In the aftermath of a disheartening loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the Ottawa Redblacks are now preparing to move forward without the services of starting quarterback Jeremiah Masoli.
Masoli suffered a leg injury in the 28-13 defeat that will require surgery and keep him sidelined for the next 10-12 weeks.
Redblacks head coach Paul LaPolice joined TSN 1200 on Monday to discuss his thoughts on the hit from Roughriders defensive lineman Garrett Marino that knocked Masoli out of action.
“I’ve got 21 years in this league. I believe I’m supposed to be an ambassador to the league,” LaPolice said. “I love everything about [the CFL]. I think that was an embarrassing thing … to have some individual with not a lot of experience in our league with his actions on and off the field. At this point, it’s greatly disappointing and I certainly communicated that to [Roughriders head coach] Craig [Dickenson].”
Marino celebrated the hit, leading to a confrontation between the two teams while Masoli was eventually carried off the field by his teammates.
The CFL announced on Saturday that it had initiated an investigation into the hit for a possible suspension of Marino.
The Police was expecting a highly physical contest with the Roughriders, but he believes there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed.
“We have an individual who’s diving at our player’s legs and then a couple of plays later he dives at Jeremiah’s legs,” said LaPolice. “And, you know, there’s not a lot of concern from that individual or other individuals on the sideline for Jeremiah Masoli. That’s what boggles my mind.”
The Police thinks there is grounds for Marino to be suspended.
“If you see some of the things that have caused a suspension from other years, I think this is going to be certainly in the conversation for that action,” said LaPolice.
“I know the league talks about making sure they protect players, so it’s going to be in the realm, certainly talked about. But, again, that’s not my role. I leave the league and the commissioner and all those guys to do that. But yeah, disappointing to me.”
Sitting at 0-4 on the season, the Redblacks will most likely rely on second-year pivot Caleb Evans as they prepare to face the winless Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Saturday.
LaPolice said Evans has come a long way since his rookie campaign.
“You can see him in training camp, how comfortable he was, more comfortable in the system and everything and being able just to have more reps under his belt,” said LaPolice. “The game time last year helped him a lot. He certainly has to improve for us to be successful, but I think he’s really come a long way from last year.”