OTTAWA -- It’s a scenario that isn’t farfetched by any means.
In fact, it’s one that REDBLACKS GM Marcel Desjardins is ready to handle, if need be.
As a result, should a player selected by Ottawa during Monday’s Expansion Draft be unhappy about his new stomping grounds, Desjardins has one piece of advice to offer.
“Just show up to Ottawa, you’ll love it.”
The 2013 Ottawa REDBLACKS Expansion Draft will see 24 current CFL players change addresses. Some will come from as close as Toronto and Montreal, while others will arrive from further locations such as BC and Calgary.
It’s not inconceivable to believe that there will be some griping and grousing from a player or two, but in the end, Desjardins is hoping that professionalism will trump all potential ill-feelings.
“I think whether it’s coaching, whether it’s management, whether it’s players, it’s pretty hard to be in one place the whole time,” Desjardins told the media.
“So if you are really that adamant that you are not happy about it, you will get over it,” he said with a light-hearted smile.
The Expansion Draft is an opportunity for the REDBLACKS organization to add a little bit more of a human touch to their brand.
At the conclusion of what’s expected to be an exciting day, fans in the Ottawa region will at last be able to begin familiarizing themselves with actual players, some of whom have been making their respective names across the league for several years now.
Right now, the REDBLACKS have eight players under contract, zero of which have ever played on a CFL field before.
Currently, it’s too early to tell if any of them will become impact CFL players, but as head coach Rick Campbell explains, the importance of having some depth on the roster cannot be overstated.
“(Building depth in the first year) is huge. We are not in a position to have depth yet but we need to have the good guys first and then you build the depth after that,” he said.
“That is vitally important but we are at a stage right now where we are looking for as many good football players as we can get and then go from there,” he added.
Hired on Dec. 6 as the franchise’s first head coach, Campbell admits that the team isn’t at the stage where they can begin devising systems and building a full playbook.
Before that could happen, explains Campbell, he’ll need to have a better idea of what type of team he’ll be able to field.
“Obviously there are things that we want to do schematically but we will also tailor it to the personnel we have, really any team has to do that,” he said.
“So really you want to follow the rules, get the best guys and then build your team from there.”
With files from OttawaREDBLACKS.com