Insider Talk: Dyce gets promoted, Hunter gets paid, Lawler gets hurt

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

Insider Talk is a bi-weekly feature on 3DownNation that includes anonymous quotes from people around the CFL — players, coaches, personnel people, executives, agents — regarding the latest news around the league. It’s a combination of insight, analysis, rumours, and friendly gossip.

This week’s Insider Talk is full of discussion regarding Bob Dyce becoming the interim head coach of the Ottawa Redblacks, Kenny Lawler undergoing season-ending surgery, the Toronto Argonauts signing former first-round pick Ryan Hunter, Shawn Lemon’s candidacy for Most Outstanding Defensive Player, and a rumour surrounding the future of Henry Burris.

Enjoy this week’s quotes and come back in two weeks for another edition of Insider Talk.

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(Ottawa Redblacks’ interim head coach) Bob Dyce is a quality football man through and through and the players in Ottawa like and trust him. I see no reason why he shouldn’t be their permanent head coach, though he’d have to be able to put together a quality (coaching) staff starting with a very good offensive coordinator.

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I think (Edmonton Elks’ receiver) Kenny Lawler getting hurt ruined any excitement we could have had (at the CFL trade deadline). He’s not owed a lot of money over the rest of the season and he would have been a big upgrade to any team’s receiving corps.

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Toronto made (recently-signed former NFLer) Ryan Hunter one of the highest-paid offensive linemen in the league next year, so they’re going to have to clear out some cap space. Given his age, I’m guessing they won’t bring (36-year-old Philip) Blake back. Hunter has to start with what he’s making, possibly even at tackle.

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I have no idea if there’s any truth to that rumour (of Henry Burris becoming the next head coach of the Ottawa Redblacks) but that’d be a massive risk for (general manager Shawn) Burke. They need someone who can win right away. Burris was a great quarterback and he’s probably a good assistant (with the Jacksonville Jaguars) but being a head coach is an incredibly hard job. He just doesn’t have enough experience yet.

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I guess you could pick (defensive end Shawn) Lemon to win the (CFL’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player) award. He’s certainly got the best stats, but that defence (in Calgary) has been ultimately successful by committee. (Weak-side linebacker Cameron) Judge makes the most big plays, (defensive tackle Mike) Rose is great on the interior, (defensive end Folarin) Orimolade creates pressure from the edge, and (middle linebacker Jameer) Thurman is as consistent as anyone in this league. Pick your poison with that crew.

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You have to be impressed by what (Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ running back Brady) Oliveira has done this year. He started running with more confidence after that lousy start and the entire offence started getting into rhythm around him, especially with (rookie receiver Dalton) Schoen becoming a big-play guy. He’s been able to produce consistently even though that o-line has been more up and down than it has in past years.

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Paul LaPolice was a dead man walking the second Jeremiah Masoli got hurt as far as I’m concerned. If you don’t have decent quarterbacking in this league, it’s impossible to win for any sustained period of time. And if you don’t win, you get fired. It’s not any more complicated than that.

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(B.C. Lions’ defensive end Mathieu) Betts has really silenced his critics. He looks exactly how he did in college — he’s twitchy off the line and his motor is relentless. He’s earning that contract.

John Hodge is a CFL insider and draft analyst who has been covering the league since 2014.