In a 3-15 season the Ottawa Redblacks didn’t get a lot of great news coming into the front office a year ago, although thanks to the help of scouts and general managers the team is back on track for a Grey Cup run. One of the major names in the Ottawa Redblacks front office is Jean-Marc Edmé, after being hired by the team in 2016 Edmé has found himself playing a big role in the Redblacks front office.
On paper, Edmé is listed as the director of player personnel but in reality he does a lot in the Redblacks organization, Edmé mentions, “At director of player personnel, I’m involved with both sides of scouting which means I’m in charge of scouting professional and college players.” He explains, “For professional players, I scout NFL guys for possible cuts, we look at the indoor leagues, XFL guys and of course we like getting a look at all of the CFL players that play in our league and for those guys (CFL players) we like to put a grade on the players to see where they are talent wise.” Edmé also adds in, “When I jump on the college side of things, we look at all of the players, Canadian and American. We as a team try to put a grade on all of the players in college to prepare when they are making their way to Canada for the CFL.”
Playing a big role in the Ottawa Redblacks front office Edmé has been able to make a name for himself in the league for finding a list of great players, just to name a few: Sherrod Baltimore, DeVonte Dedmon, Corey Tindal, Avery Williams and Avery Ellis. In the past few years of being in the scouting department of football JM mentions, “In the time I’ve spent with my job here in Ottawa and even in Montreal ahead of time one of the best things that come with my job is the Marriott points. All the other scouts would give you the same answer. When you travel as much as I do, looking at different games, we as scouts do a lot of traveling and our hotel points build up over time.” He goes on to say, “That would be one of the best perks in the job I have, but my favorite part of the job would be the relationships you build with the people you work with. Whether its another scout with Ottawa or a player I meet at a college, all of the people in football have different stories from where they are from to what it took for them to get where they are. The people you meet as a scout and the relationships I’ve built with people around the CFL is pretty cool and is for sure a favorite part of the job.”
Through his time in the CFL, Edmé has done a lot of traveling as he mentioned and he’s got to meet a lot of people, but how did he get to into his role with the Redblacks? Jean-Marc says, “One thing I’ve learnt throughout my career is don’t be afraid to knock on doors. If you’re a player or a scout and you want to talk to someone about going into a job, just knock on the doors.” Knocking on doors doesn’t sound too efficient to get a job although Edmé comments, “Sometimes its just luck that comes with it, for example when I was at school at Laurentian University I had to have an internship to graduate. Given what I wanted to do, I reached out to all of the NFL and CFL teams hoping to get an email back from a few of them, but I only got rejection emails and phone calls until I got a call from Marcel Desardins who at the time was general manager of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. After hearing back from him, I was later a football operations intern with Hamilton which is what built my career. From that I learnt that a simple knock on a door or an email could go a long way, so my advice to anyone that wants to get into scouting or football operations is just to knock on doors like I did starting out.”
Going through in 2007 as an intern in Hamilton and then having an 8 year stint in Montreal, Edmé found himself back with his former boss Marcel Desjardins in Ottawa. In the past 4 years he has in with the Redblacks, hes found himself with quite the successful career and been put on the map around the league. On the CFL map, Edmé is looked on to be a future general manager in the league, although if that does end up happening he wishes on it happening with the Redblacks as he has already declined an interview with the Alouettes about the GM position. Edmé mentions, “I’m grateful to have that opportunity to be looked at to be in that such high profile job. Theres only 9 CFL teams and to be looked at as an option is great. It is a job I’d love to be a part of, but in life you have to evaluate everything and when I did look over it all I felt that my heart is still in Ottawa and that we as a team have unfinished business to handle so I thanked the Alouettes for the offer, but my heart wants me to stay in Ottawa.”
Declining the job offer in Montreal leaves Edmé in Ottawa for another year and he comments about Ottawa, “I love the city of Ottawa, being here for the last couple of years I really love how much support the fans and the city alone show for the team. Living in Orleans, I go all over the city and whether I’m in Orleans close to home or in Barrhaven doing some shopping, I always see a few Redblacks hats and shirts being worn and thats really what sets the Ottawa fans apart from the others is the support they have even when we aren’t doing that great in the standings we are always being cheered on by the city here in Ottawa.”