Thursday, September 03, 2015

Chamblin and Taman pay the price for Riders woeful season

In the end it became a two for one firing in Regina, the Riders management collective finally hearing the calls from pretty well every corner of RiderNation that change was needed, not at the end of the season, but before the Labour Day Classic.

For many watching last weeks Riders game in Ottawa, the decision was made in the late stages of the first half, when head coach Corey Chamblin inexplicably chose to make an example of his starting quarterback on the day, an errant pass into the end zone seemingly the signal to Chamblin to bench Brett Smith, a move that unleashed nine games worth of frustration and bewilderment from the long suffering Rider faithful.

As things seem to have turned out, the actual discord on the Rider sidelines was between the Quarterback (who took the blame for the situation) and Offensive Coordinator Jacques Chapdelaine, with Chamblin it seems choosing not to over rule the OC's staffing prerogatives.

Still, it was a puzzling move for a struggling team, while the pass was  no doubt a brain cramp, Smith had put together some fairly impressive drives to bring the Riders at least back into a contest that appeared lost for the most part of the first quarter.

And while, sitting the rookie QB for a few plays to reassess his play might have been a good move, the decision to keep Smith on the sidelines more than anything else added on to what had become a growing list of disenchantment with Chamblin's handling of the Riders.

The dismissal of Shambling wasn't in the end a surprise, the storm clouds had been gathering over Mosaic Field from pretty well since week one, each loss adding to the division between those who felt that the coach deserved more time to ride out a horrid time, to others who felt that he was far too often deflecting responsibility for the state of the team and its record.

With each week passing by, the side of the line on the ledger calling for the Riders to make a change grew exponentially with each Rider loss. The conversations on the province's radio talk show taking on one growing theme, the tine for Change was at hand, disregard your fans at your own peril.

A message that the Rider Board clearly heard, not only when it came to the on field situation, but with the management of the team at the GM's level.

For General Manager Taman, his reluctance to take the step of dismissing his coach appeared to be the contributing factor to his departure, though rumblings out of the Riders offices seem to suggest that some of the contractual obligations that Taman has tied the team to, didn't help his cause to stay the course and try to turn around what has been a horrid year.

The Riders now turn to Jeremy O'Day, a Taman hiring who moves up from Assistant GM, while Bob Dyce, now takes over the coaching duties and much like his new partner in the GM's office will hold the job on an interim basis.

Those watching the manoeuvres in the Riders camp will note that Chapdelaine, who has had extensive CFL experience was passed over, perhaps a sign that the weekend's drama has not gone un-noticed.

The nine game audition for the new Rider tandem starts with Sunday's always anticipated Labour Day Classic with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, a Rider win on Sunday may not guarantee either O'Day or Dyce the job at the end of the season.

But a victory over the Bombers would surely make the pair widely celebrated across the province and lift some of the accumulated gloom of the first two months of the CFL season.

Riders back to work after cleaning house
Riders moving forward with new regime
Riders hit re-start under Dyce
Off-field issues contributed to Taman's firing
Bob Dyce takes the Riders' reins
Genesis of Roughriders mess dates back to 2014
What went wrong after 2013 Grey Cup
Dyce, O'Day officially take over interim roles with Saskatchewan Roughriders
Roughriders roll dice with O'Day, Dyce
Roughriders fire Taman, Chamblin
Chamblin left Roughriders' brass with no alternative
Saskatchewan Roughriders fire head coach Corey Chamblin, GM Brendan Taman after 0-9 start
Roughriders fire coach Corey Chamblin, GM Brendan Taman

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