Ottawa Redblacks president Mark Goudie expects general manager Marcel Desjardins and head coach Rick Campbell to be back for the 2020 season.
“It’s a question I’ve been dreading. People judge your words, specifically by what you say. Rick is our coach and Marcel is our general manager. What we haven’t done is sit down and go through and dissect the year. I’ll wait a couple of weeks to do that with Marcel. And Marcel will be doing it with Rick as well. My expectation is both of those positions will be back next year,” Goudie told Ottawa Sun reporter Tim Baines.
The Redblacks have the worst record in the CFL (3-12) and Ottawa has scored the least amount of points league-wide (259). Goudie was honest and responded “no” when asked if he was happy with the job his GM and bench boss have done in 2019.
“But that goes for the rest of the organization. That goes for me, that goes for our players, that goes for our coach, that goes for our general manager. Our expectation is to be perpetually competitive— they know this, I know this,” Goudie said.
“That’s what the expectation is from our OSEG partners. Our base needs to be 10-plus wins, a winning record at home and to host a playoff game. That’s our minimum expectation. We didn’t meet that this year. I don’t think any of us can claim we did the job we’re here to do.”
There was an exodus of talent in the off-season as Ottawa went through losing quarterback Trevor Harris (Eskimos), receiver Greg Ellingson (Eskimos), offensive lineman SirVincent Rogers (Eskimos), running back William Powell (Riders) and Diontae Spencer (NFL) on offence specifically.
“When you look at it, we’ve got probably some unfortunate personnel decisions in terms of both guys we lost and guys we brought in that weren’t able to do the job,” Goudie said.
“I don’t think there is a simple answer, particularly this year where a whole bunch of things didn’t go right. I know people are looking for a soundbite, they’re looking for one throat to choke, but I don’t think it’s as simple as that.”
When talks broke down with Harris, many felt it was due to the signing bonus cash, Desjardins and Campbell elected to go with Dominique Davis and Jonathon Jennings at the QB position. Young developing pivot Will Arndt started the Redblacks Week 18 game in Toronto.
“The only thing I get upset with is the conversation around money because it’s not right, it’s false. Marcel will spend within $5,000 of the salary cap — that scares the crap out of me because you’re fined if you go over. He is so efficient at using every dollar in the cap. That isn’t one of the constraints or issues that have plagued us this year,” Goudie said.
Combined the signal callers have led 16 touchdown drives – dead last in the CFL, Toronto is next closest with 29. As a team Ottawa has thrown 26 interceptions and turned the ball over 47 times, both the highest totals among any franchise. The downhill spiral started when offensive coordinator Jaime Elizondo left for the XFL in April.
“We lost some key free agents, which is well documented, we lost our OC at an inopportune time and we had a whole rash of injuries,” Goudie said.
“An OC has to be top of the list, everything kind of trickles down from there. I’ll let Marcel and Rick have their conversations, then in the next couple of weeks I’ll step into it and look to understand what the blueprint looks like and what our game plan for next year is going to be.”