Kyle Myers | Ticats.ca
HAMILTON -- The release of Brandon Isaac by the Toronto Argonauts on July 23rd surprised many around the CFL, no one more so than Isaac himself.
Less than 24 hours later, he was a Tiger-Cat.
At the time, Isaac admitted he wasn’t sure about the reasons for his banishment from Toronto, expressing confusion and frustration with the organization for handing him his walking papers.
Now two months later, Isaac has reflected on what he believes went wrong, and has learned from what sees as missteps on his part.
“I think maybe when I became a leader, I stepped on some toes and made people feel unpleasant,” he said. “I’m known for being a vocal person, and sometimes that can you get in trouble. In this business I’m the player and they’re the coaches, so they get paid to coach and I get paid to play. I went at things the wrong way, so the next time I’m put into a leadership role I have to lead with my actions and not just my words.”
Self-reflection aside, there is still no love lost between Isaac and the Argos, and he sees Friday’s return to the Rogers Centre as the perfect opportunity to prove his old bosses wrong with a strong performance.
“I’ve been thinking about (going back) a lot, thinking about an opportunity to go out there and show up these guys,” he said.
But any notion that the linebacker’s feelings towards the Argos will affect his play negatively were quickly squashed by Isaac himself and by his head coach.
“When you’re a professional football player, it’s incumbent upon you to prepare yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally, to play your best football,” said Austin. “I understand the emotion of (returning to Toronto), but you have to keep your emotions in check. Brandon’s a pro.”
In Hamilton, Isaac has become one of the new guard under the direction of Austin and defensive coordinator Orlondo Steinauer, with whom he worked last season in Toronto. With two sacks, an interception, and 11 tackles in seven games since joining the ‘Cats, Isaac has brought new grit to Hamilton’s defence, as well as the ability to get to the quarterback.
“He brought a physicality and an aggressiveness at a time when our defence needed that,” said Austin.
This weekend Brandon Isaac returns to Toronto, where just over three months ago he was suiting up in double blue to face the team he is now a member of. He’s grown as a player and as a person in the time since his departure, and was adamant that whatever emotions he’s feeling on Friday will be secondary to the success of the Tiger-Cats.
“This game isn’t about me,” he said. “The Argos are in first place and we’re in second. They’re at where we want to be. So hopefully we can go execute a good game plan and come out with the win.”