Saturday, January 12, 2008

Charlie Taaffe

We all know that it looks like this one is still up in the air. With that said, I think it's still helpful to get an idea of exactly who he is. Here is his bio from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats website, link here. There is an awful lot of good information there, and quite a bit of success as well. The fan consensus is that he's viewed across the CFL as a nice guy and great coach. They seem to respect him very much, outside of this last little fiasco.

I also did a brief Q & A session with Thomas Riddell, a Hamilton Tiger-Cats blogger from The Black and Gold Report. Thomas has been privvy to practices and conversations with Taaffe all through his first season as Head Coach, and we exchanged a few ideas on the situation. You can check out my answers to his questions here.

Me: The CFL gets little to no exposure in the US. So for those readers too lazy to look for anything on their own, what is Hamilton's reputation in the league?

Thomas: Hamilton used to be known for its tough defense and passing game. Since Bob Young bought the team (in 2003) we have yet to find our "Playoff Magic".

Me: How has your experience with Charlie Taaffe been as a HC? And what kind of offensive system has he had in place?

Thomas: To me, it seems to be a West Coast system with a lot of short passes and power running with our tailbacks. The one thing I can say is that our team never quit under Charlie. Fans often come to practice to watch and Charlie was always willing to spend time with them. I learned more about football in 1 year watching these practices and asking Charlie question than I ever did before.

Me: Why would he consider leaving?

Thomas: The GM that hired Charlie was fired after a 3 win season (this past season) but Charlie was kept. A new GM was put in place and they wanted to make sure Charlie was the right man to turn the team around. He was in limbo for about a month as he talked to the new GM about his ideas on how to fix a bad football team. Finally, Charlie was asked to stay on and he agreed.

Me: If he left, which appears doubtful, what would your plans be to replace him?

Thomas: Right now who knows? It could be Tom Higgins or Dave Ritchie or a dark horse candidate.

Me: Do you think he could be successful again in an NCAA collegiate offensive system?

Thomas: Yes. Charlie has a lot of talent, but he should be back in Hamilton. He is under contract, for now.

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