Monday, August 31, 2015

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Downward Spiral

Riders 13 - Redblacks 35

I find it amazing that I expected us to lose this game and still somehow came away disappointed. Sadly "disappointing" is about the only thing the 2015 Riders appear to do consistently. The game started with utter embarrassment, featured a brief reprieve in the middle where we resemble a professional football team and then quickly disintegrated back into embarrassment on pretty much every front possible. We pretty much only missed "legal trouble featuring the word inappropriate" for a blackout in Embarrassment Bingo.

Let me address the topic on everyone's mind: coaching. I have been a staunch Chamblin defender all season. He's certainly had his issues this season but I still thought he was a good coach. But the fact is that the lack of discipline, the lack of preparedness, the lack of defense and boneheaded coaching decisions are starting to get too numerous for even this ardent Chamblin fan to ignore. Sunday's game alone had a laundry list of coaching ineptness including:

- We clearly weren't well prepared for the game because we came out and laid an egg in the first quarter while Ottawa had their way with us.

- We are intentionally kicking rouges. Meanwhile one of the best directional punters in league history is sitting idly on the sidelines wondering when his Old Age Security kicks in and if the coaches have ever heard of something called field position.

- We ran Jerome Messam 3 time... 3!!!! Early in the season when our offense was humming two key parts were the yards chewed up by Messam and Allen (early on they were both on pace for 1000). Now one is benched and one might as well be because he's never given the ball

- Then there is the QB debaucle. First of all, the only time Tino Sunseri should be allowed on the field is to take a note to refs saying "we forfeit" because actually letting him play is essentially the same as waving the white flag. Seems ridiculous to do so after the young promising QB makes 1 mistake in a 4 point game. Apparently Smith lipped of the Chamblin. So what?!?! As a coach Corey has 2 primary objectives: #1 win, #2 develop the players on the team. Benching Smith accomplishes neither of those and clearly shows that Chamblin's ego trumps everything (including logic). Sit him out one series to settle him down?... fine, no issues. Bench him completely... especially in favour of the only player in the league who could possibly make Brian Brohm look good by comparison? There is no way to justify that.

- If Chamblin treated the defense with the same "zero tolerance for error" policy as he does offensive players like Allen and Smith then there would not be a solitary player left on the field to play defense.

Chamblin's biggest flaw is his ego and stubbornness and it has been on display far too often this season for all the wrong reasons. It may ultimately be his downfall. I realize that things like lack of Canadian depth; lack of quality players to fill in for our injuries; and refs calling phantom head shot penalties on his linemen are out of his control but preparedness, discipline, and in game decision making are all well within his control and all are trending severely downward as weeks pass by. I just don' get the sense he has any clue how to fix this team... especially when his standard response is "I can't throw or catch so I will just keeping doing what I'm doing". Good coaches adapt to their circumstances... in terms of adaptability right now Chamblin looks like those people offering those gross hard candies to small kids. "Kids love candy!"

We are going to win Labour Day... that much I can tell you. But what I can't say is whether Chamblin will be our coach or whether than will be our only win in this pathetic season.

PS - I'd like to congratulate myself on getting through that with next to no cursing.


Govind said...

So I am not the only one who thought of the idea of having McCallum come in for the coffin corner punts. That would actually work so it makes sense we wouldn't consider it.

Anonymous said...

Great post. You nailed it exactly. This defence is simply awful. That Johnson TD run up the middle at the end of the 3rd was SO BRUTAL. Its like a high defence out there

Dan said...

No worries, I know tha lack of curses was just for the benefit of your youngest readers. In my head I fixed it and dropped an f bomb every second word.

All along I've figured Chamblin would turn this around. Until this time last year he seemed like a great coach. Something obviously snapped in his head last year when he finally won the battle with Richie Hall and took over the defence. It's been a disaster ever since. I don't see it coming back. Time for Taman to practice his directional punting and punt Chamblin out the door.

Skot Kortje said...

No inventive cursing, but fabulous innuendo! Hard candy, indeed.

Hard to argue with the criticism of Chamblin's ego and stubbornness. However, not knowing the full context of the Brett Smith second-half bench-warming makes it hard for me to know if I agree with the call for Chamblin's head. Personally, I think Smith should have been pulled after he threw that interception at such a critical moment (all of our QBs have been doing this through the season), regardless of what his reaction was on the bench (if it is what I think, then I equally agree with icing the kid for putting himself above the team - he's hasn't earned anything yet). Smith performance was admirable for his usual M.O. of running around for yardage and extending plays, but I wouldn't say he was executing very well. And that is largely because of the poor protection the offensive line and backs were providing the whole game.

As for Sunseri's performance. Well, he was thrown in at an important moment and would have been the quarterback of record for a Ryan Smith touchdown had it not been for another stupid penalty (so many penalties again!). Even with the pathetic first quarter defensive showing, the Riders should have been heading into the locker room with a lead, but did not because we had lousy execution by our offense. McCallum certainly let us down, but so did Early with those two rouges. Both I saw as indicators that the whole team had not shown up for this one. Outside of the mysteriously absent use of Messam, I can't blame the coaches for that first half result.

So now everyone wonders why leave Brett Smith stewing on the bench to start the second half. I'm guessing this is the result of words said at half-time. If so, again I support Chamblin. Brett Smith has to learn not to make bone-headed throws now! And he has to learn to be a team player. It's not about him.

As for the second half offensive performance...Sunseri disappoints, but so does our offensive line. I actually think they despise Sunseri, since every time he gets thrown in our pass protections are practically non-existent. Sunseri has been thrown to the wolves many times. If he had the kind of pass protection Glenn got at the beginning of the year he'd show much better. The only reason Smith has any success is because he's able to make successful broken plays....that tells me a lot about the failed executions.

Just wanted to make a small defense of Chamblin. I actually agree with him - he doesn't play the game. He doesn't commit penalties, drop balls, throw interceptions, miss tackles, leave gaps open, miss field goals or punts. What's wrong with expecting professionals to perform. I think the players know they failed. He has made some very questionable calls through the year, but I think they all have been motivated by the urgency of winning - taking chances and trusting in your players to do the job or excel. When it works, everybody loves you. When it doesn't, they think you're a fool. Fans, media and arm-chair coaches think a change in coaches is required. I think you get the same result. Without, Durant, Glenn, and Emery ( I really think his injury is one of the biggest to hit the team - most observer don't realize how much we're missing him because we never had him) we're riding a very thin line between victory and defeat. It's the penalties that really bury the Riders.

Pat Strain said...

I supported Chamblin until yesterday but now he cannot be fired fast enough . Pulling Brett Smith was the last straw - he is pretty much the only reason to watch the Riders as he definitely has a future in this league and could very well be the next franchise QB for the Riders (provided he doesn't get totally screwed over by this organization and go elsewhere).

I think that the Riders reluctance to fire Chamblin must have something to do with money - he's got a contract that will have to be paid out regardless and the team is maybe a bit strapped , paying for players who are injured and their commitments to the new stadium, etc. They can't afford not to fire him at this point as the fans will start to lose interest and attendance plummets.
. BTW - there is no guarantee that they win on labour day - even with the Bombers in their current state .

Pat Strain said...

Wow Taman too ? He must have refused to pull the trigger so the board canned them both. It's gonna be expensive - they both had contract extensions .