Realty One



Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Calgary Stampeders head coach John Hufnagel would have preferred his locker-room comments not be on television for all to hear after last week's win over the B.C. Lions.

His message to his football team was their execution wasn't nearly good enough to win another Grey Cup.

Hufnagel was heard opening with "I don't want to rain on your party. You've got to be better than that'' and ending with "this type of performance ain't getting it done'' after a 35-23 victory over the Lions.

Although Hufnagel also praised his team for the win, his closing remark was a buzzkill.

"I wish it was something that wasn't televised,'' Hufnagel said Tuesday after practice at McMahon. "I did congratulate them on winning the game first. The TV didn't come in until I was halfway through.

"We didn't play to the level that you need to win big football games. I wanted them to understand we can't play bad football and expect to be a championship football team.''

Calgary takes their league-topping 9-3 record into Winnipeg on Friday against the Blue Bombers (4-8). The Stampeders can get to double-digit wins for the eighth straight year since Hufnagel took over as head coach and general manager.

The plan is for Hufnagel to step aside as head coach after this season to make way for offensive co-ordinator Dave Dickenson in 2016. Hufnagel will continue on as GM in the final year of his contract.

But before that transition occurs, the Stampeders are still his team and the 64-year-old wants them to defend their Grey Cup title.

The Montreal Alouettes (2009-10) and the Toronto Argonauts (1996-97) are the only two teams to win back-to-back CFL championships in the last 31 years.

With the regular season down to its final third, Hufnagel believes his team should be peaking towards a return to the Grey Cup game Nov. 29 in Winnipeg.

He considers it backsliding to give up two 103-yard returns for touchdowns and to allow Lions third-string quarterback Jonathan Jennings the chance in the fourth quarter to pull off an upset.

"The players know how much I appreciate them playing winning football,'' Hufnagel said.

"They also understand the little things that makes the difference between winning and losing. We survived the other night. I just want us to make sure we try not to put ourselves in that position again.''

Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell insists there wasn't any eye-rolling in the locker-room after Hufnagel's admonishment.

"What we love about Huf is he's going to walk in and going to tell us 'don't let a win sugarcoat what actually happened,''' Mitchell said.

"There was some bad football played out there. We know that. We had a big lead and we let a team come back and tie the game.''

The Stampeders have made the playoffs every year, won two Grey Cups and played in another during Hufnagel's tenure.

Running back Rob Cote has been a Stampeder through it all. He says that success comes from establishing a culture in which sometimes winning isn't good enough.

"The culture is getting better every week,'' Cote explained. "No matter where you start, you need to finish better than you were last week. That's where he's coming from.

"A guy like that who achieves his level of success and excellence, it doesn't happen by accident and it doesn't happen overnight. We don't celebrate small victories.

"We're working towards a goal that was the exact same as last year. We have a goal we want to accomplish this season and he goes about it the only way he knows how to try and accomplish that.''

A day after acquiring return specialist Skye Dawson from the Edmonton Eskimos, the Stampeders released rookie receiver Nathan Slaughter on Tuesday.

Veteran returner Tim Brown is on the six-game injured list with a knee injury suffered Sept. 7. He ran on the sidelines during Tuesday's practice and Hufnagel said Brown was ahead of schedule in his recovery.



Anonymous said...

Are all players on the 6 game exempt from the cap? Are they all injured?

Anonymous said...

That's what a top 3 team (every single year) coach does

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Well that's what you get with the big TSN contract, cameras all over the place. But Huf should have know they were going to be in the locker room at some point.

Don't sugarcoat wins-that's why they are a 9-3 team.

With Collaros gone for the year, the Stumps should be the real favorite.

Red said...

Huff leaves a message that "a win is a win" is unacceptable.This is after his club reached 9-3.
Ken Miller puts 13 men on the field for the biggest blunder in championship history and comes back as VP of Football operations.
This type of "aw shucks he is such a nice guy" mentality has given the Riders four championships in over 100 years.
Hopefully invisible Craig will break away from the "old boys club" and the "Saskatchewan way" of doing things and hire a top notch GM.
I told you so....

Anonymous said...

Doesn't Craig being labeled as 'invisible' show the first step in him breaking away. If i recall the previous guy always wanted to be in the limelight so as to be sure the success were his and the failure rode somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

Number of cups in 100 years is getting stale. In the cup 4/8 years doesn't count? Quit dumping on the Saskatchewan way. If we had private ownership there would be no Riders. (So winning is not the only thing, now it's how you played?)

Anonymous said...

Sk Rrs = Flutie brothers = VP/gm/head coach.

Anonymous said...

I wish these morons that keep throwing the 4 Grey Cups in 100 years out had some real knowledge of the history of football in Western Canada. Yes the Roughriders have been an organization for 100 years and that history is rich, but for all intensive purposes the first 50 years of our history our team and the other teams in western Canada had teams at the Junior level of quality. The Riders were the usual dominators. Prior to 1950, how many Grey cups do the Bombers, Eskimos, Stampeders and Lions have. Participation by Western teams was only ever encourage to give Football a National flavor. Prior to 1950 Champions only came from the Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, grid.

Anonymous said...


Your chirping about the "4 Cups in 100 years" only shows how little you understand the history of the CFL, the era before WWII and the creation of the CFL and the long history of the Grey Cup, dominated by eastern teams for many decades long ago.

What I think is more significant is how the Riders were able to appear in so many Grey Cup games despite there being no salary cap for much of those 100 years, and how the Riders were able to survive for so long in a small market thanks to community support and indeed how they lived to thrive in the modern era.

Old Hank

Red said...

This is typical of Saskatchewan, driving forward looking in the rear view mirror. Facts are facts, the Riders grey cup championship record is horrible.
The sooner people realize that being"close", or just "being competitive" isn't acceptable the sooner the entire franchise will move in the right direction.
It is about winning, and that's all it should be about... always.Being close isn't good enough.
Buy a Grey Cup every year if that's what it takes.
Like Ricky Bobby said" If you aint first .. your last!"
I told you so...

Anonymous said...

I think you mean "intents and purposes", Ricky.

Anonymous said...

how are the Riders looking back?

Your looking back by referring to four grey cups in 100 years. Guess what only one team in the CFL will win the Grey Cup this year. All the others won't and will therefore fail. By your theory either a team like Calgary or Hamilton will be last because they aren't first and that having a competitive year wasn't acceptable.

If Hamilton doesn't win it this year, how are they different than any other team? How are they different than the Riders?

Anonymous said...

Are you serious? Oblivious? Or just plain stupid? Take a constructive look at the mess the Roughriders are in. Their on field product destroyed by not having the proper personel in place for professional sports. Hamilton has a solid entertaining franchise since Mr Young took ownership, placing solid management personal/structure necessary to the building blocks that competes for CFL GC title on a consistent basis. Roughriders, just pathetic. That whole organization has to be called into question top to bottom, it's not working.

Anonymous said...

No one called into question the Ti-Cat "organization" from "top to bottom" when they went through a long period of putrid teams under owner Bob Young. All he did was offer Kent Austin a great heap of cash and control of football ops. Now, after many years the Ti-Cats are on the brink of a Grey Cup ... except .. like the Riders they have now lost their MVP. Oh well, there is always next year.

Anonymous said...

Red...I agree with your sentiments 100%! I can only wish that the Riders had even a bit of that Stamps culture (even though I despise that team) where "sometimes winning isn't good enough", as compared to the pathetic excuses from those responding against your view.

Anonymous said...

Bob Young did not sit on his hands in Hamilton nor did his team President Scott Mitchell. They built the business side up with legitimate people, not that human plant Steve Mazurak.

Bob Young has had a lot of lauded people on the football ops side, but would pull the trigger if it wasn't happening. Marcel Desjardins, Charlie Taffe, Bob O'Billovich, George Cortez - he gives the resources and it's up to them. He's got Kent Austin now and what he's done is a miracle. It takes brass ones to cut Henry Burris after a Grey Cup loss. In Regina you guys want to keep Kevin Glenn.

There is a reason why some guys are winners and others are losers.

I'm glad the Roughriders are right where they are supposed to be.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Young has the astute forwithall wisdom to address his franchise/team deficiencies by hiring Mr. Kent Austin a proven winner on and off the field of play. Whereas the Roughriders released the man personally responsible for 2 of their 4 CFL Grey Cup Championships to their team history. Money talks, bullsh*t walks

Anonymous said...

Please join the Riders this winter Huffer.

Anonymous said...

Austin asked for his freedom to go back home to be with his sick mother and to coach at Ol Miss. It had nothing to do with money.

Having Kevin Glenn as an experienced back-up, of which there are few around, in case Durant gets hurt is logical and sensible. Imagine the outcry had the Riders not signed Glen and in week two we were left with Tino.

Handy Andy said...

I don't like Hufnagel but sure do respect him. I agree with him that you have to dissect your wins and get better after each game. Perfection is the aim.

Anonymous said...

Exactly Red typical sask mentality it's that thinking that gives you 4 grey cups like it or not!!Nothing but excuses and the good old boys that drove this team right into the ground and it's happening all over again.Also can someone tell me when Calgary ever started 1-11?