Why I Feel the Jim Barker Experiment is Coming To an End in Toronto

Guest Blogger | Updated Aug 11, 2011

Writtern by Guest Blogger: Dorian McLean DorianMcLean.com

They are currently sitting in last place in the Eastern division with a 1-5 record after six weeks of Canadian Football and will go into Hamilton and take on their divisional opponent.

The team is off to their worst start since the 2002 campaign when they would go 1-5 after six games. They would eventually make the play-offs after an 8-10 finish.

The team entered this season on the heels of a play-off run that saw them in the Eastern final, win nine games after winning just seven between the 2009 and 2008 season, have their rookie head coach win Coach of the Year and have several break-out players.

This season those break-out players, Cory Boyd and Chad Owens, have been non-existent – barely a credible threat to opposing teams and the team has suffered greatly by it.

Their starting quarterback in Cleo Lemon struggled last season, throwing nineteen picks to fifteen touchdowns while averaging a low 190.72 passing yards per game.

The team felt strongly that Lemon was able to adapt to the Canadian game after having a full season under his belt to work with and even beat out second-string quarterback Dalton Bell for the starting job after training camp.

Through six games however, Cleo Lemon has thrown for 1042 yards, 156 yards lower than last season and has thrown four touchdowns to four interceptions, one less interception than last year. This of course is also with Cleo Lemon missing a game due to injury.

Head coach Jim Barker has continued to stress that if he feels the offense is not performing at the level he expects them to; he will make a quarterback change. After six weeks of mediocre football, that change has to come now and whether Barker has it in him to do so remains unknown.

Right now the Toronto Argonauts are shooting a four-part mini-documentary following the team around and after two segments, appears to have become a distraction for the team if anything.

Jim Barker appears to be so caught up with the moment and the spotlight that he has forgot to be an actual coach to the team and instead puts on a show for the cameras, whether that includes yelling at improper times or making bad calls.

Jim Barker has had a full season to work through mistakes and make adjustments at half-time but has failed to meet those levels of expectations.

Instead of seeing the team make progress and become a better team, even predicted as e a top contender to the Montreal Alouettes in the pre-season, they have fallen flat on their face and their stock is steadily declining.

Following their loss to the Montreal Alouettes, the club made the move to fire their defensive coordinator Chip Garber, and promote Orlondo Steinauer.

This is one of several incoming moves the club will need to make if they wish to turn their team around and head in the right direction.

They have a good back in Chad Kackert who has been a new option for Cleo Lemon to hand off to, as Kackert has amassed 314 rushing yards and four touchdowns, but has fumbled three times.

His players have given up several bad penalties; especially during week four when linebacker Ejiro Kuale took a shot at Buck Pierce by launching himself, ultimately getting himself tossed from the game and considered by many a game changer.

It appears his players are loose and rabid and are not buying into his system and essentially, out of control. As we watch his speeches, he appears distracted and not in control of his team. He has lost his locker room and will need to fight hard to get it back and needs to do so sooner than later.

This team a year removed has been drastically different than we witnessed last year and the change at defensive coordinator cannot be the only move this club makes.

One thing David Braley won’t tolerate is a lack of execution and at this rate Jim Barker may be out of a job before their bye week.