Great Expansion Model

It's easy and perhaps fashionable to label CFL as minor league and to knock it. But one thing they have done very well is to pull off an expansion model to allow a team to be competitive very quickly.

It gives you a chance. You still have to play free agency and the draft right but at least you have a base from which to work and guys to hold the fort while you gather up talent.

Even the Renegades one wasn't so bad. Several of the players they got from the extra college draft picks did well once they got out of that terrible organization. With better coaching and overall management, the Renegades might have found themselves being fairly competitive.

Yes the CFL has certainly done that with the success of the REDBLACKS but it is certainly not unique it has been done before with the NFL and the NHL with two teams ironically both called the Panthers and another called the Jaguars. In the NFL the Carolina Panthers in only their 2nd season of existence rolled to a 12-4 season and a spot in the NFC Championship game only to lose to the eventual Super Bowl winners the Green Bay Packers. Ironically the other expansion team that came in the same season as the Panthers the Jacksonville Jaguars also advanced to the AFC Championship in their 2nd season as well only to lose to the New England Patriots who ended up losing to those same Packers in the Super Bowl. If not for a few bounces here and there the Super Bowl that season could've been between two second year expansion teams which would've been absolutely crazy when you think of it.
The hockey Panthers took an extra season but in only their 3rd season in the NHL ended up in the Stanley Cup finals vs the Colorado Avalanche where they were swept 4-0.
Now granted it doesn't happen very often in sports and is rare indeed that a team improves to Championship status so quickly like the RB's have done this season and hats off to them for pulling it off but it has been done before in Pro Sports.
I'm sure there are probably other examples out there of teams that got competitive rather quickly in other sports but these are just three that I can think of as examples to compare to the rapid ascension of the REDBLACKS this season.

On the flip side, the Texans and 2.0 version of The Browns did not do very well. So no system can guarantee success (nor should it), but it should give you an opportunity at it.

Yes, but this is a much better formula moving forward to adding more teams in the next 20 years. :rockin:

Absolutely correct sir :slight_smile: and that's why I said it was a rare occurrence indeed that your REDBLACKS had such an unbelievable amazing 2nd season. Congrats to ya CRF :smiley: and all the other great fans that have stuck by many years of no football and many other years of atrocious football in the Nations Capital on your victory yesterday. The only thing I wish is that it hadn't come at the expense of my Cats by ex-Cats that came back to haunt us. :frowning: especially that guy that wears #82 for your team. :frowning:

Not to get too far off topic, but I keep hearing (in media) that the TiCats "didn't want" Ellingson. I don't recall it that. He became a free agent, sure, but that doesn't mean that a team doesn't want a guy. Winnipeg outright released Jovon Johnson. THAT'S not wanting a guy.

What is your recollection of that? Because I really don't think I should rely on Rod Black for knowledge.

My take on what happened with Ellingson is that he had a terrific rookie season in "13" where he ended up with 800 yds and 6 tds for us. The problem was that he just couldn't keep healthy in his 2nd season last year and only ended up dressing and playing in 7 games in "14". The problem was that by the time he did get healthy towards the tail end of the season the team was on a major role and he was often a healthy scratch because the team didn't want to mess with the chemistry at receiver . From what I can recall he was placed back on the 1 gm IL even though he was good to go in regards to playing and that didn't sit well with him. I honestly think that Ellingson had no intention of re-signing back with the club as a FA and I think that Austin didn't really pursue him that hard. I honestly think that the REDBLACKS having Burris at qb had a lot to do in his decision to sign in Ottawa as Burris and him had great chemistry together in his rookie season in "13" but unfortunately he got somewhat lost in the shuffle in his 2nd season after his injury and unfortunately couldn't crack the starting lineup when he came back.

the expansion club St. Louis Blues reached the Stanley Cup Finals in their first 3 years of existence.

That sounds a bit more like it. "Didn't want him" seemed a bit strong. They might very well have welcomed him back but just not made a huge commitment to him based on recent history.

Yeah, but the NHL had all six expansion teams slotted into the same division, guaranteeing that an expansion team would be in the final for each of those three years. It’s not exactly impressive.

Ottawa did a great job of identifying the weakness (receiving corps and offensive schemes) and correcting it. Hats off to that organization.

The average NFL team turns over its personnel something like 87% in 4 years. With coaching / scouting / management there is no reason to not be able to build a winner at any level of football in 5 to 6 years. The players that you "know"... the ones around for years.... are really pretty much just an anomaly.

The management side would like to get and hold onto those long tenured stars as the basis of their team, but what really counts is making the day to day talent evaluations and corrections on that other 90%.

I view the new Browns lack of success as little to do with any model and a LOT to do with hiring incompetent coaches and managers. Case in point: The Browns fulfilled Mike Holmgren's long standing desire to be a total team runner after he had won a Super Bowl and played in 2 more (getting jobbed so badly in Seahawks vs Steelers by the officials that I am not entirely convinced that a fix didn't take place in that game.)

He wasn't hungry anymore. He wanted to run the whole Browns show as a sop to his vanity and a feather in his cap or one last bullet point on the resume. Down deep, he didn't really care and he showed it by buzzing all around camp and practices in a golf cart, arriving late and leaving early.

You want to build a team FAST? Find someone fairly young, intensely driven and very hungry, with football experience and knowledge. Someone LIKE or SIMILAR to a young Bill Parcells or Bill Belichick. (not themselves, but someone with their traits.)
Someone burning intensely to build and or coach a Champion. You will get there quickly, IMHO.

Not quite true. While true Jovon Johnson wasn’t wanted back after a poor 2013 season, but Winnipeg did not outright release him. He was heading for FA and he received a message on his phone from the Bombers he wasn’t being brought back. He wasn’t released early, they just let his contract expire and he became a FA. On the second day of free agency last year he signed with the Redblacks. He’s obviously pissed about how the Bombers “went about it” but there’s no really good way to tell a guy who’s been with you for six years you’re not going to resign him.

No good way, perhaps, but "voice to voice", if not face to face, is certainly a better way.

But at some point move on. You're not the first or the last guy it's happened to. How long are you going to carry this around?

I think part of the reason that he's upset about it is that he truly enjoyed his time there. He sometimes sounds more upset that what they were building up to got dismantled as opposed to how he was treated individually.

Well, we only have Jovon Johnson's side of the story about the message, for all we know the Bombers may have made several attempts to reach out to him and he didn't return their calls knowing what was coming and so they finally left a message. Or not. Who knows. Johnson's not the only one, Jamel Richardson wasn't happy with Montreal when let go, Hank apparently is still bitter with Hamilton and Calgary, etc. It's hard to move on from a place where you had success when it's a one sided decision.

Johnson had a bad 2013 season, was OK last year in his first year as a Redblack, but has had a really good season this year. And why? He admitted he put in extra work this last off season so he could come in to camp in better shape. So deep down he knows he hadn't been at his best. Good for him.

I kind of find it funny reading some of the posts lauding the CFL expansion draft for helping Ottawa set a good foundation so they can be good so quick. Seems to me last year some of these same people were complaining how it wasn't good enough to help Ottawa be successful. What a difference a year makes.