With Mike Gibson already gone, is Greg Marshall far behind?
According to Perry Lefko, Greg Marshall will not return as Tiger-Cat Defensive Coordinator in 2011.
Lefko also posits that the frontrunner for the position is former Edmonton Eskimo Head Coach Richie Hall. Hall and Tiger-Cat Head Coach Marcel Bellefeuille have a friendship dating back to their time together with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Obviously, Hall's philosophy will mesh with Bellefeuille's.
I'm of two minds about this. First, I think Greg Marshall is a very good Defensive Coordinator. He has presided over many top-notch Defenses during his CFL tenure, and Hamilton's the past two seasons has been very good.
That said, his "Bend But Don't Break" philosophy broke a few times in 2010. And sometimes it bent at inopportune moments, such as the final minute against Calgary in Week 2. There were also rumours of clashes between Marshall and Bellefeuille, and with Bellefeuille staying put (rightfully so), it seems like Marshall almost had to go.
There is this myopic view amongst Ti-Cat fans that Marshall can do no wrong, and that all the problems that occurred in 2010 were Mike Gibson and the Offense's fault. I don't subscribe to that particular viewpoint. I think both men underachieved with the groups they were given. The Tiger-Cats should have been better than 9-9 and a first-round playoff exit. They weren't, and it wasn't one person's fault. There were times when the Offense couldn't be stopped, but times when they couldn't get started; the exact same can be said of the Defense. Neither one produced the kind of season that we all thought was possible. Now it looks like this underachievement has cost each man his job (though in Gibson's case, that might not be entirely accurate).
If Marshall is heading out the door, replacing him with Hall is a good move. Hall was a terrific Defensive Coordinator with the Roughriders before he left to take the head job in Edmonton, and he would make an excellent Defensive Coordinator for the Tiger-Cats. The talent is there on the defensive side of the football, led by 2010 Most Outstanding Defensive Player Markeith Knowlton.
Who says there's no news after the Grey Cup? Two days and already two big pieces of news coming out of Tigertown. I can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring.