Will Slow And Steady Win The Race?
The Hamilton Tiger Cats officially introduced George Cortez as their new Head Coach today. Cortez has lots of CFL experience both as an offensive co-ordinator and quarterbacks coach. He has been on four winning Grey Cup teams, all with the Calgary Stampeders. He also has other CFL stops in Ottawa, Saskatchewan and Montreal. The past two seasons he was the quarterbacks coach for the NFL’s Buffalo Bills.
I’m surprised Cortez left the more secure, yet difficult to get into, circle of the NFL coaching ranks. But I’m guessing the Ti-Cat deal was too good to refuse. Plus I’m sure Cortez was looking for a challenge and happy to land his first opportunity to be a head coach. In Hamilton, Cortez will be reunited with quarterback Henry Burris. Both men worked together, winning the 2008 Grey Cup in Calgary when Burris was signal-caller there, and Cortez was the offensive co-ordinator.
The Cats were the last CFL team to hire a head coach for 2012, behind Toronto and Saskatchewan. While I was admittedly becoming quite concerned, I feel they made an excellent coaching hire. They avoided hiring a recycled CFL coach, which many teams have been guilty of in the past. Plus they hired a guy with plenty CFL experience, and chemistry with their newly signed quarterback. Look for both Cortez and Burris to inject some life into a Ticat offensive that had become very bland, boring and predictable under previous offensive coordinators Khari Jones and Mike Gibson.
With former Ti-Cats offensive and defensive coordinators joining the Roughriders, the aforementioned Khari Jones and Corey Chamblin assume the roles of head coach and quarterbacks coach respectively. Cortez will have to fill these voids soon. Look for former Winnipeg Blue Bomber defensive co-ordinator Tim Burke to be a stong candidate to perform the same role in Hamilton. As for the offensive side of the ball, Cortez announced that, “I’m gonna run the offence for the first year for sure”. (courtesy @scratchingpost).
On a side note, Bob O’Billovich was promoted to Vice President of Football Operations. It is also anticipated that Danny McManus will also receive a promotion, but it is only speculation as to what it is. My hope is that Danny Mac assumes the role of quarterbacks coach, learns the offensive schemes expected by Cortez, and takes over that role for 2013.
Even though the Cats took their time hiring their head coach, and had to wait for the Bills season to end officially, in order to do so, they made a great move, and now I’m even more excited for the 2012 CFL season.
What do you think of the Cats coaching hire?
…and that is the last word.