Cuts and Keepers

Well the season is over for Ottawa, and while it was a rocky start there's some jewels the team has to keep. So, what are your thoughts. Who are the three must keeps and the three must goes.


Marcus Henry - The most consistent receiver on the team catching most thrown his way, he's be the bright spot on a corps riddled with a case of the dropsies.

Jeremiah Johnson - This guy's ability to juke and fake is something special, and he's got speed and is a decent size.

Justin Capicciotti - An awesome Lineman and a national to boot, Capicciotti has been the sack leader for the RedBlacks this year.


Patrick Lavoie - To this day, I still don't understand why Ottawa went after both him and John Delahunt. The need for more then one Fullback now a days just doesn't seem like a smart choice, and Lavoie seemed to have dropsies for this season and a -4 yards rushing. Now to be fair, Fullbacks don't see tons of rushing, and having seen Delahunt far more when he was in Hamilton, I would favor him next year.

Brett Maher - Maher's is boasting a 45.5 yard punting average, which is decent and good for 3rd in the league. That being said though, every regular kicker in the league is boasting at least 42, so that's not as incredible. What's not incredible is the abysmal 66.7 field goal percentage, which is worst in the league. It would be somewhat acceptable if Maher was a national, but taking up a national spot with those numbers, just isn't going to cut it.

At least one O.Lineman - I just came to a realization. Apart from DJ Young, the RedBlacks have been running an entire national O.Line. This might have worked a couple of decades ago, but now a days, D.Linemen and Linebackers are so much stronger and faster then they once were. You simply can't treat the Offensive line as a Canadian dump position to meet the ratio, you need nationals in other positions. There are great Canadian O.Linemen out there, yes, but you are fooling yourself if you think that you can construct and acquire enough of them to make an entire offensive line out of them when they are in such high demand, nevermind your first year in the league. This is compounded by the defensive football we saw this season due to the draft. No matter who is under centre, they are getting crushed, and this isn't due to Hank getting old or lack of experience. It's because you need to sprinkle some big ol' mean southern boys, and that means a few players who are banking on the fact they are Canadian, need to be given the axe. Who? Well it's hard to say, but I'd go with MacMillan or Deanne.

In regards to Lavoie, it's hard to speculate as to why a player was chosen when you don't know what was available. I actually thought he was brought in to become a slotback, to tell you the truth. I also much prefer Delahunt.

I agree with keeping Marcus Henry, but he kind of disappeared over the past couple of weeks. I'm not fully completely sold on him, but he's the best of a bad lot.

Big fan of Capicciotti, on the other hand. May be my favourite player on the team. Hard worker, not flashy, but ultimately put up some pretty goo dnumbers. Jonathan Williams was pretty productive too until he got hurt. Marlon Smith looks like a nice late addition to the line-up.

Out: Eric Fraser is awful at safety, and has had some brutal missed tackles on special teams. Can't wait for him to leave.

QB Danny O'Brien. I don't understand the interest in him. Going into the last game, he had thrown four picks on 29 attempts. Also, it may be coincidental, but Maher's kicking problems started around the time that DeMarco got hurt. I wonder if O'Brien is not new to holding too. I much prefer Alex Carder, from what little I've seen of him in pre-season.

Dobson Collins. Just a guy.

I would love to be able to turf Matt Carter too. Fumbled away the Edmonton game after dropping one in the endzone earlier, and had another big drop deep in Toronto. Is the exact opposite of "clutch". I hope McDonnell can make him expendable ASAP.

Lavoi and Delajunt gave the RBs two pass catching true TEs. They may be listed as FBs but neither plays FB. Everyone had the dropsies and going forward Ottawa looks like they will be going with a TE set like Montreal had done in Lavois rookie year. They also have a two sport star playing Lacrosse who they drafted that is also a TE. All three can also play on teams.
They trimmed Carleton at receiver not sure who would follow before training camp. Gott really did not get the job done, eppelle was out all season J'M' Deane and the rookie from Iowa started and played well all season. They really needed to get out and find better Import OTs. I thought they really settled early with that DII guy they got. There are a lot out there no reason they cant bring in a variety of NFL PR/back ups who have exhausted NFL options. some late rookie training camp cuts from 2014, as well as diamond in the ruff or two from the Arena League.
Some DBs are keepers others will need to work on improving. Pruneu definetely a keeper starting at Will his rookie season. The only National able to do so is quite a feet. Fraser as well a keeper. a good second safety who could start if needed as well as playing all the Teams.
Adding Munoz after his quiet return from NFL training camp to go with the two they had at starter make a very formiable 3 some to play Mike/Will and coverage teams.

receivers, DBs, and Import OT's are the biggest of needs.
They wanted to build from the Line out and that is already in full gear on defense with a great group of National Dlineman, vets like Sholo, breakout DE like cappi, to go with a slew of draft picks and young rotation guys to mix in. back that up with the 4 LB they have and a great front seven in the making.
Canadian Content on the OL is going in the right direction. Imprt OT's need to be much imprved.

Matt Carter - I thought about him too, he used to play for Hamilton and he was an ok receiver but nothing special apart from the fact he was an import. Now, it's looks like Carter has gained a lot of speed, but has lost his hand eye coordination. The only reason I didn't add him to the list, is that he's a national, and the offensive line is in far more need of being addressed. I'd still keep him.

Eric Fraser I can't really argue with. Missed tackles were the story of the Ottawa secondary this year.

Dobson Collins - Yeah pretty much, was pretty much the same player when he played for Hamilton.

If the team was around for 5-10 years, maybe. Then you have core guys, you've vetted them and you'd pulled teeth to get that much national content. However straight out the gate, no way. Good national linemen are too hot a commodity to expect that you are getting the cream of the crop your first year back in the league, and O.Line is too crucial a position to use as a ratio dumping ground. You need a healthy mix throughout the team of nationals, because there is never a shortage of NCAA talent coming from the US, you just need to vet the players. You need only look how much roster turnover the Cats dealt with the first year Austin took over to team to confirm that fact.

Pour ma part, j'inclurais Antoine Pruneau dans les joueurs que cette équipe doit absolument garder.

Ce jeune a joué avec beaucup d'aplomb pour une recrue à cette position et je crois qu'on n'a pas encore vu le meilleur de lui.

Don't think he was suggesting it is always best/necessary to have import OTs, just that as they are the hardest National OLs to find it is realistic to expect one or both to be imports for the time being if the offence wants to improve; but better imports than they have now.

That is what I meant. I think they are off to a good start with the National Olineman that they were able to acquire. Just were not really deep enough to go with 4 Candian OL with the 4th at RT. You saw that this year alone. J'Deane and macmillian both have ability to play RT. Mac could use some more seasoning but Deane started his whole SR season at RT for Mich ST and was an all Big 10 i believe. If Eppele was healthy then they may have been able to have pulled it off with J'Deane at RT, he played their quite a bit for Calgary. That was the problem is that when Eppele was out their went the 4th National Olineman.
Like you said there are loads of Import OTs out their going with 3 interior National and 2 INT ant OT spot is not very uncommon.
Especiallly since Cap had a huge break out year as a DE and Pruneau playing SamLB as a rookie is just an awesome feet. Even new INT DBs with solid pedigrees and are able to stick in the CFL. Their first season at least is a learning curve to play the now hybrid DB/LB sam spot as well as HB having to cover the waggle.

As for the mentioned two National TEs. It could be that they wanted both to play in TE spot with 4 wide outs but the Fired OC did not handle them the way HC wanted.

I did not get the O'Brian thing either. I realize a first year team and O'Brian a first year QB as the number 3 a chnce you take. Demarco went down as number two and really was no one available at all, as the Riders found out. Thats why I wonder why they would announce and actually play him a lot in that final game. He obviously was not ready so not sure what they had to look at. Have Hank go the distance and go for a win to end the season.

I think treating Kevin Glenn the way Ottawa did was a mistake. I mean Kevin Glenn might not be the guy who will win you the Cup as a starter, but he's certainly one of the best backup pivots in the CFL. I'm still to this day surprised that Ottawa pursued Burris as aggressively as they did.

I was a bit surprised at the Burris acquisition too at the time, but in light of the fan reaction his signing got I'm not surprised any more, in hindsight.

When Glenn was picked up, it gave the team some credibility, but Burris added to that and brought excitement. Glenn posted a video of his family cheering the selection during the expansion draft, then basically disappeared. Burris came to town and started pumping people up immediately. He is a far better public figure and spokesperson than Glenn is.

Maybe you had to be there (meaning here).

Totally agree :thup:

I don't think Burris is the guy to lead us to Grey Cup anytime soon but he did deliver on SELLING the team to 9 sell outs. Fan base was always great for football in the Capital, but now I believe they are getting more of the younger fans into to TD Place. Marketing has been another big factor in Ottawa as you see LOADS of people wearing RedBlacks Gear.

Also agree with above poster, Pruneau is a KEEPER!! 8)

Agreed. Burris has more off field charisma, Glenn not so much. Hank showed up to a lot of the caravans and fan events, whether Glenn would've showed up if he was happy and had the same effect with the fans is unlikely. From the standpoint of helping sell the team to the city and potential fans, Burris was a good get. I suppose you can look at it as not giving one of the richest contracts in the league to an aging QB cast aside by his last team but a combination player contract/team ambassador.

Still a big mistake not giving themselves enough CFL experience at the QB position. Even after giving Glenn his wish and sending him out of town, they went from one of the strongest 1-2 punches in the league at QB to one of the weakest. I still think Kerry Joseph would've been a good fit there for one season. He wasn't exceptional in Sask but that was on short notice and I think he would've been more serviceable having gone through a training camp and being in a system with a team for a full season. It would've been a nice tie in to the last Ottawa franchise and a good story to end his career, and would've eased any pressure on O'Brien and Carder.

I'd say cut Dobson Collins but he's a pending FA, so I would just let him walk. I have a feeling that Greg Ellignson makes his way there in FA from the Ticats, especially if Burris returns for year 2. He got lost in the shuffle in Hamilton and I think he'll bounce back with a change in scenery and re-uniting with Hank.

Not a lot of big names at receiver hitting the market. BC's Ernest Jackson would be a good get IMO but I feel Buono gets him back. Mind you I thought the same thing with Nick Moore and he left BC for Wpg last offseason. As for NI receivers, I would have to imagine they make a play for either or both of Calgary's pending FA receivers in Sinopoli and Charbonneau-Campeau. Best of the weak group of Nat receivers, Sinopoli keeps getting better IMO, and Charbonneau-Campeau came up with some big catches for the Stamps on the road to the Grey Cup win, think he could become a decent possession type receiver.

Would have to think Anton McKenzie is another guy headed out. Didn't contribute on the field this year and his spot will likely be made available for a younger body to add to the mix for training camp. I don't think keeping him around adds anything now that there is more experience all around the roster after a full season completed.

Burris' off field celebrity and his moving of his family to Ottawa would lead one to believe that Ottawa has plans for Burris' and his life after football career within the organization.
Glenn has become a plug and play top Back up to a bonified injured starter. Being able to manage and win some games when your starter is out for a long stretch but not the QB you are looking to lead you to a Grey Cup.
A potential QB coaching job to start could be in the plans for Glenn in the future.
Burris' as the starter for 2015 is likely unless at some point a healthy Demarco can make that step as Mitchell, Reilly, and Collaros.
The only free agent back up is Brian Brohm.
Other than that a deal would have to be made to get a Tate or Mass connection to Harris in Toronto.
Tate has proven that he can start and be successful. Injuries have put a blemish on him as of now. Both a more pro experienced Brohm and a younger Harris both have played well in limited action. Both have showed the arm strength to play at the pro level.

I like that a guy that enjoys talking about the potential success of young football players lives in a place called "Prospect Park". :smiley:

McKenzie is another veteran who could have parlayed his signing with the RBs to a job for life after football. Spending the whole season as the RBs online content show.
Moving past just being a retired player into the radio booth but now onto each teams on online TV Network content that could be picked up by local TV/Cable networks that cover sports in each teams city.

Speaking of RBs who could/should be moving from the field into the broadcast booth, Burris should seriously consider hanging up his cleats and doing so. His best days are far behind him - sometimes I felt embarrassed for him - and he looked and sounded good on camera leading up to the Grey Cup.

I hope he instead proves a lot of people wrong on the field.

Is that because you like Burris or because you dread the thought of starting any of the options available out there in his place and he's the best of a bad bunch of options?

Wonder if the RBs make a play for Dan Lefevour to add some depth at QB in addition to snagging one or two of their receivers in FA.

I'm not in love with the guy but I'm appreciative of how good he's been for the franchise. I think he's given too much of the blame for the problems on offense and that people are too fixated on his age. He got pounded all year and yet was one of very few guys to play every game for his team. I appreciate his toughness and want to see it rewarded.

Is he blameless? Absolutely not, and he's admitted as such. But I think of how many times receivers and the OC admitted that patterns were being run incorrectly and wonder if Burris' lack of accuracy was more a matter of people not being where they were supposed to be, or throwing under pressure.