Backups

I liked what I saw from the backups today. Plesius and Prime especially impressed me. Marshall and Nadon looked decent. I would have liked to see Filer in the game at centre and they should have given Reinders a bit more time at RT.

I really liked Plesius, what great lateral pursuit!! I hated him a year ago, but not so after seeing him yesterday. I think he may be the heir-apparent at MLB (watch out JJ).

It's actually kinda sad that we are going to lose a good chunk of them to the expansion draft, but such if life. Our short term loss is a long term gain for the whole CFL.

The loss won't be a "good chunk." Just 1 Import (at worst the guy Austin & staff rank as their 11th most valuable Import) and 2 non-imports (at worst, those ranked #7 and #14). That would change somewhat if one of the first Ottawa picks from Hamiltion is one of the unprotected QB's, and again, if the first non-import taken from us by Ottawa is one of our kickers.

Agree with what you're saying OttawaCat ... I think everyone's concerns over the expansion draft is a little overblown.

One small detail ... you can't lose both a QB & a Kicker ... one or the other (or neither) but not both. And if you do lose a QB or Kicker ... you get to protect additional NI's.

The interesting thing to me ... Is a punter a kicker or is only a true place kicker a kicker? And would Ottawa go after Bartell who is as valuable as a NI Punter in the league and likely unprotected by the TiCats. That to me is the biggest potential immediate loss & interesting question.

Yes, that's a very interesting scenario, Fender. I would not like to see us lose Bartel, he's a very good punter.

I could be wrong, but I think Bartel's contract is up at the end of the season. I seem to recall something written about him after he signed that he wanted to play here for two years and that maybe get a look down south. Like I said, though, I could be wrong. But if that is his desire, I don't think we'll see him picked by Ottawa. Rob Maver would likely be the kicker picked, depending on what Ottawa decides to do at quarterback.

FenderGuy69 - Yes, a punter is a "kicker" for the expansion draft.

Blogskee Wee Wee - Your comment on Bartel's contract status brings up something I wish the league would address. I wish they'd, right after the Grey Cup, make a complete list available of the expiry dates of all players' contracts .... just name and the date (Feb. 15, what year?) they will become free agents. They regularly publish a list of about-to-be FA's in January. So, I don't see any reason why they shouldn't do it earlier to help fans speculate on what Ottawa might do. In fact, I don't see why the contract expiry dates aren't public all the time. Keeping the value of those contracts secret, I can understand, and that too will be a factor in the choices Ottawa will make.

Plesius and Prime look like they can step right in and start at linebacker now.

Maybe Austin will keep that in mind for next year as a ratio-busting move?

Or maybe we might lose one or both of these kids to Ottawa? (shudder the thought)

Plesius does anyways. I would groom him to take over at MLB and move JJ back to the outside. I'd probably keep Lawrence over Isaac, but would prefer to protect both. I'd get rid of Bowman though...he's too injury prone.

I temper my enthusiasm simply because it was Winnipeg. I thought we showed that we have more depth than I thought which I was excited by and certainly good potential in Plesius.

I'm not sure about this guy either. When we acquired him in the off-season it was understood that he would miss the first half of the season. Austin has tried to ease him into the lineup with some playing time but he seems to tweak something every time he gets on the field. I have a feeling he might be on a short leash.

Hopefully we won't lose Plesius to the draft,but I wouldn't be at all surprised if Ottawa drafts him from us.If we can somehow keep him,I can envision us one day having our strength right down the middle of our D with 3 canadians playing there with Bulcke playing DT, Plesius at MLB and Stephen at Safety. All three are young and loaded with nothing but upside and hopefully they will all be here for a long time.I can see J.J maybe playing 2 to maybe 3 more yrs then being replaced in the starting 3 by Plesius. Just imagine the roster flexibility the Cats would have with 3 cdns starting on the Defense. If we could also somehow keep Hazime and Nadon on the line and King at safety in reserve our Cdn depth on D would be one of the best in the league,also with Prime being a cdn he could eventually be Plesius back-up and we could go with 2 cdns at MLB. It's going to suck that we will lose 2 cdns in the draft,but hopefully somehow the RB's will overlook these players and maybe go after either Charboneau or possibly Giguere or Stala because I feel none of these three will be protected in the first round.I realize some might not agree with Giguere,but my gut tells me he will eventually end up as an Redblack or Alouette.

Here is my prediction on the 6 protected Cdns in round 1 of draft

Andy Fantuz-wr
Pete Dyakowski-g
Brian Bulcke-dt
Courtney Stephen-s
Greg Wojt-g/t
Tim O'Neill-g/c

Unprotected

Beswick-lb/db
Bucknor-db
Giguere-wr
Deidtrick-fb
Delahunt-fb/te
Filer-g/c
Reinders-g
Hazime-dt
Nadon-dl
Plesius-lb
Prime-lb
King-s
Richardson-de
Scott-ls
Hage-c
Charbonneau-wr
Stala-wr
Williams-de
Mutobala-db
Fortin-de/ls
Husband-ol
Atkinson-dl

CFL teams will be looking for possible three head coaches and we might also take a hit there. Not just Ottawa will be looking for players Peg and Ed will be desperately scratching for new talent I sure hope the coach has a plan for protecting our valued players.

non-import punters are replaceable. No offense to Bartell, however, this would be a best case scenario for the Cats if Ottawa selected him...for the record I don't think that will happen.

The rules are set in such a way that unless you are loaded with talent, you won't lose anybody that isn't replaceable. We have no kickers worth worrying about losing. I think we protect Burris and i'm not worried about losing a backup QB (Lefevour or Masoli). We do have a lot of non-import depth and that is likely where we will lose some good players. Let's be clear though, they will have been back ups who either haven't reached potential yet or were not good enough to start here yet. I don't think we will lose anybody that will alter the over-all make up of this team.

Good list BoBo ... I like that you protect O'Neill since he plays centre & guard & they have to plan for what happens with Marwan down the road.

I'd be tempted though to leave O'Neill unprotected and see if Ottawa chooses him or Hage or Filer or none at all. If we loose one of them ... we are covered @ centre.

I'm tempted to use the 6th protection spot for one of Plesius, Hazime or Nadan-Gascon. Louie Richardson looks to be the heir apparent for Beswick if we were to loose him.

Plesius looked impressive against Winnipeg. The guy seems like he can be an all important ratio buster in a position usually reserved for imports. I would hate to see us lose this kid.

I guess the only way we could protect Plesius,would be switching him out with O'Neill,and as Fender said even if we lose either Hage(doubtful) Filer or O'Neill we would still be covered at Center. I do agree that we will most likely lose Plesius to the Checkerboards in the draft,if we don't somehow find a way to protect him.IMO the RB's would be crazy not to choose Plesius,if we leave him unprotected.

Another problem:

Say for the sake of argument, you protect the following in the first round of the non-import expansion draft

Fantuz
Dyakowski
Wojt
Stephen
Bulcke
Plesius

Does Ottawa take Sam Giguere? I'm not a huge fan of him, but Stala's production has really declined over the past couple of seasons (34 years old) and Campeau has been useless through two seasons. If the REDBLACKS take Giguere, all of a sudden you're really thin at NI Receiver and would likely have to fill that void through free agency or trade.

The days leading up to December 16th are going to be very interesting, trying to predict the best combination of players to protect.

I’d protect Plesius over Giguere. Stala is getting up there, but his production has declined this year because of being under used…not sure why?

It sucks that we invest so much time to find and develop a player, then lose them in an expansion draft. Does the NHL do this when they expand?

Any thoughts about a list of Import players to protect…