SAM linebacker

This season, Brandon Stewart, Jonathan Hefney, Jovon Johnson, and tonight it was Washington's turn to be embarassed trying to play SAM linebacker.

Someone explain to me again why it was such a good idea to cut Clint Kent ?

I would take Washington over Kent any day of the week, and twice on game day. The emergence of Washington is basically why we let Kent go (as well as Sears/Stewart). There are only so many guys that can get on the field.
AS for tonight - Washington played that position for the first time this season. He wasn't perfect, but he has hardly embarassed. I thought he had some good hits tonight.

How's Kent doing this year? Oh yeah......

For the umpteenth time - he and Willis are hardly the reason we struggled defensively this year. Give it a rest.

I think Kent's doing really well in the role he has in Edmonton, coming in on second and long as the 4th LB. And sorry, I disagree about Washington tonight, I thought he was brutal.

Anyway, when you have a revolving door all season at one position, sure makes you wonder about cutting loose the guy who played there, and played well, last season.

And I didn't say anything about Willis. should probably ask Lapo that question. As head coach he would have had final say on who he wanted on his team.

I suppose you're right Kubie. Just it puzzles me. You decide, for whatever reason, to cut Kent loose. . . okay, fine. But then, all season long, it's been a revolving door at that spot, and each guy has been found wanting. Seems to me you cut someone loose when you have someone better/younger/cheaper to step into his spot. Since it appears that all season long they haven't been able to find that guy, it makes you wonder why the move was made in the first place.

I hear ya. Might just be a simple as Lapo was wrong.

.....might just be Lapo was not a very good head-coach....AND you'd be right :wink:

Letting Kent go was a mistake. They wanted to hold onto all the extra DBs they had, but even if he had lost a step his knowledge and experience at that spot would have been a more stable option than the rotating door we've had this season. I fully believe that they wanted to move Hef to that spot and then we're in a mess once he publicly balked at the move. Since then it has been an obvious weak link there. Hef IMO has the perfect physique and style for that spot but what are u gonna do. The argos went after that spot today and Washington did not look good at all. He'll probably finish out the year at that spot but IMO is probably not the long term solution at that position. The one guy on the roster I think could play that position well is Sears, I think he's physical enough to step up in the run game and cover as well, I'm surprised he wasn't a consideration yet. But they will need to figure that out in the offseason, they can't continue like this next year or it will hurt the team again.

I agree with MJ, game 16 and we don't have a starting SAM, that's pretty poor management. It's one thing to start rookies at positions and let them grow into it but it's another to not have anyone to play the position at all.

Burke has to take most of the blame for the SAM backer fiasco. As the DC, you decide what players you're going to field if the head coach isn't from your side of the ball. If Burke had wanted to keep Kent, there is no way LaPo, an offensive guy, would have stepped in and overruled him.

The Ti Cats made a move to release Kent with the notion the Hefney would step into that spot but his public unhappiness sums up the season as one where the players had taken over the locker room.
Probably the toughest position in the CFL as teams tend to go with Imports at that position and it is a position that does not exists in the US game. With the 5 receiver sets becoming the norm the Sam has to be a DB but still needs to be big and strong enough against the run.

I'm not so sure how much influence Burke would have over the decision. He's the third man on the totem pole. How much of the decision rested on input from mack, how much is on LaPo, and how much on burke may not full well be known. For all we know maybe LaPo wanted to give some of his more outspoken vets a warning and with or without Burke's blessing picked out Kent as the one player easiest to replace. Maybe LaPo saw a lot to like with the young DBs in camp and wanted to get more of them into the line up, SAM is a bit of a hybrid position and Kent was a DB that made the move to that spot successfully, maybe he figures one of the talented young guys could do that as well. Maybe Mack, who seems to prefer younger and cheaper, told them to cut a higher salary and it happened to be Kent. I don't see a defensive coach like Burke saying, well Kent has been the only guy we've played in camp in that spot, we haven't tried anyone else out so lets cut him going into the first game of the season, we'll be fine. He may have been told to pick a guy or asked what options they might have if Kent was cut or how they could keep some of the other guys around and had some input in that respect, but the final decision I would wager was not his.

Kent being released had nothing to with salary since he wouldn't have been making that much. People seem to think he is a long time veteran CFL player when in fact he is only in his 4th CFL season.

Well he would have been making more than Washington is but point well taken. Though my argument wasn't that they let him go because of salary but only suggested it as one possible factor that may have played a role. Like I said, the truth behind why the decision was made and by whom may never be known. I personally don't buy what LaPo said about releasing him - that he was a half step slower than the other DBs. I think it was LaPos call to not make a tough choice on which of the younger DBs he had in camp to keep/cut figuring one of them would fit in that spot and instead dropping the veteran. At any rate it is a moot point, the decision was made and with the sun setting on the bomber season that position is still unsettled. I think a lot of us feel that was one of the decisions early on that had a tremendous impact on the team all season.

Just a refresher on what was said back then [url]Winnipeg Free Press

Lookin back at that article it seems that it was a move that was not given much thought of who would replace Kent at SAM. It also proves that it has become a unique kind of position in which not just any DB can make the move to. Live and learn from this one CFL coaches if you have a good Sam keep him.

The saga continues. Washington won't play this week (I think we're more hurt now than we were at the begining of the year), so the man we've all been waiting to play that spot gets his try. Sears is in. He has quickly become one of my favorite players on the team.

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I agree with the part where Penton says "The problem wasn't necessarily Kent's release; it was the fact they didn't have a plan to replace him. "

The whole problem comes from assuming Hefney would take the spot IMO. They did not account for him balking at it. Still, I find it odd they didn't bring some new blood in specifically for the position at the time of the cut. Then again, it's become a position you can't just step into.

But let's be realistic - Clint Kent was not a star at the position. He was not a difference maker. It was nice that there was consistency at the position, no doubt. But I remember him getting beat quite often as well, and I considered him to be one of the weaker DB's on the team.


Actually, they didn't have a back-up plan to replace him. When Lapo allowed Hefney to say no thanks, they were screwed. Johnny Sears is up next...certainly physical enough to play SAM, we'll see.

Hefney is not a linebacker. He's and undersized DB ! And you can't blame Lapolice when Tim Burke is the DC and now HC.

First of all, its a DB position in this defense, and Hefney was outstanding at it in 2011 when Kent was out hurt. Second of all, LaPolice is clearly at fault for allowing Hefney to whine about it in public, and then let him go back to playing HB. Zero control of his players and it's becoming obvious they had little to no respect for him

Don't tell me who I can and can't blame... :roll: