Many readers say get rid of MacT

JOHN SHORT

, Last Updated: 9:51 AM ET

There has been a pile of suggestions, by e-mail and in person, that my view of Craig MacTavish and his coaching partners is wrong.

Many say the coaches should be removed, but I'm still convinced MacTavish, Charlie Huddy, Billy Moores and Craig Simpson do a good job. I agree, they're good, not brilliant, but apart from you and me, genius is rare in any field.

Doing a good job should be ... well, good enough.

Most of those with strong opinions say the Oilers have more ability than their record shows. Right. Some misguided souls go so far as to say the overall talent is among the best in the league. Wrong.

This group of offensive players is too inconsistent to be at the top level. The defence lacks many things, including depth and offensive talent. It's too easy to blame the coaches. Players get all the credit when they're sharp, so when does fairness require them to carry the weight of their own failures?

The scariest suggestion was that Mike Keenan be brought in to run the entire club. Help!

MACDERMOTT'S HARD WORK REWARDED

Danny Maciocia's move to give Bill MacDermott something close to full-time work in the film room is the right move.

Everyone who spends time around the Eskimos can tell stories of the veteran offensive line coach falling asleep while breaking down opposition schemes and plotting the best response.

Hard work is more than a MacDermott habit. It's a rule. When the offensive line struggled last season, Maciocia went out of his way to recognize MacDermott's contribution.

This year, when Patrick Kabongo and the others move to the next level, remember the hard-working guy who taught them what they know.

MRDJENOVICH: WORLD'S NO. 2 FEMALE DRAW?

Until Michael Carbaja, Scotty Olson and a few others changed things, it was widely understood that small boxers didn't fare well at the box office. They'll never draw close to what heavyweights bring in, but they don't face the economic contempt that was common several years ago.

Now, maybe, we're headed to another revelation - this one about female boxers. Milan Lubovac says Edmonton champ Jelena Mrdjenovich is NOT the top female draw in her sport. Laila Ali is.

"Jelena is second," Lubovac said. "No woman in the world, except Laila, draws as well for every fight as we do."

Mrdjenovich is a lot like Olson was in his early days and former welterweight standout Tony Badea was throughout his local career: she's never been in a sleeper of a fight.

That explains why Chevelle Hallbeck is asking for upwards of $10,000 to fight here for Jelena's title.

"We can always go to the States to fight," Lubovac agrees. "But why should we? This game is about money. We do better at home than we would down south."


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