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Reid Between The Lines

Volume 1

Introduction

"Reid Between The Lines" represents the London Bulldogs' continued efforts to connect with the RFL community. This indefinite series will look to inform the reader on the latest news surrounding the Bulldogs.


In our introductory issue of "Reid Between The Lines" we'll be diving into the offseason of the London Bulldogs thus far. Specifically we'll take a look at offseason free agency. You'll get opinions directly from Coach Reid, and dive deeper into the team's moves than you ever have before.


Offseason Free Agency

To many RFL fans, the Bulldogs had a spectacular free agency period, which saw the signings of Superstar linebacker Duke Pascal and Star running back Jae Morris. However, not many eyes got to see what it really takes to make these types of signings happen, or the day-to-day ups and downs of an RFL organization. As coach of the Bulldogs, I had to make some difficult realizations, following a disappointing season. The current plan wasn't cutting it, and we needed help in the linebacking corps badly (not to mention the other areas of weakness). We were going to need a plan of approach that would solve some major problems and quickly.


When you aren't a playoff team, you get a lot more time than those guys (the playoff teams) to plan ahead for the offseason. That's one of, if not the only advantage to not making the playoffs. From the moment our season ended, if not earlier, we began formulating a plan to fix our issues. Our first step was to bring in other community members that we could trust to help bring our vision to life. Drew Brewer had been serving time as a lead scout for some time, and we made the decision to quickly acquire Coach Regier, who had just been released by the Lancers. Regier brings a defensive mind to our scouting room, and would be integral in keeping the Bulldogs eyes open to the various different possibilities in front of us. Serving as defensive scouting assistant to Brewer, Regier was the first notable move for us, which many community members may not be totally aware of.

Next, we had to set our sites on who would be a potential free agent in the coming offseason. So, while all those guys were off having fun in the playoffs, we got to work scouting contracts to see who was expiring and may be available to answer the call. Very early on in the process we identified Duke Pascal as our top free agent target, and various others who were potentially set to be available as well. With the free agents identified, it was time to turn toward the draft class and determine who would be there to fit our needs. We didn't quite know what the draft order would be, but we knew we finished somewhere between pick 3 and pick 5. This set us up to get a top defensive player and fill a big need. The only problem was, we couldn't draft the one player who made absolute perfect sense... Jacob Reid Jr. - the top LB the college series has so far seen. Unfortunately, coaches cannot draft their own submitted players. Not only that, but sitting outside of the top two, it wasn't looking promising that we would even land Jermaine Taylor or Lito Loso.

So, Duke Pascal became the very pillar of our entire offseason plan. And let me emphasize that further, by stating that our entire offseason hinged on the acquisition of Duke Pascal and Duke Pascal alone. Fast forward to the end of the playoffs, the Celtic Tigers had won their ring, and all those guys were done having their fun. We ended up getting the 5th pick in the draft, the lowest we could've had of the teams we were tied with, and most of the free agents we scouted were resigning back to their original teams. This left the league with a relatively thin free agent class, and many teams vying for the same guys. It wasn't long before we got the feeling that Duke Pascal was heading in a different direction, and it was time for a wakeup call.

Credit to Rob, Smitty, Bill, and Justin, because they sparked what can only be described as the biggest fire the RFL world has ever seen. Yes, the fire under my ___ to pull this team out of the mud by any means necessary. I literally woke up the next day and just started firing off DM's and calls in every single direction. I shouldn't admit this, but I don't think I worked for multiple days on end, because I was too busy trying to make any move I could for this team. You can even ask Regier, we were pretty down about things thinking that we were stuck. I said some choice words and that was the end of it... or the start of it, depending on how you want to look at it. As is common phrase around the RFL, you gotta earn it here. It's not just going to fall into your lap.


We then made a final big push to convince Duke Pascal to join our team. I still don't know if his mind was made up before that or if my pleading had any influence at all. I don't know if I want to know, honestly, but I do know Duke Pascal and Jae Morris are Bulldogs and I wasn't stopping there.

More details to come in volume 2...




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