As new coaches and their coordinators begin to shape their defenses some quality veteran players are becoming available.
EDM T.J. Hill import Sam LB
EDM Donavan Alexander Canadian safety
BC Paris Jackson Canadian REC
Calgary Johnny Forzani Canadian Rec ( still unsigned )
T.J. Hill I would say yes. SAM LB is one of the tougher positions to learn and as of last season Hill was still a starter.
Donavan Alexander also yes. Hav9ing two quality Canadian Safeties is becoming more of a neccessity these days. Teams like the Argos can have a veteran like Black and a rokie like Gabriel fill those roles with and expereinced defense already in place. Ottawa will not have that luxury in its first season. So if they have a chance to get a second Canadian Safety like Alexander to go with Fraser you take it.
Paris Jackson no. Jackson did a nice job in 2012 when packaged with Tim Brown when giving Harris a break at RB and balancing the ratio subbing for Bruce. Last season however he was needed to fill in as a starter at times as well as the package and he did not play very well.
Johnny Forzanni yes was aproven comodity as a starting receiver befor he was injured. His health Status is still up in the air and it does not appar as if the Stamps are going to resing him. I would say yes to Forzanni if the coaching staff thnks he will be able to make a full recovery. Even if he is not healthy to start the season, Ottawa would have him on the 9 game and be able to assist in his recovery
Any other thoughts or recently available plsyers???
Hill and Jackson may have lost a step, depends on how much they are asking I guess. Forzani if healthy would be worth a look and Alexander should be an upgrade over a couple of DB's the RedBlacks have signed. Clarke and Adu. IMO
For sure alexander should be the one they go after. starters expereince 2012 all star. Clarke was never anything bu a special teams players and Adu, a rookie I beleive, would most likley end up as a practice roster player.
Bo smith and Javon Johnson may or may not get a second wind with Ottawa and who knows how any of the new import DBs will work out. Having two starting Calibre safeties who both are coming off of good seasons would give them stability, depth, to be the glue.
Hill may have lost a step I agree but his experience at SAM LB can be vavluable to have even if he may eventually get beat out by a new import or another realeased vet DB moving from HB/CB.
Yup they are pretty much overloaded with safety prospects now. Signed Graig Newman away from the Riders. I think he has been quietly ready to make his move to breakout. He worked his way through Juniors and Practice rosters with the Riders kinda flew under the radar in Regina.
Traded for Matt Bucknor who I think they were looking to move to safety. Muamba may be the odd man out and could be the one ending up in Ottawa. Fans have been hard on him but he is still young and could be a nice fit behind fraser.
He definitely can still play and an old crafty gunslinger like Burris I am sure would love to have him. REDBLCACKS may have to weight the pros and cons but I think that this story may blow over, even though it was a stupid thing to do, and he might just be on the REDBLACKS TC roster.
Popp probably has the guy on their neg list.
You're probably right. The team has an image to build and doesn't want to deal with that controversy.
If Bruce had "only" robbed a liquor store or assaulted someone, then people would be far more tolerant of his addition to the team. But he has an unpopular opinion, that he's entitled to no matter how offensive it might seem, so we've got to stay away from him. Go figure.
T.J. Hill is a yes. Although I would agree he may have lost a step still very very experienced at the Will LB spot is invaluable.
It is one position a CFL club usually does not want to go into a training.
Seth Williams some expereince in the CFL but will be running up against of a lot of young and Hungry new Import DBs. He also may not be their final solution by the end of the seasonbut is familiar with the HB spot that has tho cover the waggle
REDBLACKS used the expansion draft to build a solid Oline core. Now beginning to look at building a Dbackfield.
Right now a combo of CFL released vets/experinced, new Imports exhusting NFL otpions and Arena football scouting will also be key.
So far I like what I am seeing from the REDBLACKS carefully addingpieces to the puzzle
REDBLACKS have a lot of good young talent and some very seasoned vets.
They will need to try to get a hold of more prime starting all star types. SHolo, Javon J, and Malik Jackson, and Eric Fraser still could hold that status.
Moton Hopkins and Brandon Lang have also both been proven starter/rotation guys
Chris Thompson DB Edmonton Not surprisingly Coach Jones is releasing some decent starting defensive players for the ESKS as he brings in his own. Another possibility for the REDBLACKS to sign as another league expereinced DB.
Javon Johnson most likley starting at CB and TJ Hill at the nickel SAM LB spot. Bo Smith has been brought aboard and Thompson is in that range. I just think since they have no base of veteran CFL DBs getting a nice balance of released vets added to new CFK imports whether NFL/AFL or NCAA expereince and find a nice balance. It will take at best the first 6 games to get close.
Even if they hold back Thompson or Smith on the 9 game IR as they sort through some new guys and some vets. Also NCAA rookies will be likley to take a PR spot as they work they way up. Where an NFL expereinced guy may be able to be aligned on the 9 game as well.
If you are getting released like a smith or Hill or Thompson usually comes in with a lower base salary with incetives paid for starts etc. So they should be able to keep a good amount of import DBs mixed into the team somewhere.
They were able to get the Oline base unit down through the expansion draft. The Dbackfield unit I knew would have to be done this way but they are doing a decent job IMHO.
Still would like to see a better MLB there still is an All star floating out there with some age but still with some miles in MCCune. Still there are usually a good stock of new imports to the CFL as well for Ottawa I would go with McCune and find a Sherrit/Bighill if possible to groom off the roster. Easier said then done.
McKenzie older now but still very productive. Problem for McKenzie is that the Lions are sticking with both BigHill and Elimimian and have assed Jamal Johnson and in deep reserve Canadian vet Aragkie makes for a crowd at the LB spot.
Malik jackson will be the starter at Will LB but if I am Ottawa I am not comfortable going into the season with Pottinger as my starting MLB.
Now there will be some new Import FAs in camp looking at the MLB job but having both Mckenzie and Jackson gives two experienced with knowledge go the CFL. McKenzie could possibly move to MLB similar to Jamal Johnson in Hamilton last season as a bridge between seasons or for the first part of the season.
However Montreal is looking to think the same think with a starting Will LB in Herbert and Bear Woods an unproven starter at MLB so far.
McCune still available but it seems like several teams, including Ottawa, are waiting for some other things to unfold before signing him.
I would think McKenzie and Thompson could both help the RedBlacks this year. Probably better players than some of the cuts the RB's have picked up. Maybe they want more money than Marcel wants to give.
The RB's web site says they have 73 players signed (their roster shows 70). To me they look like they could add a couple of import OT's as Lee is the only one listed. They also look a little shallow at LB to me. Haven't heard anything yet on the four Junior's they drafted last year. Maybe some of them are signed but not announced yet.
They likely could have a rokkie an center or Guard. Also have a nice prospect in TE Carl Fitz in his second season. using TE would help much in the running game taking some pressure off of Willy. A TE that can be a threat as a receviver could also be a nice touch