Ottawa did a great job in free agency last offseason. As one example, give Burris last years receivers and no way are they hosting the East final next week. Sure they got to stock their shelves a bit at first but let's face it, those were hardly the condiments of choice for the teams the players came from. If they were they would have been protected. Shrewd dealings from that time on has Ottawa where they are today.
Sunderland did a great job identifying young Americans. Desjardins and Gorrell did a great job with their draft picks and expansion draft. Pruneau, Macmillan,Mateas. John Gott (for a draft pick) and I think Harty will be a starter at some point. Then Desjardins convinced Burris to take a pay cut and used his FA dollars to fix the hole at receiver.
Footbal ops haven't put a foot wrong in two years. Did they raid Montreal and Calgary's staff sure just like every other team in the CFL does. Watch the Riders who have sent requests to negotiate with every Successful GM and DPP under contract in the league. Sunderland probably one of them.
Rider and Bomber fans were making jokes about how quickly Ottawa would fold... Didn't exactly work out that way
Works in line with Burris being "lucky" to not have injuries. Leaving aside how hard he works to stay healthy anyway, they protected him better and installed an offence in which he gets rid of the ball quickly most of the time. He takes WAY fewer hits now compared to last year. And when he does need to unload the ball under duress, at least the receivers appear to be where they're supposed to be.
You can't make luck, but you can sure as hell improve your odds. Now how often have Winnipeg QBs been hit this year? Think maybe there's a connection between that and injuries at the position? There's a chance.
Here's what strikes me as funny, too: Some people prior to the x-draft system being decided were suggesting that the Canadian ratio be DECREASED for Ottawa to give them a better chance early. I wanted no part of that specifically for this reason: If Ottawa won it all in years one and/or two, all the cries about being handed a cup would come out.
Now they draft a year early, from a pool of 19 players at the time, if I recall correctly, and participate in an expansion draft (horror!!) and it's still too much.
Funnier still, I mentioned Kohlert earlier. He went back to Winnipeg anyway, in no time at all.
Do you remember who else Ottawa got from Winnipeg? Wallace Miles, who defined inconsistent and is long gone, and James Green who plays only on special teams, Ottawa's worst performing unit. Think getting those two guys back would flip their fortunes? I'm leaning towards "no".
Here's another one for ya, inspired by another thread: Remember when Ottawa should have hired Marcel Bellefeuille as head coach because he speaks French? :lol:
I'm not out to crap all over Winnipeg, but I get tired of seeing some dismiss Ottawa's quick rise as nothing more than just the way the cookie crumbled. They went through their growing pains, they just avoided prolonging them.
The reality is they saw things in guys like Sinopoli,Ellingson that their old teams did not value...The brain trust in Hamilton chose Bakari Grant over Ellingson and while Barker was taking the lazy way out with Kackert and Whitaker. Sunderland was beating the bushes in the US and found Powell. Football ops in Ottawa has all the merit in the world for the team they built.