The Ottawa Redblacks hope to have the pieces in place to get him going on and off the football field.
Starting the second half of the CFL season with only their second win (with eight losses), the Redblacks also announced that they added four people as part-time scouts. It’s about getting better now, next week, next month, next year, and for years to come.
“It was always a plan to have a stronger scouting team to make sure we’re on the road long enough,” Redblacks general manager Shawn Burke said Tuesday. “Scouting can be the lifeblood of an organization. It allows us to reach more areas so that we have more names in the pipeline. With both leagues (USFL and XFL) possibly next year, there will be a fight over different types of talent. Our responsibility is to continue bringing players to be evaluated; it’s a strange concept, but you’re bringing in guys who take other people’s work. We accept that: We want to bring the best quality people both on and off the field who fit what we’re looking to do here.”
Join the Redblacks: Rick Worman, Ron Selesky, and Nadia Doucoure as Exploration Consultants and Todd Worley as US Regional Explorer.
Worley was a scouting and analysis manager for the XFL’s Seattle Dragons. He was the Midwest Regional Scout for Saskatchewan from 2016 to 2019 and also worked for the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and 247 Sports as a recruiting analyst.
From 1996 to 2001, Worman, who worked with the Redblacks in the lead up to their 2014 expansion season, he played quarterback in the CFL (with Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatchewan) and coached with Winnipeg, Hamilton, Edmonton and Montreal (as offensive coordinator for the Als in 2014).
Doucoure, who helped coach during the Redblacks’ training camp, He worked with the Carleton University football team as an offensive assistant and assistant wide receivers coach in 2021 and is a defensive assistant this season. She has been involved in football since 2002, coaching her local football club in France, and has played high-level flag football and rugby for decades.
Selesky, a former NFL player, has more than two decades of experience coaching and staffing players. He was a US scout for the Roughriders in 2015, before becoming director of football operations for the AAF’s Birmingham Iron and manager of football operations for the XFL’s Tampa Bay Vipers.
Everyone in the Redblacks’ football operations department also has a designated area in the US Assistant GM Jeremy Snyder and Phil Moreau have recently been on the road looking.
“This is part of a plan that was underway that I talked about in my interview that we had to put in place at the US exploration department,” Burke said. “I also felt that we had to have a central person doing Canadian exploration; so (Chad Hudson) is that person, but he still has an area in the US. He wanted each person to have a different area in the US.
“I worked with Rick on Hamilton. Ron had previously worked with (Professional Personnel Director Brendan Taman). We all knew Todd and he had done some work with Saskatchewan, Nadia blew us away in training camp with her work ethic and her desire to work in all areas of soccer. We kept in touch, I approached her about the opportunity to do some things in the Northeast, mostly virtual, but she just jumped at the chance.
“Todd has a whole region where some of the consultants probably have a more condensed area. It’s just us getting more bodies out there. We definitely believe in the process that we have of going and seeing people with our eyes and then getting evaluations from people that those players have worked with. It gives us the ability to reach all parts of North America.”
Everything is mixed with wanting to improve on the soccer field. That relates to a team that had struggled in home losses to the Stampeders (17-3) and Elks (30-12) before a nice 25-18 comeback win at Edmonton on Saturday. The Redblacks hope to keep some of that mojo heading into Friday’s game in Montreal.
“You always enjoy winning, that’s why you play,” Burke said. “It’s always a happier room, a better flight home and more excitement for the week ahead. It’s our responsibility to remember that feeling, build on it and see if we can continue this week against Montreal. I’m excited to see how the team performs this week. We have the opportunity to achieve a second consecutive victory; We haven’t done that this year. I want to see how they accept that challenge. It’s obviously going to be tough: we’re in a short week (and Montreal) coming off a break. But momentum is built into things.
“There have been some positives and negatives that come up when a new organization comes together. And that’s where we are now. We meet a lot of new people. I see the effort, I see some of the things we want to be as an organization in terms of playing fast and physical, but it’s about doing it consistently. We need to start putting all three phases together – in each game, you’ve seen some highlights from one phase or two phases. You have to play a full team soccer match of complementary soccer to have the best chance of winning.
THE END AROUND: The Redblacks released LB Troy Young and announced the signing of DL Will Kiely (William & Mary), who was with the team in training camp and was released in early June…DB Money Hunter (hamstring) practiced (limited) on Tuesday. WR Justin Hardy (hamstring) and OL Randy Richards (pectoral) were complete entrants…Montreal DB Najee Murray (foot) missed a third straight day of practice…The Redblacks have moved up one spot in the CFL Power Rankings. Now ranked eighth, the Redblacks moved ahead of the Elks. Of Ottawa’s Eastern Division rivals: Toronto is fourth, Montreal is sixth and Hamilton is seventh.
FINALLY, HOPE: It’s a win for the Redblacks, who now turn their attention to Alouettes
FOOT SOLDIER: Redblacks’ Richie Leone strives to be the best kicker in CFL