Passions are up in Ottawa.
The Redblacks have been losing and the loss last night in Ottawa, on CFL “Thursday Night Football,” had the crowd booing, hissing and groaning.
Coach Rick Campbell has been with this franchise since its inception. Football’s been well received here in the nation’s capital and he’s never been the focus of such wrath before.
It’s all new to him.
But to be fair, it was his call that directly resulted in giving the Calgary Stampeders a shot at winning the game; which they did on the final play of the game.
Late in the 4th quarter the Redblacks still led 16-12 and wasted another solid defensive effort when Corey Tindal and Sherrod Baltimore teamed up and forced a Calgary fumble on the 1 yard line, just as the Stamps were poised to take the lead by 3 points.
As it goes in football, had they scored, it may have been the Redblacks tying things up, last minute, the other way.
So when the Redblacks got the ball back, while they were cornered deep in their own zone, with their backs against the wall, the team really, really needed the offense to provide some breathing room with a first down or two in order to get some field position back, or even run out the clock.
But even though QB Jonathan Jennings was having a decent 4th quarter, they couldn’t do it. Not even one.
It was at this point, deep in the end zone that Coach Campbell had the Punter concede a safety, 2 points.
Which means the score is now 16-14 and the Redblacks are kicking BACK to Calgary from the 25 with only a couple plays left on the clock.
And, of course, Calgary used that time and that field position to set up for a Field Goal, and win the game on the final play.
Worse part is, it’s the teams 4th loss in a row. So it gets amplified too.
Here is WHY there is NO WAY that Coach Campbell’s job security is even under consideration.
For one, it would be completely unfair.
Rick Campbell has helped his team to the Grey Cup an incredible 3 times inside 5 seasons. Future Hall of Fame Quarterback Henry Burris mentions that ‘his players have his back. He had mine. They’ll rally around him.’
Corey Tindal echoed that statement in a downcast post game scrum.
Although Campbell’s winning percentage is not nearly as good as one may think, he’s got a Grey Cup win under his belt and would have to thoroughly and entirely stumble his way through the rest of the schedule for this even to be a discussion between him and GM Marcel Desjardins.
Give me one name of a Coach who would be better prepared to carry out the rest of the season for the Ottawa Redblacks?
It may have been a bad call, but this Coach has won a lot of football, even when this team was early in it’s program.
The whole fire Campbell thing is completely premature and unfair.
But yes, the decisions he makes the rest of the way, are going to be scrutinized more now.
Otherwise, it was a lovely night for football. The best kind of summer night. As usual the Ottawa crowd was enthusiastic and ready to urge their team on, which they did every chance they got.
There weren’t a ton of chances; unless you love defensive football. And I do, so mention must go out to defensive players Corey Tindal (who was banged up), Sherrod Baltimore, Avery Williams, Nigel Romick, and JR Tavai.
Next game, as the team awaits the return of injured starter Dominique Davis, is against the Alouettes on Friday night (August 2nd) in Montreal.
They are really going to want to try and avoid their 5th loss in a row.
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