The Riders have settled on a new coach… and in a refreshing change from the past few years, it was an announcement that was actually good news and not just trying pass it off as good news when in reality anyone with any redeeming credentials had turned them down. I am also sure that sports reporters were happy to report on a guy named Corey and not have to talk about what he may or may not have done to someone’s mom.
While all have their pros and cons that have been debated ad nauseum, I don’t think there was a bad choice amongst Mace, Pierce and Milanovich. That said, I think Mace is my preferred option of the 3.
Word is that O’Day and Reynolds were waffling back and forth on who to choose until a lightbulb moment suddenly struck O’Day. He stood up and said “Craig, I’ve got it! When was the last time this team won a Cup?” Reynolds responded “2013”. “Yes, but who was leading that team?” Reynolds “Chamblin”. “Exactly!” O’Day exclaimed “The last time we won a cup was with a black coach named Corey. That has to be a sign”
the way I know that 98% of you understand that the preceding exchange is purely
fictional and for satire purposes but just so there’s no confusion for the remaining
2%, this didn’t actually happen.***
I don’t know him personally but Mace exudes leadership even from my vantage point. He seems like a leader who will set a high standard and hold people to it. That is about as polar opposite as you can get from his predecessor. Mace is a well respected play caller and certainly knows the X’s and O’s of football but at this juncture I think his leadership is the biggest asset he can bring. Dickenson was a nice guy and he knew football but he did not command that locker room. I have no doubt that Mace will.
The next step will be to see what kind of staff Mace can build around him. He’s already confirmed he will be our DC. While nothing is official, Justin Dunk has all but confirmed that Marc Mueller will be his OC (I'm already dreading the next 11 months of Muller/Lancaster talk, just let him be his own guy). Toronto extended pretty much all of their offensive coaches so it will be tough to poach from there. Defensively, DB coach Joshua Bell is a guy I can see coming over to be key part of Mace’s staff. Some other names to keep an eye on Drew Tate, Nik Lewis and Juwan Simpson. They have connections to Mace and could appear in his staff as well. I had held out vain hope Mace could coax DeVone Claybrooks back into action but with Mace being DC that goes from vain hope to pipe dream. I hope we can retain our D-line. I would love to see what Mace can turn the combo of Lanier, Robertson and Micah into.
Mace’s tenure got off to a bit of a rocky start. He didn’t even making it out of his opening press conference before making his first mistake. When asked what kind of team he would field he answered “a blue collar team”. Sorry Coach Mace but you now head up a green collared team. Blue was your old team. I’ll forgive your error on your first day but I won’t be handing out second chances freely if this continues.
Mace gives us some hope that things might be different… and not just because the coach claims they are.
One last thing I want to address…
I’m likely in the minority here but I think all the talk about a coach “getting the community” and “committing to it” is stupid. I want a coach that will win, pure and simple. I mean, I want some semblance of ethics but as long as we are avoiding legal issues and public embarrassment, no one will care what the coach does off the field if we win. The only thing that being “invested in the community does” is buy you some good will if you don’t win.
Barrett was invested in this community like few others but did that help him win
a cup or save his job when he couldn’t? No. Kent Austin isn't exactly known a warm and fuzzy community member. But did we care when he won us a Cup? No. People like to harp on Chris Jones,
but if we don’t get Ricky Ray’ed in the dying seconds of the 2017 East Final, Jones
likely wins a Grey Cup and becomes a celebrated hero forevermore in Riderville.
We only talk about his lack of community stuff because he didn’t win a Cup.
So I think it’s a great bonus that Mace is a stand up guy who is committed to this community but the only reason he should have this job is because he is a good enough coach to win a Cup. Maybe if we focused more on building a “winning culture” and less on “getting the community”, we’d have more Cups in our history. Fans are simple, win and we will love. We cheered Dwight Anderson for pete sake.