After tough seasons in the CFL, it’s important to get rid of the old and get with the new so you can have a fresh start for the next season. Having a fresh start is exactly what the Ottawa Redblacks have done following their 3-15 season a year ago. All starting with head coach Rick Campbell leaving, and Paul LaPolice coming in, general manager Marcel Desjardins made sure to have the best coaching staff heading into 2020.
Up to CFL free agency, the Ottawa Redblacks had on their staff head coach (offensive coordinator) Paul LaPolice, defensive coordinator Mike Benevides, returning special teams coach Bob Dyce, offensive line coach Bob Wylie, defensive backs coach Greg Knox, running backs coach Charlie Eger, wide receivers coach Alex Suber, and quarterbacks coach Steve Walsh but just 2 weeks following the opening of CFL free agency when things started to slow down, the team announced a few more additions to the staff.
As most coaches do when building a coaching staff, Paul LaPolice was admit on bringing in coaches with familiarity like Alex Suber, who played for LaPolice, Charlie Eger who has helped coach LaPolice in Blue Bomber training camps, Bob Wylie who was the offensive line coach for the Saskatchewan Roughriders as well as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers where he was coaching on the same staff as Paul LaPolice, and all of the coaches staying with the Redblacks. Creating familiarity around the staff is what has continued for Paul LaPolice and Marcel Desjardins as they add three to the coaching staff this week, one being Patrick Bourgon who has with the Redblacks from 2013-2015 as the Defensive/Offensive assistant. In 2020, Bourgon will come back to TD Place to help coach both Bob Dyce and Greg Knox as the special teams and defensive back assistant coach.
As well as adding Patrick Bourgon back to the Ottawa Redblacks coaching staff, the team also brought in Carey Bailey and Chris Tormey to help coach the defensive side of the football. By coaching the defense, Bailey will be coaching the defensive line while Tormey coaches the linebacking core.
Of the two coaches, Tormey has the most CFL experience, given that Bailey has just the 2019 season with the Argonauts behind him. With the experience behind him, Chris Tormey has been able to coach in the CFL for Montreal Alouettes, B.C Lions and most recently the Saskatchewan Roughriders coaching the linebackers, which is what he’ll be going into with the Ottawa Redblacks in 2020.
Like mentioned before, Tormey has the most CFL experience of the newcomers, although Carey Bailey did spend the 2019 CFL season with the Toronto Argonauts coaching the defensive line. In Toronto last season, Bailey coached Cleyon Laing, who is the most advertised signing for the Ottawa Redblacks this off-season, and considering Laing got his hands on CFL quarterbacks 7 times in 2019, Bailey could have a great season coaching the Redblacks defensive line.
Now that free agency is now behind us, and the coaching staff has been named things will be coming together fairly quick, and the Redblacks will have all eyes on training camp where the Ottawa Redblacks will have competition at all positions.