Here is what I am basing myself on
answer to 1
1- Emails from a multi award winning current starter. Telling me He's a great coach.
2- Talent of that team. As deep as any team in the league at many positions.
3- Level of rookie import talent and experienced brought in to camp this year.
4- Win/loss record of Trestman,Martino,Elizondo,Sinclair (Track record of winning). These guys have won at every level with few exceptions.
5- Trestman's ability to convince guys like Watkins to want to stick around.
6- Comments by Ben Cahoon.
7- Treatment of veterans.
There is simply nothing there that suggests that the Als will self-destroy... If the Als finish last in the East it will be because the other 3 teams have all had phenomenal years. But when I hear that they will finish last with 5 some even suggest 3 wins, some even claim a crossover.
I personally think the division will be a war and the team that has the most injuries at key positions or does not take advantage of its home games will finish last.
2- Trestman isn't soft. all kinds of comments coming out of camp about this being the toughest camp they've been at (Warrick, Proux).
Time management and organisation of camp is on another level. You won't see anyone sitting on a helmet or waiting for instructions at this year's Al camp. Every minute is planned and used. (Miguel Bujold LaPresse.
3-Past success is an indication that an organisation knows how to win and is prepared to do what it takes and commit ressources to winning. If anything it should provide for the benefit of the doubt not the other way around.
4- I know there will be a learning curve but it won't be anywhere near as steep and costly as some are predicting for the following reasons.
a)Trestman is a career coach at a high level. Same as Taafe and Levy and Hufnagel. His base is very sound.
b) He is inheriting very experienced players in Calvillo, Cahoon, Flory, Chiu, Watkins... Most experiments with rookie coach have failed because by the time the team had been turned to them the team's fabric had already been destroyed (Ottawa). Ownership had no understanding of the CFL (US expansion), Joe Galat's montreal team....
I expect this team to be competitive, not saying its a championship team and will walk over opponents Like RO says predicting a total melt-down with little or nothing to back it up other then the coach is new is really reaching.