Barker relieved of GM Duties in Toronto

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squishy35
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Tue Jan 24, 2017 7:27 am

http://www.tsn.ca/barker-relieved-of-du ... r-1.656828


Not a surprise really given the talent fall out from the Drew Willy trade. No replacement named at this time. I imagine a new GM will be in place prior to Free Agency in February.

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David
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Tue Jan 24, 2017 9:53 am

Michael Copeland waits until January 24 to decide Barker's not the right guy to lead this team?? Yeesh! Proper analysis and due diligence is paramount when reviewing a disastrous season (on and off the field), but deciding to replace the GM 2 and half months in is ridiculous, especially when the club mortgaged its future (All-Star DB Heath AND a #1 draft pick) on QB Drew Willy, whom the Bombers were only too happy to unload. This was a no-brainer to me given the trade, the 5-13 record, and the messy situation cutting 3 receivers on the same day.

So where does this leave Milanovich, who's now a lame duck coach and on a shorter leash than Paris Hilton's poodle (most GMs want to bring in their own coaches. Do they now have to wait 9-10 months to get the best candidate?). Maybe the Argos were waiting to line up a replacement (Popp? Trestman....as GM and HC?) before making this announcement, but it's potentially unfair to other clubs if the Argos want to talk to personnel now. Not that they're considering McEvoy or Geroy, but our front office is working extensively on its 2017 scouting. Geroy is in Mobile Alabama right now scouting the Senior Bowl. Not exactly the best time to be asking Wally for permission to talk to him (again, hypothetically speaking here).


DH :cool:
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Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:41 am

David wrote:Michael Copeland waits until January 24 to decide Barker's not the right guy to lead this team?? Yeesh! Proper analysis and due diligence is paramount when reviewing a disastrous season (on and off the field), but deciding to replace the GM 2 and half months in is ridiculous, especially when the club mortgaged its future (All-Star DB Heath AND a #1 draft pick) on QB Drew Willy, whom the Bombers were only too happy to unload. This was a no-brainer to me given the trade, the 5-13 record, and the messy situation cutting 3 receivers on the same day.

So where does this leave Milanovich, who's now a lame duck coach (most GMs want to bring in their own coaches. Do they now have to wait a year to get the best candidate?). Maybe the Argos were waiting to line up a replacement (Popp? Trestman....as GM and HC?) before making this announcement, but it's potentially unfair to other clubs if the Argos want to talk to personnel now. Not that they're considering McEvoy or Geroy, but our front office is working extensively on its 2017 scouting. Geroy is in Mobile Alabama right now scouting the Senior Bowl. Not exactly the best time to be asking Wally for permission to talk to him (again, hypothetically speaking here).


DH :cool:
Timing is bizarre with only 3 weeks left until free agency hits. That's 3 weeks to formulate a battle plan to deal with remaining Argo FAs and determine priorities once the FA market opens. Personally I give the Willy trade a bit of a pass. I think it was a desperation move done at a desperate time. Toronto was hosting the Grey Cup. Ticket sales were significantly underwhelming and their club was struggling to keep relevant in the playoff and Grey Cup chase. In many ways it was like the deal Buono made to acquire Glenn in 2014. I don't think either trade happens not for legitimate health concerns of the incumbent starters and the fact the respective teams were hosting the Grey Cup. At times I wondered if the trade for Willy really was Barker and/or Milanovich's decision or if, given Ray's questionable return, there was pressure from above to do something about their QB situation OR ELSE. Kyle Walters was only too happy to volunteer to help out and point out which stump Barker needed to lean over.

Certainly by waiting until now he's greatly reduced his options for filling the vacancy. As you alluded to player personnel departments are working hard on recruiting efforts for the upcoming season. If Copeland did come calling to an organization asking for permission to talk to someone it would be a difficult decision. It's a very inopportune time to lose someone but would the team want to deny one of their people the sort of opportunity that doesn't come along all that often? Obviously Popp is available immediately but after 20 years in Montreal I'm not sure he wants to jump at the first opportunity that comes his way. He may want to take a step back from the game for a year to assess what he wants to do. Trestman? I envision him as one of those career coaches who simply loves to coach and all the things that come with that. I could be totally wrong but he comes across as the sort of guy who would have no interest in a front office job.
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Tue Jan 24, 2017 11:39 am

Not only is the timing terrible, but according to the Globe and Mail the Argos have said the new GM will have to operate with an assistant GM and head coach already on staff.
The team says Scott Milanovich, who was hired by Barker, will remain as the Argos head coach.

The Argos have also promoted Spencer Zimmerman to assistant GM. He served last season as Toronto’s director of American scouting and pro development.

That excludes potential candidates who might want to have more control over football operations or serve as GM/head coach.

Toronto Argonauts fire GM Jim Barker after missing CFL playoffs
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Tue Jan 24, 2017 11:56 am

We spotted Barker out and about during the Grey Cup festivities last year. We were departing the tailgater at Ontario Place as he was heading over and I remember thinking "brave man, wading into a sea of devoted Argo's fans" (yes, maybe a contradiction of terms there, perhaps not a sea but a wading pool). It was about that time the rumors were flying that Milanovich was going to be let go once the memory of Grey Cup week subsided. Talk was Milanovich had lost the locker room and the players had completely bailed on him; some former players confirmed they thought he was the worst coach they ever had for man-management.

So I am a little surprised Barker goes and not Milanovich; I figured if Barker goes, so does Milanovich.

The timing is bizarre, certainly when considered against the upcoming free agency window. To my mind, how the Argos approached signing free agents this go around was going to be the blueprint for their franchise over the next few years. Youth movement and rebuild? Load up on vets to steady the ship? Or go with mostly a plug and play approach?

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Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:38 pm

My first thought was that any team would be crazy to let the Argos talk to their staff about the GM position at this time of the year. My second thought was: what if we could pry a high draft pick or prospect in exchange, and then hire Barker as a replacement for whoever leaves?

Wouldn't mind having Barker around as a personnel guy, in any case.

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Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:25 pm

maxlion wrote:My first thought was that any team would be crazy to let the Argos talk to their staff about the GM position at this time of the year. My second thought was: what if we could pry a high draft pick or prospect in exchange, and then hire Barker as a replacement for whoever leaves?

Wouldn't mind having Barker around as a personnel guy, in any case.
honestly braley should look at bringing him in to help out Wally. Wally isn't going to coach/GM forever, and barker is a good personel guy and GM. Biggest worry here is the transition when Wally retires. It did not go well the first time.

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Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:44 pm

Qman wrote:
maxlion wrote:My first thought was that any team would be crazy to let the Argos talk to their staff about the GM position at this time of the year. My second thought was: what if we could pry a high draft pick or prospect in exchange, and then hire Barker as a replacement for whoever leaves?

Wouldn't mind having Barker around as a personnel guy, in any case.
honestly braley should look at bringing him in to help out Wally. Wally isn't going to coach/GM forever, and barker is a good personel guy and GM. Biggest worry here is the transition when Wally retires. It did not go well the first time.
Totally unnecessary unless neither McEvoy nor Simon are going to get serious consideration for that day. I have absolutely nothing against Barker but I think bringing him in would only serve to give Neil and Geroy a reason to look over their shoulders or start wondering where they fit in the organization when Wally decides to retire which could be as early as next year. What sort of message would it be sending to them? Start looking elsewhere? It's not like Jim is a spring chicken either. He turns 61 this summer. I could see a role like O'Billovich's as a Regional Scout, perhaps even replacing Obie who turns 77 this summer but that's as far as I'd go.
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WestCoastJoe
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Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:11 pm

IMO McEvoy has earned the GM job when Wally retires. This CFL fan has doubts about Barker.
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Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:33 pm

I agree with other posters that the timing of the hiring is suspicious. Doesn't take 2 months to do an evaluation of your staff.

Dusty
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Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:03 pm

TheLionKing wrote:I agree with other posters that the timing of the hiring is suspicious. Doesn't take 2 months to do an evaluation of your staff.
It may not take 2 months to evaluate your staff, but it will take 2 months to evaluate your staff and to evaluate what is available on both sides of the border that is better than your staff....
D.

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Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:07 pm

Toronto Sun columnist Scott Mitchell sheds some light on the firing and quotes Copeland explaining why his decision-making process was so lengthy.
I’m certainly aware that, normally, these decisions are made immediately following the end of a regular season,” Copeland said on Tuesday afternoon on the heels of the Barker announcement. “After just completing our first year of operations as a new organization, we felt that we needed to step back — and I needed to specifically step back — and look at all of our football operations, all aspects of it, to really determine the things that we needed to do to reach our goal to become a dominant organization.”

Copeland slowly pulled back the hood and came to the conclusion change was needed at the top, but the Argos stopped short of a complete overhaul as head coach Scott Milanovich was spared.

Sustained winning is what Copeland seeks, but he wanted to learn more about how to go about achieving that before he started cleaning house.

With that in mind, he spent his winter talking to “football leaders” who have built winning organizations on both sides of the border.

While he wouldn’t reveal whose brains he’s been picking, Copeland invested “quite a bit of time” travelling to different parts of the U.S. since the Argos’ season came to an end way back on Nov. 5, and the football neophyte came away with the idea that their situation was begging for a fresh start.

“It was really that clarity that led me to say, ‘We need to change,’ ” said Copeland, declining to go into specifics. “And the type of change we need requires a fresh perspective. It requires an unburdened look at things that can only come from new leadership.”
Don't expect the Argos to have a GM in place for the start of free agency. Now that he has fired Barker, Copeland is planning to take his time hiring his replacement.
After taking their time to get to this point, don’t expect Argos president/CEO Michael Copeland to deviate from that when it comes to hiring a new GM, and the search won’t be limited to candidates currently working in the CFL.

“We’re not going to limit ourselves to looking just within the CFL, but, certainly, an understanding of the CFL game is very important and will be a factor in any sort of hiring decision,” Copeland said.
Argonauts fire GM Jim Barker, seek 'fresh perspective'

Perhaps David Braley can be persuaded to buy back the team from MLSE. They were more respectable under his much-maligned ownership.

(OK, I'm kidding but it's true. In the last year of Braley's ownership in 2015, the Argos were 10-8. In the first year of MLSE ownership in 2016, they were 5-13 and earned the rights to the first pick in the 2017 CFL draft, but they traded the pick to Winnipeg during the season, along with all-start DB T.J. Heath and a third-round pick in 2018, for journeyman QB Drew Willy, who has only played more than half a season once in his five seasons in the league.)
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WestCoastJoe
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Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:24 pm

Link posted by BCFAN ...

http://www.torontosun.com/2017/01/24/to ... 56ba1ba8d6

Copeland has been on the job for 18 months.
“I’m certainly aware that, normally, these decisions are made immediately following the end of a regular season,” Copeland said on Tuesday afternoon on the heels of the Barker announcement. “After just completing our first year of operations as a new organization, we felt that we needed to step back — and I needed to specifically step back — and look at all of our football operations, all aspects of it, to really determine the things that we needed to do to reach our goal to become a dominant organization.”
It sounds like he did not have a blueprint when he took the job.
Sustained winning is what Copeland seeks, but he wanted to learn more about how to go about achieving that before he started cleaning house.

With that in mind, he spent his winter talking to “football leaders” who have built winning organizations on both sides of the border.

While he wouldn’t reveal whose brains he’s been picking, Copeland invested “quite a bit of time” travelling to different parts of the U.S. since the Argos’ season came to an end way back on Nov. 5, and the football neophyte came away with the idea that their situation was begging for a fresh start.
And it sounds like he did not have a blueprint following the 2016 season. Looking at the win/loss record he figured something was wrong. But it seems he had no way of figuring out the root causes of the trouble. He seems to be in way over his head. He had trouble evaluating Barker. Why should he have any idea of who might make an effective GM?
“I felt it very important for Scott to have the opportunity to spend time with the new GM once he’s in place,” Copeland said. “Of the options available to us, Scott may very well be the best option. He’s a very talented head coach." -- Michael Copeland
This fan has had the opinion that Milanovich is a very good Head Coach. Copeland seems to agree with that notion, except he qualifies it by saying Milanovich "may very well be the best option." He is not sure. To quote Vince Lombardi: "What the h*** is going on here?"
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Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:58 am

We should give the Argos the benefit of the doubt here. MLSE is greedy but not stupid. There must be a very good reason why they jettisoned Barker at this time. I'll bet they have a sensational new GM/Superboss in the pipeline who'll be unveiled very soon.

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Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:09 pm

JohnHenry wrote:We should give the Argos the benefit of the doubt here. MLSE is greedy but not stupid. There must be a very good reason why they jettisoned Barker at this time. I'll bet they have a sensational new GM/Superboss in the pipeline who'll be unveiled very soon.
IMO the way they handled the Grey Cup at BMO Field shows that they are both greedy AND stupid. The timing of the Baker firing confirms the stupid part.

The only reason that they could possibly have for not announcing the signing of a new GM by now is if the person that they have in mind or have already secretly agreed to a contract with, would be if that person is part of one of the Super Bowl teams......seems unlikely to me.

I doubt that they will have a new GM by the time free agency starts and I wonder if there will be a Argo GM by Draft Day in May.

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