Realty One

Thursday, November 5, 2015


Corey Chamblin harbours no resentment towards the Saskatchewan Roughriders for his dismissal as head coach but believes he deserved more time to reverse the struggling CFL club's fortunes.

Saskatchewan fired Chamblin and GM Brendan Taman on Aug. 31 after starting the season 0-9. The move came less than two years after the Riders earned just their fourth Grey Cup title and first on home soil.

"There was no good way for it to happen but the toughest part is the way it happened,'' Chamblin said via telephone from his off-season home near Phoenix. "I should've at least finished the season and had a greater chance to turn it around with different personnel.

"I think you have to look at the situation and what transpired and ask, 'Did it infuse life?' I left and I don't think there was that much more progress since.''

Saskatchewan (2-15) is 2-6 under interim head coach Bob Dyce and concludes its season Sunday in Montreal.

"You go through (CFL), even here down south ... it's hard to win when you're down to your third quarterback,'' Chamblin said. "When you get down to that, there's a lot of learning that must happen so there has to be a level of patience there.

"But for (coaches) there's patience and then there's impatience saying, 'Well, hell, I better win now because it may be my head so let's keep pushing ahead instead of going the patient route.'''

Chamblin was 29-34 over three-plus seasons in Saskatchewan and 3-2 in the playoffs. The Riders made the post-season three times, winning the '13 Grey Cup.

After starting the 2014 campaign 1-2, Saskatchewan won seven straight and appeared poised to make a strong title defence. But after starter Darian Durant suffered a season-ending elbow injury, the Riders dropped seven of their final nine games, including the division semifinal to Edmonton.

Saskatchewan lost Durant to a season-ending Achilles injury in its 2015 opener before veteran backup Kevin Glenn (torn pectoral) was hurt in a 31-21 loss to Hamilton on July 26. That forced rookie Brett Smith under centre until Glenn returned Sept. 19 for a 30-27 defeat to Ottawa.

"You don't go from five wins the year before to 8-10 and into the playoffs (in 2012), then 11-7, then 10-8,'' Chamblin said. "OK, you're 0-and-whatever but gone after one bad season? Excuse me, a half of a bad season?

"The one thing I tell people is when you're in coaching, you have to expect your coaching death. My picture perfect (scenario) was to win a couple of Grey Cups and move from there ... but no matter how you look at it there's no perfect way to say good-bye when there's a firing.''

But the move didn't surprise Chamblin, the 2013 CFL coach of the year.

When Saskatchewan fell to 0-3, stories began surfacing of Riders fans wanting a coaching change. A defiant Chamblin responded, "There's two podiums waiting at the end of the year - a championship podium or a cross - and I'm prepared for either one of them. At the end of the day, I'll still work and I'll still be a great coach whether it's here in Saskatchewan this year or somewhere else next year or the next couple of years.''

Taman gave Chamblin a vote of confidence, but Chamblin said it was too late.

"I told Brendan, and you can ask him, I didn't believe that because it was too loud for a team that won the (2013) Grey Cup and was 8-2 (in 2014) until we lost our starting quarterback,'' Chamblin said. "I said, 'I've been around this long enough to read the signs and I just don't see it. I'll be lucky to stay until Labour Day.'
"That kind of gave me a hint ... it was too loud for what we had done.''

Chamblin, 38, looks positively upon his time in football-mad Regina. The Riders' post was his first as a head coach and came just six years after he broke into the pro coaching ranks.

"There's no way to get ready for big-time football unless you've worked in Saskatchewan in that environment,'' he said. "It was such a great opportunity for a young coach.

"The biggest thing for me is out of 41 coaches there, only four of us won the Grey Cup and what made mine so special was it happened in Regina.''

Chamblin, who remains under contract with Saskatchewan through 2016, said some positive lessons he learned in Regina were how to be a head coach, win a championship in a frenzied market and deal with media while also getting a glimpse into the management side of pro football. As for the bad, Chamblin joked people will have to wait for his tell-all book.

"The biggest thing I learned was when you compromise, you lose,'' he said. "There were some things I believed in and some things I compromised on and I think that caused some losses.

"People talk about working together but as the head guy there can't be any compromise."

(Canadian Press)


Anonymous said...

Let's hear Taman's side of the story. Someone give the guy a call asap for his response to Chamberlain's (chamblin's) comments.

Anonymous said...

He's a great coach, just ask him.

Anonymous said...

Ego bigger than all outdoors. Howcome all the other teams are doing well with 2nd and third stringers and the Riders didn't have a hope.

Anonymous said...

He lost 16 out of his last 18 games and it was too early??? I don't think so Corey!

Anonymous said...

So many saying who should be Coach and GM. I will weigh in but don’t think I can choose. Those who have gone through a staff selection should know your best choices are made by being thorough and doing the proper job. You also need a proper pool of prospects.
Looking back on Chamblin, I feel we were seeing an evolution of a young man maturing in a pretty senior role, but I am not sure I like how he evolved. I remember watching Kent Austin’s evolution prior to 2007 and that special year. Remember in the 2007 season, he had a dozen broken leg injuries and we survived to win the Grey Cup….How come? Well my take is that Austin has a brilliant mind. He assesses talent at a level only the elite can….he is an HR Manager and you need that quality more than any as a Coach…..why did he say back then that Darian would be a good Quarterback? I think he understood his intellect. The best quarterbacks have this intellect….but the really good ones have talent and a work ethic to go with this intellect. He certainly consented to Kerry Joseph departure….as a good HR person he got the most out of Joseph in 2007….a level of performance Joseph never saw in any other year.
Look at Ryan Dinwiddie. He has progressed as a coach in tough situations…..perhaps he did not evolve to be a better QB because he did not have the elite talent you need as a Quarterback, but he must have the intellect.
Austin’s seems to have this knack to recognize those special qualities to be a good player. I remember his handling of Andy Fantuz that year. In 2007 he surrounded himself with qualified educators like Ken Miller, Paul Lapolice, and Richie Hall. Austin was smart enough to use these people to develop the people that replaced all those broken legs….the next man up was what everyone believed.
So many say the 2007 season was Roy Shivers Team and that Austin and Tillman inherited it, but where did players like DJ Flick, and Abou-mecherik come from….many more were inserted into this team. Why did player additions like these not happen? But more importantly why did the players added to the roster in 2014 not rise to the higher level we saw in 2007?
Those that call Taman the bum, not providing good replacements, need to give this a second thought. In 2012 he brought in a number of Running backs, when the dust settled Sheets was left standing but he really was not effective until 2013 when he learned the Canadian Game. In 2014 they brought in running backs the same way….too many fumbles resulted in no one rising to the surface, but were they really coached the same way as they were in 2012 and 2013. Perhaps Chamblin’s influence was different, remember he was evolving as a coach benching or cutting players for fumbling was something new we saw. Was that George Cortez philosophy? Or did Cory start impacting his influence and the result was his evolution?

Anonymous said...

Those that call for so much change need to remember the Canadian Football game gets 60% of its talent from the USA game and the top 80% of the most talented players come from this same system. Their game is so much different, so these Americans deserve extra handling to learn. Proper education and coaching is needed to grow these fellows into our league. Very few of these boys understand the differences instantly. The team needs to invest in teaching coaches that can take those average players to a higher level….did Mark Mueller have a special role in Jerome Messam’s play on Saturday….I think so…..Remember this is a team game and those coaches are part of the success of the team. At one point I supported Chamblin and his approach, but George Cortez and Richie Hall did not get stupid over one year (2014)……Perhaps Chamblin’s evolution is all that changed that year. On a positive note I saw something new with Chamblin….at one point he had a lot of Coaches…..Coaches for the Defensive Ends, and another for the Defensive Tackles, Coaches for the Corner Backs and another for the inside backs…..we always refer back to Eddie Davis the coach on the field and wasn’t this going on then. I think this approach was bang on but why did we get away from this in 2015?
Finally give Taman credit for bring us Geroy Simon and Rickie Foley which were the moves that put us over the top and they should be viewed like the trades the Blue Jays did in 2015…..Remember Simon came here and did virtually nothing but his role in the Grey Cup Game has to be viewed as a special contribution by Taman. He was a back-up all year but in the Grey-cup he was like Austin says ‘Next Man up’.
If O’Day is not the GM next year I can live with this. Desjardins in Ottawa apprenticed for a number of years and look what he has done in Ottawa. O’Day will get his day and an ongoing development under a more senior GM cannot hurt him. If Huffnagle or Tillman become available you have to recognize their track record. If they are not available then we will have to settle with the unproven O’Day. Remember O’Day has demonstrated good leadership both as a player and in the roles he has had after playing.
As a coach you need someone like Austin with a brilliant mind, maybe Lapolice, but more importantly you need to give him a brilliant group of Assistants and finally why have we not invested in a personal coach for the Quarterbacks. It is the most important position and needs the special attention. What Mark Mueller did to get Messam up to speed should demonstrate this.

Anonymous said...

Last comment says it all. When you compromise you lose. Just another way of saying that it was someone else's fault.

I miss the Chamblin from 2012 & 2013. Happy to see the Chamblin from 2014 & 2015 gone.

Anonymous said...

The guy deserved time alright! 5 to 10 years in prison for fraudulently impersonating a football coach.

Anonymous said...

Looks like he's doing well , riding a bike that is.

Anonymous said...

He'll still end up in the Riders Plaza of 'Honour' along with Taman.

Parkside said...

"win and move on"... I'd like to see guys WIN and WANT to CONTINUE WINNING.

Anonymous said...

Chamblin gives himself way too much credit for 2013. My pet monkey Bubbles could have easily coached that team to victory while also entertaining as the half time show.

Micle Jacksan

Anonymous said...

65 Yard Field Goal Attempt!!!
Putting in TINO instead of SMITH!!!!
Defensive GURU!!!!!!!!!!!!