Toronto Argonauts CEO Michael Copeland visited Saskatchewan in March, just weeks after he belatedly hired Jim Popp and Marc Trestman to run his CFL franchise.
“Too bad you got such a late start,” I said to Copeland, who had waited until late January to fire Jim Barker as the Argos’ GM. That’s two months later than most teams make such a move. The subsequent hirings came well after most teams had assembled their coaching staffs and rosters.
“Well,” he said, “if it was anybody else we might be in trouble. But Popp and Trestman know what they’re doing. And they’ve worked together before.”
As ridiculous as it sounded at the time, Copeland has been proven right. Popp, the general manager, and Trestman, the head coach, won back-to-back Grey Cups with the Montreal Alouettes, defeating the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2009 and 2010.
Despite their late start in Toronto, they led the Argos to first place in the East and into Sunday’s playoff game against Saskatchewan. Evidently, they all knew what they were doing—even Copeland.