Hamilton Tiger-Cats head coach Orlondo Steinauer believes receiver Bralon Addison just needs a proper chance in the NFL to make an impact.
“He is what he is on tape. He’s a playmaker, he’s versatile, he has great hands. You either like what you see on tape or you don’t. You can find flaws in any player if you look for them. I will say that Bralon is a gamer and if given an opportunity he’ll do great things, that’s just speaking on the field,” Steinauer said.
“Off the field, high character guy, team player, team-first guy, open-minded he’ll do what you ask, he’s alert in meetings and he’s a great teammate. That’s what we have in this building and I think that’s why a player like that is going to get an opportunity to live out his dream and get an opportunity again to be in the NFL.”
The 26-year-old started 16 games for the Ticats in 2019, ranking among CFL leaders in all major receiving categories, including receptions (fourth – 95), yards (fifth – 1,236) and touchdowns (sixth – 7), as well as targets (sixth – 126). The 5-9, 197-pound native of Missouri City, Texas also added 36 carries for 218 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown.
Following nearly an entire year out of football, he put pen to paper with the Toronto Argos in 2018. Tommy Condell was the offensive coordinator under then-head coach Marc Trestman. But Addison never played a game for the double blue. Duron Carter was brought in and Addison let go to open a roster spot for the Argonauts.
“It’s always tough to replace those type of people but before he went out there in that playoff game, he had been released by another CFL team and got passed on by a lot of people,” Steinauer said.
Addison was used in a variety of ways by Condell in the Ticats’ offence. It led to Addison being named a CFL all-star for the first time in his career. He was a key piece of an explosive Hamilton offence which helped the Ticats set a single-season franchise record with 15 wins and earn Addison another shot in the NFL.
“Everybody in this league that people look up to as stars got an opportunity to play and not just play, got an opportunity to play through mistakes. Meaning they weren’t out there playing on egg shells. They know that the team believes in them, their teammates believe in them and then what do you do with that opportunity,” Steinauer said.
After going unselected in the 2016 NFL draft, Denver inked Addison as an undrafted free agent. Chicago signed Addison and he played two games, recording one catch with the Bears. During the spring of 2017, Addison was released and left the windy city.
“Somebody else will get the same opportunity and you don’t ask them to be Bralon, you don’t ask other people to be Speedy. You ask them to be themselves and be the best they can be and then let us put you in positions to make football plays,” Steinauer said.
“So, you won’t replace Bralon, you won’t replace a lot of people, but somebody else will bring different qualities to the table that should help us win football games.”