Parting Shots from Pre

For those of you that haven’t heard departed kicker Noel Prefontaine’s exit interview with CTV, I would suggest you have a listen at the following link.

Pre’s Exit Interview

I’ll embed something as soon as I can find it, but for now, have a listen to what he had to say.

Prefontaine didn’t exactly toe the company line before he caught his flight back to the centre of the universe, voicing strong criticism for decisions being made within the Esks coaching staff. He was particularly critical of being forced to one-step punt and the decisions made that have led to the Esks giving up the most safeties in the league.

Despite the remarks, Prefontaine also made it very clear that he truly enjoyed being an Eskimo and did not see the trade coming. He never wanted to not be an Eskimo, although the frustration in his voice shows that he was not happy with some of the things he was asked to do. To be fair to Prefontaine, he is a competitor that wants to do nothing more than win football games. He knows his strengths and weaknesses, and when asked to compete using facets of his game that are not his strong points, came across as someone who only wanted an opportunity to do his job to the best of his ability.

Esks fans certainly cannot begrudge the veteran kicker for not giving the team his all on every snap that he played. Among those with at least 10 field goal attempts this year, Prefontaine was second in the league in kicking percentage with 84.0%. Only Paul McCallum of the BC Lions has been better, converting on 35 of his 39 attempts for a 89.7% average.  

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by TurfToe on October 13, 2010 at 7:44 am

    So, hearing that, do you still like the move?

    I look at it this way… The Esks gave up one of the best kickers in the league – one who could have contributed more had the coaches not been suffering from mental gaffes, one of the Esks’ few leaders, a player who enjoyed being an Esk – for what? A NI Defensive lineman with “potential”… a guy who has poorer stats over his whole career than the Esks TJ Hill did in the last single game! Oh yeah, and a guy on a neg list who will likely never play a down up here.

    Pre’s admission of being forced into a one step punt indicates a) that the real problems were in the blocking (so why not address that?!?) and b) that the coaches weren’t willing to use players to the best of the players’ abilities.

    And think of this… if Shiavone was so good that the Esks put all their apples in that cart, why hadn’t he usurped Pre yet? I guess we’ll see about that part, but I really don’t think we’ll see Shiv nailing the 50+ yarders like Pre did.

    Those who think that the only thing remotely ‘good’ about this trade is that the Esks dealt Pre while they could still get something for him need to put all of that into perspective. I’ll maintain that what they got for Pre wasn’t nearly enough, and what they have now is less than what they would have had with Pre on the team long-term.

    ET has certainly not won over any critics with this move. It’s a huge gamble at best. And even if it works out, the chances that the Esks will come out ‘on top’ in this deal (now or in the future) is very, very slim.

    Reply

  2. @TurfToe

    To tell you the truth, I’m a little bit of fence-sitter on this one. I like the move because it traded a soon to be 37-year old for a prospect that just 18 months ago was taken second overall in the CFL Draft. On the other hand, Prefontaine was a consistent performer that gave it everything he had on every play, AND was one of the Esks best players this season. Need a field goal kicked in a clutch situation? I never had a doubt about if he would nail it this year. On the other hand, there was obviously some type of disagreement in philosophy between Pre and the coaching staff, so trading him, and getting an asset versus potentially losing him in free agency for nothing does make sense.

    If Schiavone is for real, no one will really care much about this deal by next June. If the Esks struggle in the kicking game, ET could have some tough questions to answer from fans. As a fan with an optimistic view point, I have to believe that he can do the job until he proves otherwise.

    Here’s hoping for the best.

    Reply

  3. Posted by TurfToe on October 13, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    “Here’s hoping for the best.” sigh… we’ve been saying that for a few years now haven’t we.

    Considering that Shiv came in under the DM regime, colour me less than optimistic. If Shiv is stellar, then it’s ok. However, Legere would have to become ‘Brent Johnson 2.0’ for me to say it was a crafty move on ETs part.

    For me it’s less a question of what Shiv can or can’t do, it’s about what ET got for Pre. The wild card in this, therefore, becomes the neg list player the Esks got.

    Reply

  4. I understand where you are coming from, although to be fair to Schiavone, he has performed well in limited action. 13/14 on field goals over three seasons, although his longest is only 37 yards, and his punting average this season is a respectable 44.8 yards per kick. Despite being brought in during the Maciocia era, he could be okay. Time will tell.

    As for the return for Prefontaine, it’s always difficult to judge these types of trades because the immediate impact of the deal is that Toronto got a player who can help them win right now, while Edmonton is banking on future growth. Might be worth revisting this one in about two years time.

    As for the neg list player, Munoz is a small linebacker with speed. He posted a 4.49 40-time while working out for NFL scouts in the spring, but he is not a proven player at any professional level. Neg list players come and go, if he ever makes his way to Edmonton, it will be interesting to see what he can do, but he looks like a throw-in to the trade.

    Reply

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