The premature release of Butchko’s recommendation to fire Mack before the Board could approve it was not only unprofessional it ruined much of the work I had done on this week’s post. Even after losing his job the SOB found a way to make things miserable for at least one fan (me). Back to regularly scheduled programming already in progress…
Well they beat the spread and Tim Burke says the team is getting better and on the cusp of winning. That’s good enough isn’t it?
No, I don’t think so either. Bomber Nation is in a full out revolt this week and rightfully so.
Going into the bye week in the 2012 season Big Blue was 1-5. Going into the bye week in the 2013 season Big Blue is 1-5. This team is certainly a model of consistency. I heard a tale after Monday’s game of a Rider fan buying a Bomber fan a beer because the former felt sorry for the later. While I hope that beer was promptly thrown back into the face of the purchaser, it does underscore what a laughing stock this franchise has become. This team is at least as bad as last year’s and likely worse. Nothing has improved. If you were as bad at your job as Mack and company have been at theirs you would have been fired years ago.
Anyway, it’s (practically) done! HURRRAAHHH!!! I haven’t been this happy since PauLa was made to walk the plank.
Some fans out there have been saying “Oh, regime change isn’t the answer, we need stability.” Stability? It’s been 3 and 1/3rd seasons of the same regime with the same predictably rotten results. Until now the only major change has been at HC. The rest of us, those who really pay attention to the CFL, knew this season was a lost cause as soon as Buchko gave Mack a new mandate at the conclusion of the last.
I’m going to write a bit about the Bombers’ last terrible performance and then onto a couple of other issues beyond Mack that need fixing.
Played pretty solid for most of the game and were vastly improved over the previous two outings. This group definitely played well enough to win until they were predictably hung out to dry by Crowton.
The D-line held Harris to a mere 56 yards and sacked Lulay four times. What more can be asked?
Also, how about forcing those two-and-outs when the Bumblers were punting out of their own end zone in the second half? Amazing.
Still the best player on the team.
Once again the O started off on the right foot before rolling over and dying quicker than a red shirt on Star Trek. More on that when we get to the Goat.
Doesn’t matter how well the D or the Teams play, scoring 20 points on offence wins only for the Blue Jays (sometimes).
He looked serviceable to start but fell asleep as soon as the second started. Although he was the victim of several dropped balls he more than equaled that number with his own pass nastiness. Still better than Buck.
I’m certainly willing to give the guy more rope but at the same time we need to start seeing some of Max Hall. 2013 has basically devolved into extended preseason and despite Tim Burke naming Justin the starter the job is wide open. Why was he brought in if he’s not going to get some game reps?
Quarterback Carousel of Horrors
A reader, @bear_pants, pointed out something that hasn’t been talked about much during this latest round of quarterback carousel. Unlike most winning teams the Bombers don’t have a dedicated QB coach. Seems pretty basic when you’re trying to develop a raw player into a starter doesn’t it? He couldn’t figure out why Blue Bomber management cannot see the importance of the position. Neither can I. @bear_pants went further and explained how other teams handle their QBs and offense in general:
QB Coach – Jarious Jackson (former successful QB, tons of experience)
OC – Jacques Chapdelaine (tons of CFL experience)
HC – Mike Benevides (Offensive guy, tons of CFL experience)
OC – Dave Dickensen (CFL HoF QB, enough said)
HC – John Hufnagel (former successful QB, been around the CFL forever)
QB Coach – Khari Jones (we know enough about him)
OC – George Cortez (proven offensive guru with tons of CFL experience)
OC – Doug Sams (Hamilton’s QB coach from last season but hasn’t been around much in the CFL since ’91)
QB Coach – none
HC – Kent Austin (self explanatory unless you only started watching the CFL recently)
OC – Tommy Condell (Who the hell is this guy?)
QB Coach – none
HC – Scott Milanovich (Only won the Grey Cup as a rookie HC)
QB/RB Coach – Jason Maas (great QB who probably could have kept playing)
OC – Marcus Brady (former CFL QB with a ton of CFL experience)
OC – Mike Miller (also pretends he’s the QB coach)
Special Assistant – Doug Berry (knows how to run an offense, lots of CFL experience)
QB Coach – Anthony Calvillo (not really), he needs no coaching and is probably graduating to this position as soon as he hangs up his cleats.
OC – Gary “the Goat” Crowton (18 months CFL experience and still no clue at all)
HC – Tim Burke (a defensive minded head coach)
QB Coach – none.
There’s not enough there to definitively prove anything but the trend is undeniable. All CFL teams with a winning record have either a QB coach or Dave Fricken Dickenson. They also have zero problem whatsoever at pivot.
The four losing teams in the CFL all have one thing in common: they do not have a dedicated QB coach and while they have all shown struggles at the position/offence in general it is Edmonton and Winnipeg suffering the most. These are the only two teams green at the position yet have absurdly decided they don’t need a full time coach to manage it.
So why don’t the Bomber’s have a quarterback coach? Money, obviously. What would one cost? $100k for a good one? I’m just taking a wild stab in the dark on that. What might that buy? If it only buys one extra win the whole season it is one helluva return on investment. I can’t think of anywhere else where $100k would do more good for the team then to help the QBs.
Gary “the Goat” Crowton
The time has come to relieve Gary Crowton of his duties. It must be done now and without delay. Whether that means keeping him on board in a ceremonial role and having someone else call the plays or firing him outright matters not. I don’t care if he’s scanning the tickets at the gate as long as he isn’t designing the putrid playbook currently on loan to the offence. Crowton is 7-17 with a .292 percentage as Offensive Coordinator of the Blue Bombers.
What should seal the deal for every fan of this club is what Justin Goltz had to say regarding the offensive adjustments at half time.
“We didn’t change too much at the half because we were happy with the way things were going.”
Doug Brown covered it well in his weekly column, all I want to reiterate is Gary’s complete ineptitude.
Last week I wrote of two possible candidates for his replacement/assistant. PauLa and Buck. Here are a few more for you to think about:
Currently the QB coach of the Riders and can’t be touched until the end of the season.
His career record as head coach is 27-35 with a .435 winning percentage. Looks like a loser on paper but compared to Gary he looks like a prodigy. Currently playing around with college ball down South.
One of this space’s regular readers, Jayfest, had the idea of splitting the OC duties between Buck and Howell. The new GM is going to want it his way anyhow so it wouldn’t cost extra at the end of the season if it doesn’t work out. The duo couldn’t possibly be any worse than the status quo.
His name came up in a forum somewhere and was quoted as saying “Well no one’s asked me yet.” when the possibility of working as the OC came up. I don’t think he has much coaching experience but it doesn’t matter at this point because the Goat’s resume is a lie. He was a winner and the last quarterback to bring us a Grey Cup (It has been 52 QBs since – just take a minute and contemplate that number).
I had to delete everything I wrote about him needing to be banished. I was mad at first for having wasted time writing it but then immediately realized how euphoric I had become. Enjoy retirement, prick. Actually no, don’t enjoy it, I hope you break your hip in the bathtub.
Absolute Vodka Ass of the Week: Gary Crowton
Enough has been said about the Goat.
Heineken Hero of the Week: Defensive Line
They played great as already mentioned.
Honourable Mention: Alex Hall — great to have him back!
Bye Week and Beyond
Of the remaining 12 games in the Blue Bombers’ schedule which look winnable to you? There are three against Hamilton and two against Edmonton. Suppose they get lucky and take two from Hamilton (which I don’t think they can do) and split with Edmonton. That’s three more wins. Montreal is up one more time as well. You could make an argument for that game too given their recent problems and the fact they’ve already given Winnipeg two points. I can’t see them beating anyone else. That leaves the Bombers at 5-13 in November.
Not a lot of reason to be optimistic. Gary better be on his way out of town before the players get back. It would be nice if Mack made it his last request.
No game in week 7 but plenty to discuss! Stay tuned for The Blue Bastard Bye Week Bonanza!
Did I nail it or am I an idiot? Lemme know in the comments, no registration needed. My wit awaits your taunt!
Tune in next week for another Blue Bastard rant. Same BB time, same BB blog. Or subscribe via e-mail by clicking follow!
Last week’s most excellent ramblings “Grown Men Cry, Time For Radical Change?” where I tossed up some potential GM and OC replacements.
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