For us it's business as usual and we have some great questions that we enjoyed giving some perspective on. We'll change up the content this week because the Riders don't play, but those changes will be fun, and give us a chance to step outside of our scope a little bit.
Here's the #ProPerspective answers to some of your inquiries via Twitter (@lucmull95) and from the comment section throughout the week.
Talk soon everyone. Enjoy the weather!!!
With a majority of the players on at least 1 of the social media, how hard is it to tune out the crap that some people are spewing about the team? And about their play?
· To tell you the truth, it’s not hard at all to tune out everything going on outside of the locker room wall, because when a professional team is stuck in a slide, most of the pressure to win comes from inside the organization due to the nature of the business. Players don’t follow media guys all that often, especially in Saskatchewan, so they don’t see the clustered timelines full of criticism and complaints. One or two guys may check out sites like Riderfans.com from time to time, but those posts and forums tend to get more laughs than anything else. The only time players and coaches REALLY hear about the “crap” that people spew about their play etc. is the during the 5-10 minutes that they are available for the media after practise.
Players are told time and time again from the minute they step foot in this fishbowl that they have to stay out of the media! Most guys listen. Sure, there are guys that spend every minute of their free time in the locker room on their phones, but that time is spent scrolling through Tinder a lot more than it’s spent scrolling through media tweets and speculation. It is impossible to put more stress on a player than the pressure that the business already provides. Sometimes reading a harsh tweet from someone that’s never EVER been in a players shoes makes guys smile...The only time for concern is the minute that the people stop caring altogether.
Q: Can you talk about what "losing the locker room" means?
· “Losing the locker room” refers to the point in time where the players no longer respond to the Head Coach; the organization may as well mail it in if that ever happens. Coaches can “lose a locker room” in a number of ways but the most common way is to let one’s ego trump what’s best for the team. When a coach starts putting himself before the team, publicly or privately, players notice, get disappointed, and begin losing respect for that coach immediately. Everything that he (the coach) says from that point on goes in one ear and out the other. Players will always stick together, but if a coach starts separating himself form the group, like refusing to be accountable for wins and losses, or going into unnecessary tirades behind closed doors and calling people out in the media, the guys will turn their backs quickly. Losing the locker room is the quickest road to a rebuild because usually it's the vets that stop responding to the coach far earlier than the rookies/new guys in the room.
Question for next time: I can accept that not having a QB coach going into the season, with Durant and Glenn at the controls. But given how circumstances have now changed, would it not make sense to have a QB coach to work with and help develop the young rookies - Smith, Price and Sims? All other groups of positions have position coaches under the co-ordinators- O-line, linebacker, DB's, D-Line, receivers. Yet the most complex position, that of QB does not warrant a dedicated coach? Am I missing something in this picture?
· The Offensive Coordinator is the ultimate QB coach. It would be fine to have a separate one to handle all the logistics and minor technique fixes, however QBs spend most of their time with the OC anyway. Every possible minute of a prep week is spent with their Coordinators; pre-practise, after practise, pre-game & post game. They need to be on the same page because there are so many route combos, protections, audibles etc etc that QBs need to be comfortable with. Only the teams Offensive Coordinator (who created the scheme) is suited to properly implement it. In the case of Brett Smith, he has two veteran QBs, in Durant and Glenn, to learn the intricacies of the game from, and an OC in Jacques Chapdelaine that is responsible for making the game easy for his new young starter. It would be hard to find a guy 7 weeks into the year that would be able to add to that. Smith has all the tools he needs to succeed right now. In Toronto, his improvement from 1st to 2nd game was just what the Riders were hoping for. Aside from a couple of mistakes, that a rookie will make, #16 looked great.
You weren’t on the Post-Game show long. Your thoughts on the Chamblin decision to kick an FG late in the 4th?
· I’m curious as to why this got so much attention. It was the obvious move. Let’s not start piling on Chamblin just because it’s the cool thing to do right now. He took the guaranteed points on a 3rd and 4, and trusted his defense to get a stop and give the O the ball back, with time on the clock (which they did). There wasn’t much more he could have done there. We all saw Chris Jones’ failed gamble on the 3rd and 4-5 against the BC Lions, if Chamblin had done the same thing, and failed, there would have be riots on “The Green Mile” as we speak. 3rd and 4-5 isn’t a guaranteed conversion, especially with a young QB. He’s in a lose-lose situation with any outcome other than a W from now on because of their record, but the Riders really had the best case scenario at the end of the game on Saturday…they just couldn’t finish. We wouldn’t even be talking about any of this if the Green and White hadn’t shot themselves in the foot during the 1st half of the game.
Now that the 1st 6 weeks are over, who’s you’re Grey Cup Fav?
· Right now I have to go with Hamilton in the East, even without CJ Gable and Andy Fantuz. The TiCats have a favourable home schedule to finish out the final 12 games of the year, and they’re the only team in the CFL that has the CONSISTENT ability to score in every phase of the game. The Steel City is also blessed with the best coaching staff in the league right now. With Austin and Condell teaming up on O, Steinauer handling the D, and Jeff Reinebold having their Special Teams units near the top of the league, it’s hard to see a weakness from the Top down. Don’t forget that this is a team that gets a ton of great guidance from Eric Tillman, and has a passionate Exec like Scott Mitchell doing everything he can to give the guys the resources that they need to succeed.
In the West, it’s not as clear cut. It think that BC, Edmonton, and Calgary will battle it out there down to the very last week of the year. I’ll give the edge to Calgary because of Hufnagel and the staff there, plus the fact that Calgary excelled last year despite the loss of Jon Cornish for the majority of that year. It’s going to be exciting to say the least. We’ll take another look at these predictions going into the final 1/3 of the season!