Piffles Power Rankings – CFL Head Coaches
Published: Wednesday, Aug 16th 2023, 1:08pm
By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)
It appears Steve has given up on his weekly power rankings, so it looks like I’ll have to pick up the slack. But instead of just taking the standings and making up a ranking like everyone else does, I’m going to give my power rankings to the men in charge… at least, the ones who SHOULD be in charge. Here’s my Power Rankings of CFL Head Coaches
1. Mike O’Shea – Winnipeg Blue Bombers – It took a while for him to get there, but once he did, he hasn’t looked back. The culture that O’Shea has instilled into the Bombers has helped turned them from a laughing stock of a franchise to the CFL’s flagship franchise. They have a team bordering on dynasty status, they have the highest attendance in the league and you can attribute a lot of that to their head coach.
2. Rick Campbell – BC Lions – What a turnaround in the last few years for the Lions under Coach Campbell. What they did with Nathan Rourke and now Vernon Adams Jr. to what they’ve done to that defense. The Lions are doing a lot of great things off the field, but what they are doing on the field is a testament to the guy in charge. Campbell has them playing great football this year.
3. Jason Maas – Montreal Alouettes – Okay hear me out… nobody really expected Montreal to be good this year. In fact, most people had them as the worst team in the league. Coach Maas has seemed to find his groove of late and is doing quite well with a roster that on paper, shouldn’t be as good as they are. They’ve proven they can hang with pretty much everyone in the league and should get a home playoff game as a reward.
4. Ryan Dinwiddie – Toronto Argonauts – The reason why I have Dinwiddie behind Maas is because the Argos roster is stacked and as the defending Grey Cup champions, we knew they’d be good. That’s not a slight on Dinwiddie at all and they are still the best team in the East, but the only question mark this team had coming into the season was if Chad Kelly would pan out. He has and that praise should go to Coach Dinwiddie.
5. Bobby Dyce – Ottawa Redblacks – I was never sold on Coach Dyce as the leader of a team, but whatever he’s doing in the Nation’s capital is working and the team believes in him. I know their record is less than desirable, but they’re on their 4th string QB in Dustin Crum. Coach Dyce has done a great job of adapting to the strength of his players and isn’t trying for force a square into a round hole. I’ve been quite impressed with him this year and hopefully he only gets better as time goes on.
6. Dave Dickenson – Calgary Stampeders – I think this Coach Dickey has too much on his plate now as General Manager AND Head Coach. He put everything he had into the Jake Maier basket, only for it to blow up in his face. I think they have some pretty good players and SHOULD be better than a 3-6 team. Maybe he made the right decision by moving on from Bo Levi Mitchell in the offseason, but Maier has been pretty poor all season long if he has to throw the ball more than 5 yards downfield.
7. Orlondo Steinauer – Hamilton Tiger-Cats – I want to cut Coach O some slack because they’ve had so many issues with injuries to their top 2 quarterbacks this year, but you can also see the regression from what used to be the best team in the East Division. Everything there just feels stale right now, but I think Coach O can still turn it around in the years to come.
8. Chris Jones – Edmonton Elks – I know they haven’t won a game, but this is another “hear me out” here… I’m separating the GM Chris Jones from the Head Coach Chris Jones. GM Jones is bad, probably the worst GM in the league. I appreciate that he won’t quit until he finds his guys, but when your 2023 team resembles your 2017 team, that’s a massive fail. BUT I think the HC Jones is… well he’s not the worst in the league. There is no doubt who runs the show there and the players still love him and will go through a wall for him. He’s just stuck on loyalty to his coaches. IF he were able to find a way to move on from a few of his buddies, he’d be a much better coach. Right now, he’s best as a Defensive Coordinator, not the guy in charge.
9. Craig Dickenson – Saskatchewan Roughriders – A convenience hire that had success due to a good team left to him, Coach Dickey comes in last place for me. Yes, he has the 5th best record in the league right now, but I think that’s more due to the talent he has in front of him as opposed to what he’s doing with it. In their 4 wins, the combined difference is 10 points. They are 4-5 and could just as easily be 0-9. With even mediocre coaching, the Riders are probably 6-3 or 7-2 right now. I have never seen a head coach look so clueless EVERY time the camera shows him. He doesn’t command the team, he has no vibe with the team (he admitted as much last year after a loss) and he’s simply in way over his head. Good Special Teams Coordinator, great human being, poor head coach.
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