Ticat legend Angelo Mosca has been a semi-regular presence at practice during Jeff Reinebold’s four years with the club, offering his wisdom and guidance to players and his opinions – strong opinions – to coaches. So as the defensive coordinator, Reinebold knows he’ll have to face Big Ang if things don’t go well.
“Angelo is going to kick my ass at the 55-yard line,” Reinebold said Monday after his new role was officially announced. “I guarantee it.”
But it was the long shadow cast by Mosca and the other Hamilton greats that drew Reinebold to the job in the first place, precipitating his move from special teams coordinator and linebackers coach to defensive leader. At 59 and with 35 years of coaching experience – including 13 in the CFL – Reinebold knows both the game and its history, rattling off names like Covington, Zambiasi, Tiggle, and Henley.
“There’s a different sense of responsibility that you feel to that legacy because it was born on the backs of some incredible players,” Reinebold said. “Now it’s about getting young players to understand that history and play up to that standard.”
For head coach Kent Austin, the move is more about the here and now. By tapping Reinebold to replace the departed Orlondo Steinauer, who left last month for a coordinator job with a high-profile U.S. college, Austin says the team will be able to maintain some semblance of continuity.
“You have to look at the entire dynamic of the staff, complimentary skill sets, knowledge, experience, personalties and kind of piece the puzzle together accordingly,” Austin said. “I did consider if it was more disruptive to do it this way and we felt this was the best choice by far.”
In addition to his special teams role, Reinebold served as linebackers coach for the past three seasons and likened the transition from Steinauer to the passing of the baton.
“The terminology will stay the same, schematically we’ll base everything off what we’ve done because it’s who we are,” Reinebold said. “Why fix something that isn’t broken? We’ve played some really good defence the last four years.”
Austin had high praise for Steinauer as well but said there would be some changes under Reinebold.
“I still think we want to be multiple with our looks, we want to be multiple with our blitzes and our pressure packages, we want to continue to keep those creative,” Austin said. “However, I think there’s times when we need to simplify a little bit, line up and play football aggressively.”
Reinebold has spent much of his off-season in Europe where he is a NFL analyst for Britain’s Sky Sports, just the latest stop in a nomadic football existence that has allowed him to travel all over the world. But 2017 will mark his fifth season in Hamilton, the longest he’s stayed in any one place.
“I really feel this; there’s something unique and special that’s been created here,” he said. “After you get through your ego stage where it’s all about you, the greatest joy you have in coaching is to see your players succeed. I want our players to hold the trophy as the confetti comes down. That’s what I’m in it for.”
Angelo would approve.
Notes: Austin said the search for a new special teams coordinator is already under way and that the successful candidate will come from outside the organization. He hopes to have the full coaching staff ready to announce in a couple of weeks… Austin had some kind words for former Ticat quarterback Henry Burris, who is expected to announce his retirement from the CFL on Tuesday after 17 seasons and his recent Grey Cup win with the Ottawa Redblacks. “It’s a credit to his love for the game, his desire to keep himself physically capable of playing and he was genetically blessed too,” Austin said. “He had a great career and will be a hall-of-fame quarterback. And deservedly so.”