leo4life wrote: ↑
Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:48 pm
Only way to make changes is for the fan base to speak with their wallets and demand Bouno resign at seasons end.Also paired with the losses pilling up this current GM/HC/staff under Bouno will have to blown up or risk losing even more fans in 2018 as it will be more of the same
If Buono does choose to return, I believe the fans will speak with their wallets. When maxlion, a strong Wally supporter on this site, decides he has had enough, then you know the writing is on the wall.
As for the legend, it is clear his time has run its course. Over time, certain tendencies naturally reinforce themselves. Either the coach has to reinvent himself or be replaced. Wally had a good run here, but I don't see him reinventing himself at this stage and, judging from his body language, he doesn't seem to be having much fun anymore. Time to retire and enjoy the rest of his life.
Most reporters and media have given Wally a free pass too many times in the past when coaching has been an issue.
Lowell Ullrich, who has always been the most courageous of the press/media covering the Lions said, following this game.
Again, however, with a chance to back up suggestions made before the game that he would get the ball when it counts, Jeremiah Johnson was made to look invisible. Johnson didn’t have a single carry in the fourth quarter and was targeted on only one pass attempt in the final 15 minutes.
Buono said in the days leading up to the game that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly expecting different results, and changed the team’s practice regimen. Ignoring their best offensive weapon with a lead down the stretch looked awfully familiar.
But Ullrich hit the nail on the head or the nail in the coffin when he wrote:
With every humiliating setback on the field, the calls for coach/GM Wally Buono to step aside become louder; the realization on the part of assistant coaches, personnel staffers and players that massive organizational change is forthcoming becomes more clear.
The regrettable truth is that after two Grey Cup wins in 15 seasons under the winningest coach in league history, the Lions are same place as they were when Buono arrived after the 2002 season, the building where they play home games seemingly empty on a regular basis just as it was when Adam Rita was in charge and Damon Allen’s run had come to an end.
As for myself, its a feeling of relief that I will have less chance of being attacked, as I have been in the past, for being critical of Buono.
Buono arrived in B.C. in 2003. Winning the Grey Cup is the goal of each season. During his time so far in B.C. we've won two Grey Cups. We've only played in the Grey Cup game once since 2006.
During Buono's time here in B.C. the Eskimos have won the Grey Cup 3 times, with three different coaches. The consistency of having Buono has not led us to more Grey Cup victories nor have we maintained a strong fan base due to his presence.
The loss to Ottawa was the type of game that Andrew Harris would get frustrated and show his emotions or state his emotions. Johnson had 6 carries in this game, not one in the 4th quarter, even though we had a big lead in this game and Johnson was averaging close to 6 yds. per carry in the game.
When Harris first complained about the offence in 2013, Chap was our offensive coordinator. When he complained in 2014, Jones was calling the plays and when he complained in 2015, Cortez was the play caller.
The time to keep continuously just laying blame on coordinators has to end, just as scapegoating players has to end. The finger finally has to be pointed at the person who is in the lead role, no matter how skilled he is at deflection of responsibility to others.
All Buono had to do is to direct Khari Jones to give Johnson 12-15 touches per game or 10-12 carries per game. He could have done that in the past. Buono could have directed Jones to run the football more, in the second half, when we had a big lead. He didn't and therefore, he is just as responsible as Jones.
Its time for Buono to exit. If there was a Normie Kwong or a Bobby Ackles above Buono to help guide his decision making I might feel somewhat differently. But Buono has been basically running the show on his own since 2007 and he is not bright enough or wise enough, as well as too rigid in his thinking, to be left alone to his own devices.
Buono made a mistake in returning to coaching. He should have left his 2011 Grey Cup win as his exit from coaching. Missing coaching is one thing. That is understandable. But unfortunately, Buono's ego was also involved. He looked down at his Leos, from the cherry picker and above, at B.C. Place with and believed if he was still coaching the team they would be hoisting Grey Cups because he was a football genius.
So, with that kind of thinking, as well as seeing himself as a White Knight and Savior, he returned to the sidelines. The results this season speak for themselves. He deluded himself that our Leos would also turn things around this season, just as they had in 2011.
But Buono forgot, that in 2011, his team was 0-5 and 1-6 and had gone 8-10 the two previous seasons and was under considerable heat to retire as Head Coach. That caused him to finally make some strategy changes that finally needed to be made.
Buono waited until the 14 game of this season to make some changes. We changed the way we practice this past week, added some plays on offence and some blitzes on defence but it was too late and the changes were not enough. We still went into this game with one running play and we still ran some offensive pass plays where there was no check down receiver (and all of our receivers were 20 yards downfield while Jennings was running for his life).
On defense, while we blitzed more often in this game, our blitzes were not well designed nor were they very effective. Perhaps if we had done that earlier in the season we would have been better at them.
We still continued our penchant for not preparing properly for an opponent. Blitzing a linebacker is not a reason for being beaten on a deep ball by a double move. Game tape would show that Ellingson loves to use double moves. But we continuously don't prepare and game plan for opponents properly.
One reason that Calgary is continuing to play so well is that Hufnagel does a lot of pre-scouting for Dickenson. Our coaching philosophy to our players is to focus on ourselves and to 'execute'. The results of this approach can be seen over and over, especially in the playoffs when opposing teams exploit our weaknesses on defence, while shutting down our offence.
We need a different approach if this Leos squad, which has tons of talent, is ever going to play in the Big Dance again.
In 2013 Mike Benevedes had an 11-7 record, the same record as Wally last year. In 2014 Benevedes team had a 9-9 record and lost badly in the Semi-Final. Buono fired Benevedes. The fact that Buono was very 'hands on' during Benevedes tenure as HC was never questioned.
The Lions dealt with a number of injuries on offence throughout 2014. Lulay played just one game, running back Andrew Harris and wide receiver Courtney Taylor were lost for the season, and the offensive line was beat up for long stretches.
Benevedes also had to deal with two new coordinators in 2014 because Buono fired Stubler and Chap and Buono mutually agreed to part ways.
"There are no excuses' was Buono's refrain. “That team should have been good enough to execute better (against Montreal),” said Buono.
Buono fired Benevedes, even though he had a 33-21 record, no losing seasons, a playoff berth in his final year and two years remaining on the contract extension he had signed with Buono earlier in the 2014 season.
This season our Leos have mostly been injury free.
This season Wally will likely finish the season with a worse record than Benevedes did in 2014 and he will not make the playoffs. Buono's team last year 'should have been able to better execute' against Calgary, in the playoffs last year, using the same line that Buono used for Benevedes playoff loss, before he fired him.
Buono said at the time:
I need to re-establish a tradition, an expectation, and the only way to do that is to start fresh,''. "I don't believe that I would be fresh.I'm not of the new age. I have a hard time understanding the new player. I have a hard time understanding young people. As much as I love them, I have a hard time. I think we need to get somebody here that can do that.''
No truer words were spoken and then unheeded.
Buono, the GM needs to fire Buono, the HC, for the same reason that he fired Benevedes. Hypocrisy is having a different standard for yourself than others.
"When I went to Catholic high school in Philadelphia, we just had one coach for football and basketball. He took all of us who turned out and had us run through a forest. The ones who ran into the trees were on the football team". (George Raveling)