‘Some guys are getting a little soft’: Retired star Jon Gott doesn’t believe Redblacks’ o-line battled injury in ‘difficult to watch’ 2021 season


Jon Gott only officially retired from professional football a few weeks ago, but he already thinks they don’t do them like they used to.

The iconic Rouge et Noir center last played in the 2018 regular season finale, but formalized his retirement with a one-day contract with Ottawa on February 4 this year. Although Gott helped the Redblacks win the Gray Cup in 2016, it’s the 2015 team that holds a special place in his heart.

That year, the resurrected Ottawa franchise posted a 12-6 record and won the East Division, before losing to Edmonton in the Gray Cup. What was really special for Gott was that the offensive line unit of him, SirVincent Rogers, J’Michael Deane, Nolan MacMillan and Colin Kelly started every game together, a feat few teams have come close to. accomplish since.

“It was incredible. I didn’t really notice until someone told us towards the end of the year that it was the same group that started every game, and that’s something special,” Gott said during an appearance on TSN 1200’s The Drive.

“I don’t think it’s happened again since that year in the CFL and it’s just something that brings credit to everyone who came together and stayed healthy, working together. This o-line room was probably the most fun I’ve had in my entire career.

Rogers and Gott would earn CFL All-Star honors for that season, as would their quarterback Henry Burris. The Redblacks have struggled to replicate that success up front since, with the 2021 season hitting a new low.

The Redblacks allowed a league-leading 53 sacks last year – 13 more than the next worst team – while only fielding the same combination of five linemen in consecutive games once all season , in the last two games. It was a mix of poor performance and bad luck, but an ex-player like Gott found it hard to accept either excuse.

“It was hard to watch last year, so many injuries on that line. A lot of guys in 2015 we battled with some injuries. We could have been in a game, but we battled with injuries because that we had something special. You didn’t want to miss that,” he recalled.

“I think some guys get a little soft coming into the league. It’s not like back when guys were fighting through injuries.

Gott himself had to fight for his fair share, especially as an undersized offensive lineman. Weighing just 295 pounds on his best day, he was at increased risk in a physically demanding position and had to learn to preserve his body.

“As a vet, you get smarter and put yourself in the right positions. It’s all about angles and putting yourself where you can move a guy and just all the little tricks you learn along the way,” Gott said.

“Guys were always coming after me and I’m proud to be able to keep Hank or Trevor [Harris] and open holes for the ball carrier. I’m just happy that my career turned out this way and I was able to have the accolades that I had.

The Rougenoirs’ offensive line last year lacked many of those prowess, but now there’s hope for the future with the acquisition of solid veterans Ucambre Williams, Darius Ciraco, Hunter Steward and Jacob Ruby.

It will be a tough task for them to live up to the team’s legacy of 2015, but at least it should make next season a little easier to watch.


About Author

Comments are closed.