Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Tuesday Morning Sentimonies: Weapons of Maas Destruction

Sorry for not having sentimonies posted on Monday. I… well to be honest, was just too lazy to do it. No sense in lying to you, that is unless you are inclined to believe that I spent all my free time simultaneously building homes for the poor, volunteering at a soup kitchen and donating my organs.

The big news last week was that the Riders hired a new OC… less than 24 hours after I wrote a post about the topic (you’re welcome). As news of the hiring spread, 3 very distinct camps emerged in Riderville: those elated at the hiring (because they hated McAdoo), those against the hiring (because they hate Maas) and those who will never be happy (because they hated McAdoo enough to want him fired but also didn’t want Maas and probably would have found a reason to complain no matter who we hired). I am decidedly in group 1. As explained last week, I don’t “hate” McAdoo but I do think he was a mid-tier OC and that looking at the possibility of upgrading was a wise move.

I’ll say this about Craig Dickenson, complacency is not something he can be accused of. Chris Jones kept essentially the same coaching core throughout. They were with him in Edmonton. They packed up and moved here the night after the Grey Cup (when we totally didn’t tamper). That was his group and he was sticking with them no matter what. Dickenson has a different approach. He fired D-line coach Mike Scheper mid-way through because in his words “the chemistry in the room wasn’t quite right and we felt like we needed to make a change”. Then on the heels of what was a pretty good year he decides that we needed a change at OC (a decision that he made even before Maas became available). Publicly he seems like a super nice guy but he appears to be no pushover and not afraid of making tough calls. 

This was a big move and a big signing for the Riders. Look, I was the first one in line to mock Jason Maas for trashing whatever sideline material had the misfortune of being in his path and his unwavering belief in the supremacy of the FG.  I’m not going to pretend I didn’t say those things (unlike like some people who are backtracking on their anti-Maas sentiments so fast they’ll risk a speeding ticket of they hit the open road. But Jason Maas the head coach and Jason Maas the OC are 2 very different things. Would I want him as our Head Coach? Lord no! As our OC? I’m all in. Some people just make better Coordinators. Look at Richie Hall. Tremendous DC, not so great Head Coach.

I was not a proponent of change for change sake (as some where) and had almost resigned myself to McAdoo being back and not hating it. Give him a competent QB (i.e. not Brandon Bridge) and he can run a half decent offense. But for as much hype as he got for turning Fajardo into an all-star and rejuvenating our offense, we finished 4th in offensive points (and failed to make they Grey Cup because we could not score a solitary TD). That was his “good”… 4th.

Last year was a down year for Maas but it was the only time since becoming a coordinator that he’s finished lower than 3rd in scoring in the League. So if we are playing the odds, what is more likely? Maas having a top end offense or McAdoo? Either you subscribe to the concept of logic like Coach Dickenson and me… or you just have a personal hatred of Maas that trumps your logic sensors. Look I’m not one to judge for having unjustified hatreds. I’ve had many in my day. But Maas is a upgrade at OC not doubt in my mind.

A small side note to the Maas news was that Jason Shivers was extended 2 more seasons. He had many question marks as the man tasked with replacing Chris Jones but he delivered a damn defense. We are entering 2020 with a pretty solid coaching staff.


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