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Monday, August 3, 2015


REGINA -- By the time you read this, Corey Chamblin may have already been fired.

But I highly doubt it.  And the more I hear and think about it, he may not be dismissed at all.

Amidst the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ 0-6 start, which included a 30-5 loss at Edmonton on Friday, a report came out via TSN over the weekend that Rider GM Brendan Taman was set to recommend the firing of head coach Corey Chamblin to club President Craig Reynolds.

No one knows where TSN insider Gary Lawless got this information.

Oddly, this came less than a week after Lawless told the nation Taman would not be firing Chamblin, thus putting his own job in jeopardy.

Hence, the top sentence of this column.  Things are changing by the minute here in Riderville and I’ve been doing my best to stay in the shadows and try to report only the correct information, if any at all.

So as of today, Chamblin is employed by the Saskatchewan Roughriders as head coach.  In fact Saturday night, Chamblin told a reporter it’s “business as usual”.

However Chamblin’s paid to win football games and the club is 0-6.  The speculation is reasonable.

But let’s go back for a second and examine Friday’s game and the reason this club is off to its worst start since 1979.

After the game the players and the coach generally agreed they had one of their better games on defense all year, holding Edmonton to 23 or so points (7 were scored on a pick six thrown by rookie Rider quarterback Brett Smith).

The trouble here is the Roughriders won the coin toss but gave the Eskimos the ball and the wind to open the game.  The home team promptly marched the ball 76-yards down the field and opened the scoring with a 27-yard touchdown reception by Kenny Stafford for a 7-0 lead at the 5:40 mark.  That’s all the offense they’d need for the rest of the game.

So there’s that.

Saskatchewan quarterback Brett Smith was in a hole before he even took his first pro snap.  And then the penalties started.  The Rider players had said before the game they all needed to help out their rookie quarterback by cleaning up their game but they then proceeded to take 17 penalties for 127 yards.   Many of them took great plays, and first downs, by Smith and his receivers off the board.  Every offensive lineman was flagged on the night with the exception of Brendon Labatte.  The receivers took turns going offside.

The Riders averaged 13.6 penalties per game going into the Edmonton contest so they far exceeded that total Friday night.  And Chris Jones’ Eskimos kept their penalty total down to seven in this game.

The Riders are in no way a disciplined team, although we’ve been told otherwise.

And therefore, Chamblin is on the hotseat at 0-6.

No matter that the Riders’ top two quarterbacks are down and the club has been hit by a rash of adversity.

These are not your Dad’s Roughriders.  Losing will not be tolerated.

“Oh ya there’s no setback on that end,” Brendan Taman told me before Friday’s game.  “This is a ‘wins’ business.  Whoever’s playing at whatever position, we’re expected to go win the game.”

My follow-up question to that was if Taman’s getting an edict from the higher-ups of “make the playoffs or else!”?

“We’ve been in the business long enough to know they don’t have to say much for us to know we have to win,” Taman explained.  “Whatever comes from above, comes from above.  But all me and Corey can do is put the best guys out there and try to win games.  We’re working towards that and hopefully we can get that accomplished.”

The TSN report threw the franchise into chaos over the weekend.  President Craig Reynolds probably felt like he’s trying to navigate a monsoon in a dingy.  He and Taman huddled up on Sunday but the contents of their meeting aren't known.  At least not by me.

I was half expecting to hear Chamblin walked into the offices and demanded to be fired given the fact he was effectively pantsed on national television Saturday afternoon.  Could you blame him?

However from what I can gather, he hasn’t.

And a CFL powerbroker told me the possible replacements named by Lawless - Paul Lapolice and Mike Benevides – are hesitant to come here due to the toxic environment which has been created.

How could you tie a can to Chamblin with no one lined up to replace him?

Stay tuned.  This will only get more interesting from here on in.

Brendan Taman will be on 620 CKRM's SportsCage today (Holiday Monday) at 5:05 pm to discuss the latest.



Anonymous said...

That's a heck of a good MMG Rod. The only way it could be better would be if you had added two words. Right after " the toxic environment which has been created." should be 'by Chamblin'

Anonymous said...

We have a lame duck gm prob, oldest team, no future qb at all. Impatient fan base, new president, rat on board.Plus 0-6 record. Both bene and lapo were fired after first hc Job. One more failure and hard to get the stink off.

My advice. Trade chick, brack, dress, getz. Anyone over 28. They will need a solid 2 years of rebuild through Canadian draft. Stock picks. Sure it sucks but every team needs a rebuild every 5 years or so.

Anonymous said...

Toxic environment has now been created full circle by a gm and his chosen head coach. Anyone with any sense of sensibility in the business world can see this clearly, and the only option is to start all over with a new gm who will bring in his own staff. It's clear from this article Saskatchewan has become a place where others will not come to unless a organizational restructure is implemented starting with the gm no one wants to work under. His abysmal overall win, loss record, plus his unprofessional football method of recruitment and development not conducive to a long term winning product on and off the field of play.

Anonymous said...

WOW!!!! Anon 2 has been sipping from the cough medicine bottle a little too hard.

Thanks for the advice Tips now beat it!

Anonymous said...

Every team does not need rebuild in a 9 team league. Give your head a shake.

Anonymous said...

So Penton comes up with something outlandish and you take him from pillar to post and go after his credibility and yet Lawless comes up with a second outlandish take and you take it with calm and grace. Where there is smoke, there is fire. Corey Chamblin has one game left in his Riders coaching career. You know that Rod so tell the world or has Taman/Reynolds/Morsky not come up with a gameplan for what spin you should give this. Come clean!

Sandra Larson said...

Thank you so much for this! I agree. There are too many reasons to not fire Chamblin and I know the other available coaches would never be better than him. I pray they don't do this because I think it would set the organization back decades and I for one would lose all respect for the organization.

Anonymous said...

Can't say I blame Lapolice or Benevides. I wouldn't want to work for Taman.

Anonymous said...

I am not a fan of Chamblain. I don't think he is a defensive wiz he believes he is. That being said, losing Two starting qb's is difficult to overcome. We had a shot at turning things around, not saying we can't but a rookie quarterback at the helm. No off nose to Smith, but his experience is not there.
Will firing Chamblain solve the Qb issue. nope. We are in tough until Glenn comes back

However the Riders and Chamblain need to come through the realization that our defencive scheme is not that great. Suck it up and hire Benevides as the defensive co-ordinated/ assistant head coach.

Changing things now will do no Good.


Anonymous said...

Scott MCauley would be a better choice than Lapolice!!

Anonymous said...

Rebuild? OK. Whatever. Clearly Anon 2 had no clue what he's talking about. Clearly a bandwagon fan who gets his football knowledge from a Madden video game.

This team has lots of talent up and down the roster. Injuries are the only reason this team isn't 6-0 and not 0-6. Stay the course and next year we'll be winners again.

Rebuild. LOL

Anonymous said...

How does Getzlaf stay in the starting 12 when he keeps making stupid mistakes. He needs to be removed from the equation going forward. Chamblin would have probably earned some points had he gone after him the way he went after Demski. He took at least two and maybe a third in Edmonton. Get him off the field!

Anonymous said...


Signed: Canada West football coaches!!

Anonymous said...

So after weeks of not having sponsorship for MMG your own agent finally steps up? Sounds like when daddy buys the 4H cow that nobody is bidding on...

Anonymous said...

A few things:

1) This is why I defended Kent Austin. You don't stay in Saskatchewan as they can't wait to see you fail or to run you out of here. Hindsight is 20/20, but 2013 they went over the salary cap, and had everyone in their prime. He should have bolted to the NFL Draft and handed out his resume. Chamblin came from the NFL and he'd do well there. - Austin did it and don't give me the moving home to be with family. He had 3 jobs since 2007 and parlayed it into full control in Hamilton.

The thinking in Riderville is fire Chamblin and replace him with two under achievers in Benevedes and LaPolice.

2) The QB issue of being a rookie is bunk. Calgary had Bo Levi Mitchell sitting on the bench for years. Cato in Montreal is a raw rookie, and Crompton was around and excelled when he got to Montreal. We pick the wrong QBs, and Durant was a Roy Shivers find for the record.

3) The talent isn't there to be a winner on the team, and that's not coaching.

My prediction is Chamblin makes it to the end of the season, and Reynolds to show some sack will fire both him and Taman. He'll probably fire Mazurak too, and put his stamp on this franchise.

...oh by the way Eric Tillman still lives in Regina and he'd probably be welcomed back.

Y'er Welcome

Dennis said...

Greg Marshall's last game was a loss in Toronto, Chamblin's next game is in Toronto. Hmmm is history repeating itself? As for coaches not wanting to come here because of the toxic environment, Danny Barrett came here after the disastrous 1999 season when the cupboards were bare, anybody that wants to be a head coach bad enough will take the job.

Anonymous said...

Of course Lapolice says that because we he doesn't get called for the job AGAIN he can blame it on the current environment.

Anonymous said...

Like Obama, I too think Roy Shivers deserves a second shot at GM in Sask. Afterall, he does have more connections than Sasktel.

Bay Rock O.

Anonymous said...

All of you are out of your minds. Especially those calling for a fire sale and rebuild. Taman has built a strong team and injuries derailed us.

Anyone calling for a rebuild should find another team to root for. The Riders are for real. Wait and see.

Fools, the whole lot of you! Probably come to on game a year update think they can be a pro GM.

- Green Machinist

Anonymous said...

Why not Mark Mueller has head coach?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

You are the fool if you think everything is all peachy keen in Riderland! Injuries CAN NEVER be used as an excuse to why the team is failing! BECAUSE!!! Every damn team in the CFL deals with Injuries and at least more than Three other teams have been hit as hard as the Riders: OTT, EDM and CGY are good examples of teams who have lost a number of players but are having success, because despite the Injuries they find ways to win! -saying the Riders are for real? Wow! You keep telling yourself that as the Riders go to 0-7, 0-8.. CAUSE THEY AIN'T GONNA BEAT TORONTO!AND THEY WON'T BEAT CALGARY AFTER THE BYE WEEK! The Only thing that's real is the problem that needs to be addressed ( and will be soon!) And that is change in Rider Nation! - thank you, good day!

Anonymous said...

Obama is becoming as whacky as a gopher in a bathtub!

Who in Sask would welcome back Tillman after that sad debacle of yesteryear? Get a grip on reality Obama!

His ongoing smear of Steve Mazurak is just another sign of Obama's increasingly demented mind.

His silly "they went over the salary cap in 2013" really takes the cake! Yea right, by an amount as significant as one more fly in my outhouse.

But its good to know he "defended Kent Austin", I am sure he is in your debt.

The talent may be a bit short at the moment, but it may have a bit to do with injuries in key positions, something Obama ignores in his pointless essay.

Old Hank

Anonymous said...

Change is Good!

Tom Mulcair

Anonymous said...

People - the reason coaches do not want to come to the Riders has nothing to do with BT. It is because of the idiot fans. Just look at the posters on this blog. It's because of you !!!!! You the fans have created the toxic situation !!!!!!

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that there are some inside the Riders that want CC fired and badly - why the leaks.

Anonymous said...

I for one hope Chamblin doesn't get fired, he is a good coach. Taman is a different story. Like someone else pointed out his overall record is TERRIBLE!!!! It would be interesting if Taman got fired and they left Chamblin in to finish the season, I wonder if they would start to turn things around. Lapolice should not be a consideration. Doesn't everyone remember how he cost the Riders the Grey Cup a few years aqo with the 13 men on the field. That was Lapos fault, not to mention the brutal job he did in Winnipeg. If anyone hire's this guy they need their head examined. I say trade Getzlaf to Calgary for Drew Tate and watch this team start to turn things around.

Anonymous said...

Lol... the 13th man was Lapo's fault??? He was the offensive coordinator you putz! Kavis Reed was the coach at fault. And sean lucas was the extra man. You need some help with your poor memory bud.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather try to fix Chamblin than fire him. He's won coach of the year and a Grey Cup so he's not stupid. He's just gotten off track with his desire to take on the role of defensive coordinator. His ego is having a hard time with the idea that he's not great at being a defensive coordinator and while he's working at that he's letting his head coach duties slide.

The other mistake he's made is not bringing in high quality assistants on the defensive side. This may be an ego thing again.

The last thing he needs help to fix is his post game interviews. He's got to start publicly accepting some of the blame for a loss. I think his players will appreciated it and the fans will too.


Anonymous said...

Tillman coming back BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Shivers coming back BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Mazurak getting the heave ho. That will happen before the stadium opens up. Mark my words on that

O'Day will be the new GM of this team very, very soon.

Wait and watch my friends, wait and watch!!

GB said...

So one of the main reasons the Riders are losing is because of all the penalties they are taking.

To quote you Rod ...... How RIDER - like

Anonymous said...

It all started when Cory Chamblin, who had just the right amount of ego to be Head Coach, yet slightly tipped the scales with too much ego, taking over as the person to make the calls for the teams defense.

Cory knew that Richie Hall would not take that, even Richie Hall knew he would not take that. It's called micro-management and it is a problem with young leaders (as someone who served for over 25 yrs on the military, I feel confident in my opinion).

Taman too, is at fault. He let it happen.

K in the West

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Al Ford!!!

Hey folks, we are trying to move forward not backward... Get your heads out of your back-end!


Taman, go and tell Chamblin to focus on Head Coaching only. As for our defensive co-ordinator, who's name escapes me because no person mentions him (primarily that Chamblin has taken over), either the Defensive Co-ordinator can do his job or hire someone who can. But don't have Cory focusing on more than being a Head Coach, that simply is not working.

This is all too bad, because when Chamblin was just an HC, things were pretty good in Riderville.


Anonymous said...

I would certainly agree with bringing Tillman back as GM but Shivers? Give me a break! The only color he could see was black. I am not a racist and to be honest there are more and better black athletes but Shivers was a little too much. Quit giving him so much undeserved credit. By the way, how much has he improved BC since he was hired there.

Anonymous said...

Get over Richie Hall for Pete's sake!

P in the East

Anonymous said...

John Frenzy would be GM of the Riders before you would see Tillman back!

Anonymous said...

I'm really thinking they are going to totally clean house after the Toronto game. Win or lose Chamblin is gone, and would nice to see Taman go as well. also, Greg Quick the phantom D coordinator.

I'm thinking Oday as Gm, Lapolice as Hc Benevidies as DC and need a QB coach...Badly.....

Anonymous said...

Rod, Thanks for all the info as usual. Will this press conference be on ckrm at 3 p.m? Polkabill from the Peg.

Anonymous said...

Lawless is nothing more than a Sheit disturber with nothing good to write about in the Peg. He has always rubbed salt in the wounds of the Riders and this is another one of his low class rants.


Porkside said...

If indeed some Rider "Senior Executive" (must be a small list) is feeding information or misinformation to a Winnipeg reporter, he needs to be exposed and fired. This is an issue I hope the Rider's President will speak to soon. If Lawless is just making this stuff up, then TSN needs to deal with him and terminate his contract with them. The whole think stinks to high heaven.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately this situation will end up like most other similar situations in sport and in business. This 0-6 skid is very bad at many levels, but really not unforeseen considering the massive number of long term injuries to key players. Who could function like that. If Toews, Kane, Seabrook and Keith were all out for a season or most of it, does Chicago even make the playoffs?

This fire somebody mantra has developed a life of it's own with poor CC being the object of many people contempt. When things go wrong it ALWAYS starts and ends at the top! However senior managers often fire middle managers to hide their own incompetence. It isn't till someone takes a sober look at things that they see the forrest as opposed to the tree. Sadly CC will likely be the the scapegoat for a situation that is for the most part, not his doing. The best thermometer for future performance is past performance. With that in mind BT's record as a GM and here should be look at with a very critical eye. Incompetence begins and ends at the top. Before the BOD get this right, there will likely be unwarranted casualties.

Anonymous said...

So, nothing is changing with the Riders? 0-18 and then both Chamblin and Taman will be fired. What good are my season tickets now? OMG! Do the fans not count anymore? I am totally disgusted!

Anonymous said...

Taman just fired himself at the end of this season deciding to stay with Chamblin.

Anonymous said...

well I think changing coaches midseason will not work but I feel taman has to sit down chamblin and tell him this one you are not the defensive coordinator. Chamblin has to park ego and realize too many people starting are there on rep and we must seriously infuse youth because playoff in the words of jim mora "PLAYOFFS" are out of question. Taman has to evaluate who is the future of the riders and if they are not in plans within the next couple either trade or release them and have people who want to play. Keep smith at qb sit the following players as their salary does not match the production..Richardson, getzlaf, George, Hall and even think chick, macho man has to go.

In addition here are my grades for this team after 6 games
QB- A- we have been getting good production and quality play
RB-B+ quality running and receiving though pass blocking wanting
Recievers- C- dressler and smith get A but getzlaf, Richardson and others get D though demski gets incomplete due lack of body of work
O Line- C- good run blocking but have been so so in pass blocking and the penalties are unacceptable
DL- F- 1 out of 6 games we got pressure outside of that no pressure a lot of money tied up and no production
LB- D- yes doughty and knox are making many tackles but they are not in hole more down the field and one interception no fumble recoveries plus slopping tackling does not cut it
DB- F-- to many penalties no interceptions horrid tackling can one say more
Special teams - B- a surprising strength and a nice improvement over last year
Coaching- D- only thing that saves it from F is the offensive production and improvement in the teams the defense is like an anchor and in game strategy is mickey mouse
Overall ranking D+

Anonymous said...

I am not saying Richie Hall was the answer with the Defense, but I am saying this duo of defensive coordinators, mostly with Cory Chamblain as HC and DC, is not working. More to the point, it took some huge arrogance for Chamblain to say that he would do a better job than Richie Hall while also being the Head Coach.

Let's face it, the defense has been the achilles heal all season. The latest example, Edmonton had not scored on their opening drive all season long... That is, until Sask rolled into town... A huge momentum killer to start the game, similar in that the defense has let Saskatchewan and fans down all season long. Still no interceptions - unbelievable!!!

As for the untimely penalties, maybe a Head Coach who isn't so focused on the defense could actually do something about the penalties... It goes on and on...

K in the West

Anonymous said...

I'd love for Tillman to be back. Except that Hopson hates him and even though Jim is retired he will do everything in his power to tell Reynolds not to hire Tillman.

Anonymous said...

Tamans record as a GM: 83-104. Chamblin's HC record: 29-31

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the "New" Old Boys Club.

Anonymous said...

If anyone tells CC that he has to step away from the defensive coordinator position, you bruise his ego and then he's probably not going to want to be here next year. Injuries can not be used as an excuse as we didn't lose everyone in the first game. That's right the next guy in line is supposed to be able to step up and contribute or replace them. Look at some of the players that have been here and just were not good enough. Hello Shomari Williams and Sam Hurl.

TSN will not fire Lawless they need his second rate radio show in Winnipeg as the programming on that station is awful. He is a know it all with hockey also.

I don't see other teams struggling like we have even though they have second/third string never really played a game in the CFL BEFORE QBs behind center. Some of those losses are squarely on the coaching staff, maybe a 1st year coach could be excused. Face it our whole defensive coaching staff took off when Richie Hall left, that says something about Hall or Chamblin…. which one?

Maybe micro managing…….

The change has to start with Taman, and because bringing in guys like Alex Suber, KJ last year, etc recycling rather than recruiting and developing, trading away draft picks for underachievers. That is where the first change in the off season has to start.

Cooks Creek Connie.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Man I was at Commonwealth and getting tired of the 0-6 chants!! If we consider recent history (i.e. the last ten years) the Riders are much better franchise. Four Cup appearances and two cup wins versus the Esks 0! I would rather be a Rider fan any day! We will come back and be stronger than ever. Go Riders Go!


Anonymous said...

To Cooks Creek Connie,

Good job with your comments, I have been saying similar... It is all quite sad isn't it?

I think we have a young micro-manager in Cory Chamblin who should have been reeled in the moment he got involved with the defense.

Secondly, in Brendon Tamon, we have someone who should have done more micro managing by not allowing Chamblin to get involved with the defense; Taman should have ordered that Chamblin be a Head Coach only - at the beginning of the season.

To Cooks Creek, you're right that likely Chamblin's ego will be quite hurt if he is now ordered to lay off the defense; an embarrassment for him that's for sure. Again, Taman is at fault for letting this happen.

Kel in Victoria