TSN analyst Duane Forde on Redblacks GM vacancy: ‘I would be lying if I said that it wasn’t of interest’

Photo courtesy: TSN

The Ottawa Redblacks have a vacancy in the general manager’s office after the firing of Marcel Desjardins.

Longtime CFL on TSN analyst Duane Forde has been named as a candidate by some pundits. He was on TSN 1200 Ottawa radio discussing the firing and said there would be some interest on his part.

“The thing that I would say is that the opportunity to help build a team is something that has always interested me. For anyone with those kinds of aspirations, I think there are a lot of very positive, very attractive things about the Ottawa situation,” Forde explained.

“It’s not for me to decide whether I’m a candidate. I guess that would be for those running the franchise to decide whether that’s worth investigating and I certainly don’t want to be a guy who uses the exposure of my current job to try to campaign for another job. But, in fairness, I would be lying if I said that it wasn’t of interest.”

Ottawa has disappointed this season with a 2-9 record and following elimination from playoff contention in Week 12, Desjardins was let go so the team could focus on replacing him. And as for the current head coach, Forde believes in offensive guru Paul LaPolice.

“I have a lot of faith in Paul LaPolice as a head coach. There are factors in every situation that can contribute to a head coach’s record. I think Paul learned a lot from his first experience as a head coach in Winnipeg and continues to learn from his experience in Ottawa,” Forde said.

“I think that you have a pretty good coaching staff in place, quite honestly, in Ottawa and one that would be attractive for a lot of people to have an opportunity to work with. You’ve got an experienced group, a group that I think that the players have followed, will follow, and will continue to follow.”

Desjardins was hired in January 2013 as the first GM in Redblacks team history. He finished his tenure in Ottawa with a 46-71-2 record in the regular season, 3-1 record in the playoffs, and 1-2 record in the Grey Cup.

Forde has been with TSN since 2008 after an 11-year playing career that saw him win two Grey Cups. He has also played a key role in TSN’s CFL Draft coverage in his time with the only television rights holder.