that point. It did not help that every team in the league knew that Maas could not throw a football deeper than 20yards. It wasn't totally Marshall's fault, but he had to go at that point.

. . . enter the Marcel Desjardins era . . . another lost year, this time clearly related to stupid personnel decisions.

It is only Desjardins' sudden dismissal that allows me to rationalize spending more of my hard earned money on the Ti-Cats by renewing my seats for another year.

And a concluding comment, just for the record, I would like to see Charlie Taafe retained for another season, with some adjustments to the coaching staff.

People are trying to stay positive in this Mess called the Hamilton Tigercats!

Hamilton is good for the other teams in the CFL right now as sometimes you need an example of what NOT to do to be successful. So the formula is there, well, was there anyways, for all to see - and avoid. Bob has given this to the league as part of his goodwill type personality. But I think he has tried his patience long enough on this one. lol

I said it before and I'll say it again..."They fired the wrong guy when they fired Greg Marshall". :?

We can go around on this forever and we will never be able to solve the puzzell...it's past, it's done, it's history! We learn from history (at least let's hope so)!

I think now more than any other time in the past few years we are on the right track with the Right Hires!

I think that Scott Mitchell will get it right! :thup:

I can't for the life of me understand why Marcel got so much support on this website.

He had a bad plan and was incapable of carrying it out.

It is called DIFFERING PERSPECTIVES ... For example, I can't, FOR THE LIFE ME, figure out WHY people have such FAITH in Scott Mitchell !!??

All my attempts to scan his RESUME have failed. Where is his list of ACCOMPLISHMENTS, anyway ???

It seems the IRONY is LOST on some around here - that a person with ZERO EXPERIENCE as a President of Operations of a Professional Football team ... is FIRING a GM whom he says 'LACKS EXPERIENCE' ... even though the guy he FIRED ... had just GAINED a year of EXPERIENCE at his NEW POSITION !! ... one more year of EXPERIENCE than Mitchell ACTUALLY HAS at his!!

To say Desjardins "had a bad plan" ... is COMPLETELY UNFOUNDED, UNTESTED and SIMPLY rhetorical BS ... as he was NOT ABLE to EXECUTE his plan to FRUITION ...

I find it IMPOSSIBLE to keep down my milk and cookies when I read Mitchell say things like ...

There was no concept that

we would sacrifice this year
for the betterment of the long-term."

I mean, that is like my 4 year old daughter NOT ACCEPTING the FACT that Santa Clause does not exist ... WISHING don't make it so!!

If Mitchell, TRULY, believes the '06 Ticats were just in need of A LITTLE TWEAKING ... then this club is in BIG T R O U B L E ...

Bottom line .. there is still an INEXPERIENCED Team President at the helm, about to make CRUCIAL DECISIONS for this organization ... and NOBODY see's the JOKE in this !!??

Furthermore ... DESPITE what ANYBODY in this place says, believes, or otherwise IMAGINES - this club NEEDED Marcel to do the things he did ... and because of Marcel the next Grape Mitchell PLUCKS from the OLD BOYS VINE of Rehashed, Recycled, and Re-Used CFL minds - will have a MUCH EASIER PATH to travel.


Excellent post Meanstreak... good points.

I believe that it was the way that Desjardins handled contracts and relationships with the players that ultimately got him his walking papers as much as anything.

I will not forget the statement he made to the press that concerned receivers... Basically he said that the Cats had new players in town and that by the end of the week a couple of current pass catchers would be gone. Now just for a moment, consider the impact that statement had on the team. Pure toxin.

He lost all respect and faith from our guys and for good reason. He asks DJ to take a 40% hit in salary or hit the road. Should have just been honest with the guy and say he wasn't able to be part of the future here. For crying out loud... be a man and don't hide behind your title.

As far as stability goes, you can bet the farm that Mitchell wants Charlie to stick around and that our new GM has loads of credibility. We must have experience with assistant coaches as well. No Cat fan will have any faith in this team if we don't see some accomplished people in the right jobs here... which is why, as you say, we will have rehashed, recycled and re-used CFL minds here. Personally, I`ll take them provided they show vision and creativity.

Over... Out.. :thup:

All our "INEXPERIENCED Team President has to do, MEAN
is make ONE CRUCIAL DECISION for this organization
to get into the play offs and into the Eastern Finals.

and that is, pluck AN EXPERIENCED CFL mind,
OLD BOY OR NOT from the many gems available,

leave the football decisions to him,

and go back to making the business decisions
that he was hired as President to make.

great post ron. Scott Mitchell has to find the right man and the best man to build this team. If you can make moves to improve your team you do it at any level. A top notch gm with lots of cfl experience over a rookie who made a 4-14 team even worse is not a tough choice. A rookie makes mistakes and we need experience, marcel is gone and we will upgrade in that department with any of the people being discussed in the media and on these forums. He had a year and made them worse, that is almost unimaginable but he did it, he had to go.

sorry boys & girls. I for one was glad to greg marshall go. The guy only cared about how his hair looked on tv than worry about coaching a football team.
College coach yes, pro football coach no. I still can't believe the clown won coach of the year with a losing record.

I think this was a good decision in the end I dont think with Marcel here we wouldve attracted too many quality free agents with him here. Players had about 1 or 2 games to perform or were just cut.Mithell is doing the right thing noone says the president has to be a football man. As Mitchell stated he wants a gm that knows the cfl game and take full control of the football side of things. Mitchell will resume what he was hired for and thats business. Either has zero ability to gage talent or he over estimated what the talent was and under estimated the talent he gave away. To say the next gm will have an easy time of it next year is crazy. I think the rep of this team and the way its been run the past few years the new gm may have a tough sell to lure anyone with talent here. Plus the fact of the pieces we may lose in the off season that may need to be replaced. We r very close to what we had in 2006 at seasons end if we lose what we could possibly lose to free agency and such.

As mentioned in other threads, I really don't think that Mitchell "wants Charlie to stick around". If that were the case, why would he put him in a "lame duck" position by putting his fate in the hands on the future GM?
A "GM with loads of credibility" will want to bring in his own people. It happens all the time.
If the future GM is responsible for bringing in new assistants (as Mitchell has said), they will be GM hires, not Taaffe's.
Do you really think this is a 'vote of confidence' for the head coach? We all know that selecting assistants is not one of his strengths.
IMHO, Mitchell is letting the new GM do the dirty work of cleaning house.

I think it's obvious that a new gm will want Mitchel to fire Charlie before he comes in. I doubt the first move anyone would want to have to do is to fire someone.

But that's the food chain. Mitchell cans Dejardins. The new GM cans Taafe. The new coach cans the assistants. Everyone cans the players.

No one cans BY because he signs the cheques.

An Argo-Cat fan

What's your point?
The only "obvious" point here is that Mitchell has stated publicly that the new GM would have that responsibility. As a matter of fact, it was included in the first submission in this thread:
"Ultimately, I can't get the GM that I want unless I give him full authority to get the people he wants in place."
So...whether it's Mitchell who hands out the pink slip or not, the GM will make that decision. And contrary to your opinion, it WILL be the "first move" of the future GM, like it or not.

BTW, this was a reply to DREXL’s post.