Last week during the inaugural CFL report, I discussed the Hamilton Tiger-Cats situation, and the possibility of changes being made if the Tiger-Cats lost to the Edmonton Eskimos. However, I was accurately skeptical of Hamilton firing head coach Kent Austin because at the moment there just does not seem to be any strong candidates who have Canadian Football League experience and could make a significant difference in the short term and long term.
So if there are not any strong head coaching vacancies, the obvious choice for winless Hamilton was to either fire offensive co-ordinator Stefan Ptaszek, assistant head coach June Jones or defensive co-ordinator Jeff Reinebold. Among the three, the obvious choice was Reinebold because Jones was only hired a week ago to Austin’s staff and Ptaszek is extremely popular in Hamilton as he was the head coach of the University of McMaster Marauders from 2006 to 2015.
Reinebold’s replacement in Hamilton as defensive co-ordinator is Phillip Lolley, who was the linebackers coach over the last three seasons with the Edmonton Eskimos and Saskatchewan Roughriders. He has also had the opportunity to learn from defensive expert Chris Jones.
The other big news in the CFL this past week was a rule change. The Canadian Football League reduced the number of challenges from two (and three if the teams were successful on their first two challenges) to one mid-season. The reason for the change is because challenges were taking too long and interrupting the flow of the game. The action was swift and prompt by new CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie.
However it seems the first major decision by Ambrosie was incorrect. There is no problem of Ambrosie reducing the number of challenges, but the CFL should have made the rule change to include the word “unsuccessful”. Teams should not be penalized for challenging a call that they get correct.
There is room for improvement when it comes to refereeing in the CFL and it is not all the referees’ fault. The game is fast paced and referees are expected to make fast and accurate decisions. The changes made by Ambrosie puts an immense amount of more pressure on the officials, and reduces the overall credibility of the CFL.