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Saskatchewan Roughriders Head Coach Corey Chamblin couldn’t assess the 2012 season in one word when asked to. However, general manager Brendan Taman had no problem finding a word when asked.
“Frustrating is a good word for it,” Taman surmised in a year-end gathering with reporters. “We had expectations to finish a little better than we did. We did get better, but it was frustrating.”
The words come as Taman proves that excellence is desired on a year-to-year basis and that while many believe the season was a success after returning to the playoffs following a five win season, it wasn’t when it comes to his assessment.
“We did a lot of good things this year, but when you come off the year that we had, it wasn’t hard to be better than what we did in 2011,” said Taman. “I’m not doing cartwheels thinking we had a really good year. I think we should still be playing right now and I wanted a home playoff game so it’s disappointing.”
While Taman is disappointed over the way the season went, he isn’t disappointed over the hiring of Chamblin saying that might have been one of his best moves.
“He was what I thought he would be and a little bit more.” Taman said. “He was really poised when we were losing five in a row. He handled it really well and was very level-headed and positive. We butted heads on a few occasions, but it’s natural in this business. He would want to play this guy and I would ask him why and I would want to play a guy and he would ask why, so it was nothing serious at all. We never had a disagreement where one guy would walk one way and the other guy went the other.”
Taman’s off-season will be a busy one as he deals with 15 players who will be free agents come February 15. Some of those names include receiver Rob Bagg, offensive lineman Patrick Neufeld, defensive lineman Odell Willis, linebacker Tyron Brackenridge and defensive backs Chris McKenzie and Eddie Russ.
“There are many discussions that need to happen over the next little while,” Taman stated. “We know there will be changes, but we have to sit down and see where we are. We will make decisions on some of our free agents as we go along. There are pluses and minuses, but we just have to look at it and see where we are.”
While it would be safe to assume that the workload for Taman won’t be as busy seeing he found some established players and a head coach that he knows will be back, it is also safe to assume that Taman will be working hard with his staff to determine what holes need to be repaired and what and who is the best way to repair them. While we won’t see the evidence of that work until training camp begins, it is safe to suggest the plan is already in motion.