This team appears to have post Grey Cup curse. Every appearance in the big game leads to an exodus of people who were key to our success. After the ’07 Cup we had to endure the loss of the Coach of the Year, Most Outstanding Player of the Year and 2 defensive all-stars.
Since our Cup appearance we’ve already managed to lose our highly successful GM, the Defensive Player of the Year and one of the most respected OL coaches in the league. Well you can add to more names to the exodus list Stevie Baggs and Paul LaPolice.
Baggs has signed with the Arizona Cardinals. Becoming the second all-star DE lost to the NFL this year. As much as it sucks to lose Baggs, it was probably going to happen anyway via free agency so at least it’s to a different league and not to our opponents. Given how the NFL is looking for “prototype bodies” I’m not sure what Baggs’ chances of actually making the team… we’re talking about a league that will pass on a player for being inches too short, not sure how receptive they’ll be to a player whose toes are inches too far inwardly pointed. As a sports fan I wish Stevie the best of luck and say good for him… as a Rider fan I mutter obscenities under my breath about the Cardinals.
As much as losing Baggs hurts, the loss of LaPolice is far greater. Admittedly I have had my criticisms of LaPo but overall there is no denying that he was a great offensive coordinator. He directed the #2 scoring offense in the CFL, he was young, smart and the logical successor to old man Miller. An uncharacteristically good move by the Bombers has left a huge void on our coaching staff.
To me that’s the most concerning thing… who the hell replaces him?? When Austin left, there was a logic progression: with Miller and LaPo each getting a promotion. This time around there’s no logical replacement. I mean Marcus Crandell and Jamie Baressi are there but Crandell’s zero experience and Baressi’s brief stint as OC of the bottom dwelling Ti-Cats do little to instil confidence. Unfortunately one of those 2 will likely be the chosen one.
My recommendation would be to name Etcheverry as a replacement. His crazy schemes did wonders for our defense. Just imagine was he could do for our offense. 6 receivers bunched to the right, QB streaks, converting a DB to an offensive tackle, O-linemen running routes while receivers drop into pass protection… the possibilities are endless.
So the post Grey Cup exodus continues and we just have to hope that Ken Miller has a plan to replace these 2 talents. Taman is probably currently exploring the option of trading away both our first round picks for someone’s offensive coordinator.
One last comment on the LaPolice story…
It’s not often that I get to speak about the quality of other people’s reporting. I mean as a purveyor of a product that rife with grammatical errors/unfinished sentences, rarely timely and only loosely based on actual facts, I’m not generally in a position to criticize the quality of the work of others. Today was an exception…
This morning Sportsnet reported that LaPolice had been offered the job. A little latter TSN posted a story that the Canadian Press reported that Greg Marshall had been offered the job… citing multiple sources. Evidently both TSN and the Canadian Press needs to find better sources than the rambling hobo outside their building because every other news outlet was siding with Sportsnet and within the hour TSN had amended the Marshall story, citing new sources that LaPolice was in fact being offered the job (nice cover).
For reaching a level of journalistic ineptness so low that makes this blog look somewhat professional by comparison, I give TSN a big “For Shame!” This may be my one and only chance to claim superiority over a major television network (with the exception of CBC) so I will take full advantage of it.