I am not sure what the correct word to use to describe the feeling I get as training camp continues in Edmonton. Urgency? Attitude? Focus? And may I dare say anger?
This is the beginning of the Kavis Reed, Ed Hervey era in Edmonton. The two have played together and know each other for 15 years. And it sure seems that they are the bosses and that is it.
There have been very few coaches that can also be exceptional general managers and there are very few general managers that can be exceptional coaches. Right now there are just two: John Hufnagel in Calgary has done quite well in Calgary and Kent Austin does both, as well as being the Vice-President of Football Operations in Hamilton.
The difference in the two jobs is so clear and diametrically opposite I am amazed if one person can do both as well as Wally Buano did for so many years.
Reed is the head coach and is concerned about one thing: the now. What is happening right now? How can I improve the team right now? Everything is about the present moment.
As for Hervey, his number one thought process is tomorrow. Planning; not only the roster but also the business side of football.
Many coaches like both jobs because it gives them control over personnel, which the coach should have. That's why the two jobs held by two people must mesh into one vision.
Sometimes egos and attitudes get in the way and a decision is made by one person that creates resentment from the other. It happens all the time when clarity of responsibility is absent from employment.
I don't think that will happen with the Reed/Hervey situation. Sure, it is early and adversity has not yet hit. But both are communicators and if they can communicate with those outside looking in, they can communicate with each other effectively.
The best thing the Eskimos did so far was get a quarterback. No disrespect to Matt Nichols because in this league, you need two. They were pretty aggressive in getting Mike Reilly back on January 31, jumping ahead of a couple other teams who had the same desires. Reilly really hasn't done much. He is 53-77 (68% completion rate), for 694 yards, four touchdowns to two interceptions in his CFL career. That is not much.
But sometime you make decisions on belief, or maybe faith. Truth is, there is not much physical evidence with Reilly, but definitely some potential; some faith.
Sometimes a little video analysis says a lot. Sometimes a one-on-one interview says a lot. And sometimes other people say a lot of good things. That's all Mike Reilly.
Nichols showed some good quarterback toughness last year. It will be an open competition and one of these guys needs to establish an identity as a quality starter because the sooner that happens the quicker the hangover of Ricky Ray will defuse.
I realize people – including myself – say it every year, but the West is going to be special. Each team is better right now than they were last year, and in some cases a lot better. I hope all the kickers are ready, I see a lot of field goal decisions in the West this season.