From heroes one year to zeroes the next, the rise and fall of the Argos has been both shocking and stunning.
And amid this dizzying backdrop of contrasts, Marc Trestman endured a similar trajectory, one year hailed as the CFL’s coach of the year, the next year shown the door.
Not all the blame will rest on Trestman’s shoulders as the Argos are now in the process of regrouping from their abysmal 4-14 season, but coaches own up to a team’s record and Trestman was more than willing to stand up and be accountable when the dust settled from Toronto’s most recent setback, a 24-9 loss to Ottawa’s B-team in Friday night’s season finale.
He didn’t point fingers at anyone, never made mention of the litany of injuries the Argos had to endure, never found any excuse when asked the impact Ricky Ray’s injury had on this year’s group.
Where the Argos turn for the club’s third head coach in four years remains an open question, one of those connect-the-dots exercises with no shortage of qualified candidates.
Orlondo Steinauer may be available once the Ticats are done with their business.
If Ticats’ June Jones decides to return to Hawaii, Steinauer neatly moves into the head coaching job. If Jones decides he wants back, Steinauer is likely to walk and there’s no better landing spot than Toronto. Steinauer has paid his dues and his first coaching gig was given to him by Jim Barker when the latter left coaching to become the Boatmen’s general manager in 2012, the year he appointed Scott Milanovich as head coach.
Kevin Eiben and Steinauer were teammates. Steinauer also has a great working relationship with Tommy Condell. Of the assistants Trestman had around him, Eiben and Condell seem to be among the few worthy of being retained.
Popp may ask Corey Chamblin, Toronto’s defensive co-ordinator who led last year’s Grey Cup championship unit, but he’s now in the NCAA system and it would take a lot to lure him back.
People have lost sight of the remarkable — one could argue unexplained — run that the Argos mounted last season en route to winning a title.
The timely plays, the fortunate bounces, catching their stride at the absolute right moment, it all peaked.
One year later, it sank quicker than tech shares of late.
Credit team president Bill Manning for reading the Argos’ situation correctly. When he announced news of Trestman’s dismissal Saturday, he was so right in saying how the club was misaligned. When players were brought in, coaches never adapted to a player’s strengths by running schemes in line with the CFL.
Cornerback T.J. Heath was signed in free agency and everyone knew, save for Argos coaches, that he is best used in zone coverage in Cover 2 schemes because he is unwilling to initiate contact. Heath played man in Toronto’s schemes and was burned before ultimately being traded to Montreal.
Shawn Lemon,a sack specialist, gets traded to B.C. Instead of having rush ends, a major source of deficiency with this year’s team, they’d attack the perimeter by creating two-way go moves, and are told to crash down the line of scrimmage.
Poor coaching, poor scheming, areas head coaches must be held accountable, were areas under Trestman’s control. Some areas were not.
Ultimately, his voice in the locker room did not carry the weight it once had. In sporting parlance, he had lost the room, which led to the 40-10 embarrassment in Montreal in the season’s penultimate game and Friday night’s folly.
He mishandled quarterback James Franklin and completely mismanaged wide receiver Duron Carter.
The word ‘toxic’ comes to mind when describing the vibe around the Argos as season played out, coaches doing the dirty work in reporting back to Trestman, according to those associated with the team, on what was being said inside the room.
Anyone who has been around this year’s team could see the writing on the wall with Trestman.
He wasn’t the same head coach of last season, missing a few practices to tend to personal matters.
Sadly, Trestman’s life away from football wasn’t nice with his dad passing away.
Even an amateur psychiatrist could see how the Argos should not have placed Trestman in the situation he was placed in this season with the personal tragedy engulfing his life. He’s human.
Trestman needed time to heal, but no time was given.
As someone who has been involved in coaching for most of his life would say: “It hardened him in a personal way that came through his team when they needed him more as a man than a coach. He needs the time to recover.”
It’s hard for those who felt the wrath of Trestman to believe it, but he is a good man, but one who needed to get away from football.
Mercifully, the regular season ended Friday night.
What Manning and Popp did Saturday in the early hours was perform an act of mercy.
Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies