You are the GM in 2012

So let's say you are hired as the new GM and you have total control over how this team will look for the 2012 season.

What moves will you make, who do you hire as your HC? Who do you tell that you just aren't capable anymore and have to let them go?

Who do you try to acquire?

I start with a HC who has a very sharp mind for CFL-style offence, someone who can retool and revamp the player personnel and offensive schemes.

The team's culture needs to be flipped. Austin brought a certain culture that worked, Miller continued that philosophy. Marshall wasn't able to pierce the strength of that culture. We need an HC that will be strong enough to do that.

A guy that takes no bullshot from anybody. When Miller's Riders lose, Miller says, "It's my fault". We need a coach that points to the player/play/problem and says, "We lost because of this, that won't happen again".

Change the culture entirely. A younger coach that sees the game differently than the guys who've been around for decades could do this.

I think Chris Jones of Calgary could be a guy like that. Everybody's going to be calling for Dave Dickenson, he could also bring this.

I don't think we can talk coach........who will be head coach?

We first have to talk about who is the top guy on the football side of the business. Right now it is Miller and do you think Miller is actively looking and wondering..........who can be the GM of this team.

Keep in mind, 6-7 years ago it was Hopson who went behind the scene and recruited Tillman. All the while, Shivers was the GM and Danny the coach. Hopson has pulled the pin once and I think he'll be forced to do it again? The difference being they can do it in the off-season versus in the middle like last time.

Does Hopson have those deep and wide relationships around the league to truly understand who can be a GM. Who can we hire to really run the football side, to find talent and to assemble his coaching staff.

Of the current GM's, none would leave where they are (west to east - Wally, Huf, Till, Mack, O'Billovich, Parker and Popp).

So you need to think of the player personell people out there, who is ready to get a shot at GM? Many have said Joe Womack. Shivers from BC but we've been there done that. Not sure what Edm/Calg has going? Maybe some head coaches ready to make the jump but that does not provide many names either? Kavis Reed for GM just because he's been a HC for 1 year? Lapolice?

The obvious choices are not there. The guys doing this and doing a good job are all wrapped up as Head coach/GM's already. This is not easy and when you make a choice of an unproven GM or coach you leave yourself wide open to lots of criticsm.

I love Miller. But his strength is coaching. Not, hierarchy and personell. Taman is just his puppet and I don't think he is the guy that takes on GM role, and totally rebuilds this thing top down? I think if Miller decides he just can't continue and commit over 2-3 years............then they are forced to clean house. Everyone goes and you restart first with your senior GM who hires his own squad. like it or not this is the reality. An they have to start discussing it right now, they can't dick around.

I think we're thinking cart in front of the horse! Need a football man at the top as GM? Who's it going to be.

If I'm GM, I'd have a serious interview with Richard Wade for the possibility of him being my director of scouting and player personnel.

I'd have a long list of HC candidates from which I would interview extensively and choose the best people manager/psychologist football mind of the group. X's and o's would not be a huge priority. Obviously he'd have to know his stuff, but x's and o's are for coordinators. Not that a current coordinator wouldn't fit the bill, but 'coach xyz has done wonders with his offense this year, he might be bright enough to try at head coach' means very little to me. And 'coach abc is a brilliant defensive mind and he will make our defense better as our HC' means JACK SQUAT to me. The head coach that I choose will make the offense, defense and special teams more effective by choosing his own good coordinators. I want a Trestman type. He manages people, he keeps everyone focused and working in the same direction. He keeps the room positive, but makes sure that they're not full of themselves. He let's them know exactly what is expected of them.

Who this coach might be, I can't say. It's difficult to see how a certain coach would handle a room. There's no real way to say that Chamblin or Jones or Dickenson or Sarkisian (who probably wouldn't come anyways) would be that guy. With a coordinator, you can see how he handles the scheme, you can tell how bright or innovative he is, but that psychology management (which is the new cutting edge of head coaching) just can't be judged unless you're at practice every day to see him handling the players, and then interview the guy and see what makes him tick. I'm not really interested in how he handles things as a coordinator. I want to know how he WOULD handle things as a head coach.

Great post, prairiedog, but just one small disagreement: Trestman, besides being a great motivator, is also a fantastic Xs and Os guy. He calls many offensive plays for the Als, and is in charge of the passing game (Milanovich runs the running game). He’s brought a lot of innovation to CFL offenses since he came into the league (just like Hufnagel in Calgary). So while I agree that a head coach should be about more than just Xs and Os, I don’t think you can treat that technical knowledge as secondary.

If I'm the GM looking forward to 2012 I have in the back of my mind that I want to not only field a competitive team in 2012 but want the team to hit it's stride to win the Grey Cup on home soil in 2013. With that in mind Miller is not going to be head coach next year. Who am I going to hire to be head coach? My choice would be Tom Higgins but whoever it is I would hire him with no strings attached - keep the coaching staff you like and bring in who you want. Players - same thing - the coach tells me who he likes that we got and who should be brought in. I bring to the table any players that I think may fill any voids - up to the coach to say yea or nay. Next year may be a season of adjustment but patience is the key word if we are to build to that GC victory on home turf.

This is really tough to comment on without knowing the status of guys going into free agency. I mean, there are what 13 or 16 free agents this year including Freeman and Simpson and Fantuz. All 3 of these guys are going to be in a position to be getting significantly more money next year with the Riders or another club...CFL or NFL so be it.

I would need to see a list of the free agents and realistically the salaries of each to make a fair assesment, but the above 3 are likely the biggest concerns at this point. I would also look at renegotiating DDs contract even though there is a year left...right now you might be able to get a better price on a 4-5 year deal than after next season if the team has a better year.

So lets assume that everyon re-signs with the club then...what to do...
#1 - Establish a HC. You all know who my top couple choices are...Scott Milanovich / Dave Dickenson
#2 - OC - more a HC decision, none the less it needs to progress. there are many options...this has been discussed in depth, and there are really several candidates I would look at with the new HC.
#3 - talk to Hall and see if he is willing to take on some new formations/looks. If he is I bring in a youthful assistant for a fresh look as a second set of eyes. If not I can him and bring someone in...Etch if he would.
#4 - New line coaches (a line coach who realizes he needs to shift Parenteau away from center)
#5 - New DB coach
#6 - I try packaging Goodspeed, Gauthier, Nunn for a center. This will put Dan Clark on the active roster. Makowsky is likely retiring, so I am looking at free agency as well, though Hudson or Hutchins may be able to rotate in and compete.
#7 - I bring in 3-4 DE to battle for a job. One is Perry who will have a fire in his belly to get 1-2 more seasons in, which will bring out a higher level in others competing. I keep 1 on for the season, 2 if Hawkins is out.
#8 - Romero and Simpson get traded for some youth. Love em both, but they can still be traded and demand a solid return. In a year or 2 not so much. I am going after a young LB in this trade.
#9 - I am bringing in a free agent DB. I would have to see what is out there. I want to see Eddie Russ on the active roster, along with 1 more solid DB. This might mean trading off McKenzie in one of the previous moves.

Doing all of this has attempted shoring up and youthing up the OL, and also makes them all NI.
The secondary is fairly good already, and I feel will be better next year as the team has gelled for a year. Like I said I would bring in 1 new guy, and keep Eddie Russ on the active Roster...that is about it.
Romero and Simpson leaving is a loss. It will hurt, but I feel it is a move that will help the club down the road. If I don't end up moving these guys I am not worried, as I would love to have them stick around, it just means we probably won't ever be moving them and will have to draft to replace them in 2013 or so.
Recievers are fine...we have a lot of talent there. I mean, essentially the 2008 starting lineup with some extra talent imported (Hill, Koch).
DE is clearly the #1 issue. I would not try stealling away, I would look at guys that did not make it in the NFL. I have a few names I know of myself, and I am sure an active GM has more. If not I am hiring a new scout or 2.

As far as RB is concerned, I don't kjnow untill I see Bernard in there.

I say improve the O Line first. Another running threat to complement and at some point replace Cates. Coach, Dickenson.

Real good comments and intelligent football sense on this thread. I am glad to see support for a changing of managemnt. If management changes, who we want as head coach is redundant since it has to be management's best buddy.
The current management, the best they could up with was Marshall.
Interestingly they kept Miller on in a position that was not necessary....at least not from where I sit .. assuming Taman should know what he's doing..which he doesn't. He should never been hired for that position. This may be part of the whole problem...indecisiveness on managemnt's part. Poor chemistry filtering down onto the players.
What does anyone think of Hufnagel coming here as GM?? Frankly I think his tough nosed demeanor would be better served in management than in coaching.

Hufnagel is Mr. Calgary Stampeder. G.M., head coach and I'm sure a lot more behind the seens than Lyle Bauer would be willing to admit. Why would he ever leave that for whatever Sask. has to offer him?

To me, the number-one position to upgrade is defensive end. You guys need a stud rush end to anchor the whole defense, someone who can command double-coverage on most plays and allow the interior of the line to get pressure on one-on-one matchups. If that happens, the secondary will start to look a whole lot better.

I also agree that you shouldn't look for a proven name, but rather seek to develop a diamond in the rough. Good teams don't continually chase overpaid stars. They develop talent from within. Nobody knew Cam Wake until he proved himself. Ditto Odell Willis, John Bowman, Stevie Baggs, etc.

Great stuff here. The only thing I haven't seen that I'd want to do is after I get a HC, the HC and I need to go looking for a top notch QB coach for Durant. When he had Marcus Crandell he seemed to be on the rise, but just hasn't had that consistency this year without him (I don't think they even have a QB coach this year?).

Ya I don't know or understand why they let Crandell go? You've got an aspiring coach in Marcus and we just allowed him to walk... Should have kept him.

Because it is an accepted practice in this league, and most others, that if a coach is taking a higher position, QB coach to OC for example, that the teams let them go. There are a few occasions where that has not happened, but for the most case it happens. Also do you know for sure that Crandell was under contract for this year? I don't but it is quite possible, especially with a QB coach , that he had a one year contract.
Also who knows if Marshall would have kept him.

That's the part that is so head shaking when you try to figure out what has gone on in Sask. for the last couple of years. Crandell as O.C. should have been a given, given his relationship with Durant. He had been at Durants' side, teaching and encouraging the whole time Durant has been a pro, and they just seemed to be on the same page. They could have devised an impressive offensive play package together, IMO, and he would have doubled for the Q.B. coach on top of all that. Then there's the whole Joe Womack situation. That one is more of a gut feeling, but I would be feeling a lot better now if he were running the rebuild show. They were both right at Hopsons finger tips a year ago, would have welcomed the opportunities IMO, and now to get them back is a longshot at best.

AS the GM the first thing that I would do is ,
1 - clean house and bring in my own people that I know that will work with me. ( keep nobody from the current regime ).
2 - rebuild our offensive and defensive lines. ( protect your QB at all costs and put the fear of God in theirs ).
3 - the rest will fall into place.

I don’t care what anyone does, but if they fire Dickenson, or don’t ask him to continue on, then I will already question them.

the coaching staff is the resonsibility of the head coach, if he wants Dickenson thats his perogative, and Im sure that he would want him on his staff. but as GM I would not interfere with the head coaches decision as to who he wants or doesn't want on his staff as he has to be comfortable with the people that he surrounds himself to make himself and the team succede, as the GM its my responsibility to bring in a coach that I feel confident in and to bring in the best personel as to the coaches requirements.

:twisted: protect your QB at all costs and put the fear of God in theirs :twisted: and this is what we are not doing :oops:

you'd think so, wouldn't you? Marshall wasn't allowed to do choose who he wanted.