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.