I was watching TSN a couple of nights ago and the hockey panel was having a conversation in regard to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The interviewed a few current and former players about GM Brian Burke and the question was posed to each whether they felt he should continue in that capacity given the past three seasons.
I say there are similarities with our situation because RR is essentially what a GM in professional sports is without the money aspect. He is responsible for not only coaching the players, but also scouting, evaluating and recruiting talent.
During this show, the entire panel and each of the players interviewed agreed that it was too early to tell whether BB was doing a good job and he should be given at least four years to prove himself in Toronto.
In the year prior to BB arriving in Toronto, the leafs were 36-35-11. During BB's time they have gone 34-35-13, 30-38-14 and are currently 12-14-4. As you can see, there has been no improvement to this point and they have actually regressed (in terms of their W/L's) since he took over as GM.
The reason each person had for him continuing as GM was that Toronto were heading in the right direction. They hadn't seen it on paper yet, but they were certain, given another year, you would start to see it in the W/L column as well.
RR has been here for three seasons and during each has shown steady (albeit slower than some would like) improvement. I think even those that aren't crazy about the improvement on the field would agree that he is doing a lot of great things off the field as well (though the haters will cling to the NCAA investigation).
I guess my main point is if we have seen clearly that the team is improving on the field, things are going well off the field, relationships between teammates are as strong as they have ever been and we have every reasonable expectation that things will continue to get better is it too soon to send RR packing?
I think most would agree that it is far easier to build a winning teams when you operate in the pro market. You can make trades, use your minior league system, pick up a free agent etc etc etc.
In college, you pick up a player out of HS and hope that the potential you saw gets realized and that he stays with you for four years. If he doesn't pan out, transfers, leaves early...there are no trades, no free agents you can sign or minor leaguers you can call up. You have to deal with it.
If it is reasonable that BB should have four years to build a winning team in Toronto in a professional sport, how can it be unreasonable for RR to have a fouth year to show what he can do, especially he has shown improvement throughout the course of his contract?
This is a question to the board. I don't want to talk replacements or anything of that nature, just simply if you think three years is enough justify why? If you believe he should be given one more year, justify why?
I realize in hundreds of threads variations of this topic have been discussed, but this is looking directly at a similar situation in professional sports, identifying similarities and questioning if those similarities changes anything.