Canadian Football League

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Grand Rapids Signs Former Canadian Football League Pass Rusher

The Grand Rapids Rampage continued to solidify their 2008 training camp roster, signing former NFL second-round draft pick and Canadian Football League veteran Rahim Abdullah (Jacksonville, Fla.). The Clemson University product spent two seasons (1999-2000) with the Cleveland Browns after being selected 45th overall in the 1999 NFL draft.
"Rahim is a proven player who has great athletic ability and all of the qualities that you look for in a great pass rusher," said Ron Selesky, Rampage defensive coordinator and director of player personnel. "We really believe he has the opportunity to be a difference maker in our game."
Abdullah brings several years of professional experience to the Rampage defensive front, having spent the past six seasons (2002-07) terrorizing CFL offenses. During his time with the Calgary Stampeders and the Edmonton Eskimos he totaled 146 tackles, two interceptions, three fumble recoveries and 36 sacks. Abdullah led his team in sacks three times (2003, 2005-06), and helped the Eskimos to a Grey Cup championship in 2003.
The 6-5, 277-pound Abdullah turned heads in the NFL as a linebacker, finishing fourth on the Browns with 90 tackles during his rookie season. He went on to start four games for Cleveland in 2000, but was limited to 13 games overall by a groin injury. Abdullah made the jump to the NFL after three successful seasons (1996-98) at Clemson where he totaled 198 tackles, three fumble recoveries, two interceptions and 16.5 sacks.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Montreal Hires New Canadian Football League Head Coach

The Montreal Alouettes have gone south of the border for their new head coach, hiring veteran NFL and U.S. collegiate assistant Marc Trestman on Tuesday.
Trestman, 51, has served on the staffs of eight NFL teams over 17 years, including four stints as an offensive co-ordinator.
He was not able to attend a news conference announcing his hiring due to a family medical emergency involving his father.
"Marc Trestman has an impressive track record, mostly at the NFL level," said Alouettes president and CEO Larry Smith. "We believe he will be able to bring great leadership skills and knowledge to our league and take the Alouettes back to the standard to which our fans are accustomed, and to our ultimate objective which is the Grey Cup."
The Alouettes are coming off their first losing season since the franchise was reborn in 1996. They were 8-10 under Jim Popp, who gave up his coaching duties after the season to focus solely on his job as general manager.
Trestman first became an NFL offensive co-ordinator in 1989 with the Cleveland Browns. He held the same post with the San Francisco 49ers in 1995 and 1996, but was often criticized for his play-calling.
Trestman later directed the Oakland Raiders' offence in 2002, when the team led the NFL in total yards en route to making the Super Bowl, where it lost to Tampa Bay.
Most recently, he was the offensive co-ordinator at North Carolina State University for the 2005 and 2006 seasons, after which the school dismissed its entire coach staff. Trestman did not coach in 2007, but did serve as a consultant for the New Orleans Saints.
A former quarterback for the University of Minnesota during his playing days, Trestman's only CFL experience came last spring when he served as a guest coach at Montreal's training camp.
However, he is well known to Popp. Trestman worked with Popp's father, Joe, when both coached in Cleveland in 1989.
Trestman was chosen over several candidates with CFL experience, including Toronto Argonauts offensive co-ordinator Steve Buratto, Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive co-ordinator Richie Hall and former Calgary Stampeders and Edmonton Eskimos head coach Tom Higgins.