Calgary Stampeders John Hufnagel plans on giving himself the hook during this bye week---literally.
For a couple of precious hours, he plans to close his Stampeders playbook and indulge his passion for fishing.
Undoubtedly he will find the water on the Bow River far smoother than the somewhat choppy waters left behind at his McMahon Stadium office.
“It was a very disappointing game. It was a 13-8 game midway through the third quarter. “ said Hufnagel on his weekly radio program on Calgary’s CHQR Radio. “We couldn’t get anything going offensively. And once the mid-third quarter came around we couldn’t do anything to stop them. We need to lick our wounds and understand we need to get better.”
While the Lions loss was very tough for the team, Hufnagel puts the pre-bye portion of the year in perspective.
“I was very pleased with the first four games,” said the CFL’s longest-tenured head coach. “We played hard, we were in the games. We made some mistakes but we can fix those things. This last game, I’m not pleased with at all. There are some repeat offenders from the previous game to this game that I’m not pleased with. I’m going to make some changes. It’s not wholesale changes. We’re an average football team right now and that’s not the type of football team I want.”
Hufnagel was not the only member of the Stampeders entourage looking for a better result following the bye week. Running back Jon Cornish was held to minus-1 yard on six carries. When asked about his tough night, he suggested his play was fine, but the offensive line needed to pick it up. The comments were featured prominently in both Calgary dailies. Less than nine hours after uttering the comments, a contrite Cornish apologized via his Twitter account.
“I should have shut up,” he tweeted. “We will all strive to improve. My apologies.”
Hufnagel understood some of the sentiments expressed by Cornish but was not happy with the manner in which he expressed it.
“He needs to understand and know better. The next morning he apologized and hopefully that’s the last of that,” said Hufnagel,”It was a very frustrating night for Jon Cornish. I was frustrated with our running game. Our offensive line did not play well and I will tell them they need to be better, when we get together on Saturday morning. But airing your dirty laundry in public is not the way to go”Stampeders Injury Updates:
When Hufnagel does discuss things with his offensive line, he may have to move the meeting to the team’s training room
Already without lineman Steve Myddleton (placed on 9-game injured prior to the B. C.), the team may now find themselves with hulking rookie import lineman Na’Shan Goddard. He left the game against the Lions and could be lost to the team for an extended period. The loss of lineman in rapid-fire order forced an instant remake of the line.
One of the challenges of this week is to sort out who will play where along the line as the team prepares for the Hamilton game.
The team may also be without Hamilton-area product Tim St. Pierre. He has been battling a knee injury for the last couple of games and his availability for the trip to Ivor Wynne Stadium is.
So Hufnagel’s will be on calm water for a couple of hours this week, but the choppy waters will soon beckon.