Even the pundits who had been defending Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach Corey Chamblin, saying he deserved a chance to rebuild the CFL team, can no longer defend someone who looks like he’s trying to get fired.
I’m one of those pundits. My first column for 3DownNation called him “Mr. Untouchable,’’ saying that Chamblin’s reputation and job could survive an 0-18 season. Wading through recent columns in which I lambasted his porous defence and his knee-jerk sideline tactics, with an added penchant for relying on washed-up veteran players, I realize Chamblin has proven me wrong. His incompetence has been showing as the team has suffered through nine straight losses, most of them directly attributable to his atrocious decisions.
The way Chamblin handled his team Sunday during a 35-13 loss to the home-town Ottawa Redblacks is indefensible. It showed he is totally incapable of building a football team into a contender.
He basically held up his middle digit, told Rider Nation to f*** off, that he was never wrong and he would gladly take a buyout so he didn’t have to coach here anymore. We estimate that Chamblin makes $300,000 annually, so buying out 2 1/2 seasons of his contract would cost the wealthy, community-owned franchise $750,000.
General manager Brendan Taman has given Chamblin everything he asked for. Every time Chamblin wanted a veteran player, one was brought in. Taman let Chamblin handle the dual roles of head coach and defensive co-ordinator; he failed at both this season. He allowed Chamblin to get rid of every player and every coach who questioned the coach’s authority, leaving the bloated, 15-member coaching staff devoid of anyone capable of becoming a head coach. That all happened because Taman had faith in Chamblin, his choice for head coach, who he signed through 2017 with the notion of leading the team into its new stadium.
Taman, like all general managers, should get another opportunity to hire a head coach. It’s the way the business operates.
Taman has to dump Chamblin before the coach is allowed to continue destroying promising players like Brett Smith, the gutsy quarterback who was yanked during the second quarter of Saskatchewan’s latest loss after throwing an end-zone interception. Chamblin inserted Tino Sunseri, who once again proved he’s incapable of playing in the CFL. Rather than discuss the mistake with his coaches, Smith apparently lashed out verbally and — as punishment for wanting to win, or worse, questioning Chamblin — was marooned, steaming mad, on the sidelines.
In the fiery aftermath, we’re now waiting for the media conference to announce the Roughriders are dumping the coach who led them to the 2013 Grey Cup.