Although episode four of Behind the R is the shortest so far, it’s perhaps one of the most intriguing as it provides fans the opportunity to meet a wider cast of organizational characters.
Pro college scout Phil Moureau, director of Canadian scouting Chad Hudson, and director of pro personnel Brendan Taman all received significant air time.
These are people that most in R-Nation would otherwise probably never know or even recognize if they passed them in the stadium — or elsewhere at Lansdowne — but they are people whose fingerprints are all over the nine draft picks added last week.
It’s interesting to see the division of labour when it comes to things like interviewing the players at the combine. Head coach Paul LaPolice gets into the football Xs and Os, whereas Hudson is more interested in the personalities and tries to gauge how they’d fit into the locker room.
Actually having cameras in on the interviews — and sharing that footage — gives fans a unique look at what the process truly is. Not only does it peel back a layer of mystery, but the snippets of questions being asked were interesting.
One question that stood out to me was when Hudson asked a player if there’s anything in their background the team should be aware of and if they’d ever made a social media post they regret.
It doesn’t have anything to do with football but no team wants to be caught drafting someone who has embarrassing social media posts come to light in the wake of the sudden media interest that accompanies being drafted.
Taman mentioned that the CFL Combine isn’t really about watching how specific drills are performed but rather a chance to see firsthand if guys are coachable, which was educational. For most fans the combine is nothing but who puts up the best numbers.
The comment was a good reminder for fans that front offices go far beyond that when it comes to their evaluation process. Taman also noted that when it comes to how the Redblacks grade a player, at the end of the day most of that grade comes from what they actually put on tape from their play during games.
Lastly, though I’m not sure you’d ever get a team to admit they worry about what other teams are doing, I believe general manager Shawn Burke when he talked about how Ottawa is only worried about their own process. It didn’t come off as lip service, but seemed genuine.
Speaking of Burke, viewers got a good sense of his character as he consoled a player who slipped during the opening drill, trying to put him at ease.
Behind the R is the brainchild of Josh O’Connor, a video dude and content creator for OSEG — and much like F1’s Drive to Survive — takes fans behind the curtain to show what goes down in the team’s front office. Click here reviews of Episode One, Episode Two and Episode Three.