Through all the turmoil, through all the headaches and headlines, in one brief moment, Tim Burke did something Monday afternoon that should solidify himself as the head coach going forward for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
“This is your resume. This is what people in the outside world are thinking of you and so you've got to figure out how you're going to respond to that. You going to do it with pride or you going to tuck your tail and run.”
That was Tim Burke’s message to the players following their 44-3 blow-out loss to the Calgary Stampeders Friday night.
And in that brief moment Burke took command of the locker room and made the players responsible for themselves.
Tim Burke would go on to add that it was "embarrassing," and that players should act in a professional manner.
We can all agree that when Burke took over following Paul LaPolice’s dismissal, he wasn’t exactly handed a very appealing platter.
His team had lost its last three of five contests, only winning two games by one and seven points respectively.
There was already turmoil surrounding the club before Burke was anointed the Interim Head Coach and although he had gone through bumps, a 52-0 shut out on the road in Saskatchewan, and bruises, deciding against kicking a late field goal to go up one point and ultimately to lose by a point, Burke was making the most of the awkward situation he was placed in.
And so to come out following their latest blow-out loss, on the road, and state to his team that they are held accountable for their actions and what they do on the field could directly or indirectly affect their futures going forward, I believe Burke has grown in great strides.
During the Bombers two losses prior to Friday’s game, Burke came out after their one point loss at home to Saskatchewan and said it was his fault for not attempting the late field goal.
It something fans have sorely missed: seeing a head coach take responsibility for his own actions, as well as putting everyone else on the line for their mistakes as well.
It’s no secret that Burke is not an offensive minded coach—his defensive mind is what helped him win back to back Grey Cups with Montreal.
Burke may be slowly settling into his interim role, but Burke has been around coaching for over two decades and is grasping the duties presented to him the best he can in the awkward situation he was put in.
But if the club removes the interim tag from Burke and puts him in a position to choose his coaching staff when entering the 2013 season, they could be in for a treat.
Allowing Burke to hire an offensive coordinator who can put up points and has the resume to back it, as well as securing a quarterback that can run an offense, will allow the club as a whole to be better off.