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Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Former Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach Corey Chamblin gave an exclusive interview - his first since being fired on August 31, 2015 - to CFL blogger Andrew Buckholz on Tuesday.  Here are some excerpts from the interview:


CC: You know, I don’t think the fans…I think their expectations should always remain high. I think that any football team, excuse me, any sports club, you should have expectations. You know, on their side, they can have the high ones. But I think when you look internally, we have to know what direction that we’re going. There were some things…you know, we brought in Kevin [Glenn] as the backup to fix some problems that we had the year before. In that sense, a total rebuild. But we didn’t have the names and the talent that we had in '13 and some of that trickled down to '14. And that’s no disrespect to the guys that are there but you got a whole lot of new guys that are trying to learn, or teach them, and have to have them learn the game. So winning the Grey Cup was probably not in the cards this year.


CC: You know, I think the biggest thing is like I said, when you look at that, we went through a series of changes. You take a look at some players, you know, they had great years the year before and didn’t the next year. Sometimes there's age in that factor. Of course, we changed coordinators and different things like that and tried to mix philosophies there. That's what you try to look for, you try to look for a great mix there. It's like a game plan, Andrew; when you put a game plan together, you think it's going to work, then one or two things happen and you have to change. What's funny about that was on the field, we had a game plan we used for those first several games. We had injury after injury on the defensive side, so it didn't work, and you know, just some of the things I had planned in the offseason, some of them went the way I wanted to, some of them didn't. You have to adjust your game plan.

I go through it and look at it, and to be honest with you, I think some of the outcomes would be the same if I was starting a new season. If I wanted this season to be correct, I'd have to go a little bit further back than the beginning of this season. Like I said, you know, when you look at it, I think where we are this year, where we ended this year was the culmination of the successes and the all-in mentality we put in earlier. I don't think it's just we woke up this morning and this is where it is. It's kind of like the weather; at some point it's going to change. It ended up changing on us. From the standpoint of where Brendan and I were, we knew we weren't going to be a Grey Cup team. We knew we'd have our challenges. But we didn't think we'd have those types of challenges.


CC: There was a change at the top with the president, and one thing I'm real big on, Andrew, is noticing change. There was change with a lot of employees in the building. One of the things that I noticed closely was that change was coming in the building. We didn't know how it would affect us, but I felt there would be change. You know, a lot of people say 'He had his mind set on coming down south.' No. I knew at some point my tenure would be up, I thought maybe not this year, maybe next year. It was a surprise when we got to 0-3 and it was as loud as it was, when there were calls about "Let's fire Corey," and I'm like "At 0-3?" We'd just won the Grey Cup, we were on a hot roll until Darian got hurt 10 games into the year (in 2014), and now, three games in, they're talking about firing me. Once it got to that point and it got that loud, I knew it would probably be on Labour Day.


CC: Looking back in Saskatchewan overall, I can honestly tell you there is no bad blood there. Even with the way things went down, I'm truly appreciative of the organization and Brendan Taman for taking a chance on me, a young head coach. I think we had some great success there. Being a part of all those [Saskatchewan] head coaches, I think there's 40-plus (yep: Chamblin was #41), and there's only four of us that have a Grey Cup ring. Of over 100 years (of franchise history), I've been a part of one of only four championships they had, and I'm truly appreciative of that. I know that even though there is that blip in the history book there, there's still that positive history of being the last coach to win the Grey Cup in Saskatchewan.


The full interview can be found here: