Patrick Levels is a unique player who can fill many roles in a defense. Heading into his 7th season in the Canadian Football League, the Ottawa Redblacks have decided to part ways with the versatile defender. Is he a direct victim of the Redblacks 2023 Draft Class?
Patrick Levels Resume
2017-2018 Calgary Stampeders
2019 Montreal Alouettes
2020 Hamilton Tiger-Cats (season cancelled)
2021 Montreal Alouettes
2022 Ottawa Redblacks
In just his second professional season Levels helped Calgary Stampeders to a Grey Cup Victory playing in 13 games with 3 starts. He corralled one interception on the year. After two seasons with Calgary he signed with Montreal for the first time in 2019. This proved to be his first chance as a full time starter as well.
Montreal To Start Levels
Montreal saw something they liked in Levels during his two years with Calgary and decided to sign him as a potential starter, and gave him the opportunity to win the starting job out of camp. He rewarded them by starting all 18 games and producing a career year.
This was his first real playing time as a linebacker and it saw him used as a pass rusher often. He did not produce an interception it instead collected 5 sacks, and 86 tackles. Levels arguably looked better in this linebacker role than he did as a safety previously.
During this season the Alouettes underwent a last second coaching change as former NFL head coach Mike Sherman stepped down after 2 preseason games. This led to offensive coordinator Khari Jones being promoted to interim head coach a position he would hold on to long term. With this coaching change, came some different names in the staff eventually as well. Bob Slowik actually would not return to Montreal as defensive coordinator following the COVID cancellation. With this many players also departed, Levels included.
Levels Signed by Hamilton but Never Suits Up
Levels was signed by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for the 2020 season. This was his first experience with Shawn Burke future Redblacks general manager. Due to the COVID cancellation, Levels never wore the yellow and black on the field and instead returned to Montreal in 2021.
This time he would play under Barron Miles a long time defensive backs coach. This led to more of a hybrid role as a coverage linebacker rather than primarily a pass rusher. Levels thrives in this role. In just 12 games he managed 42 tackles, 3 sacks, and 1 interception that he returned 72 yards for a touchdown. This reaffirmed Shawn Burke’s belief that Levels could aid his defense so he revisited their relationship and brought him into the fold with the Redblacks.
In 2022 Levels started all 13 games he was active for and again played a hybrid role. He collected 58 tackles, 4 sacks, and 1 forced fumble he recovered and returned for over 20 yards. He was a steady performer but he’s missed time in both seasons since the cancelled 2020 season for a total of 7 games inactive. He is a unique player, smaller than your typical linebacker, and not the typical athlete you find as a defensive back.
During the draft the Redblacks loaded up on defense, starting by selecting defensive back Lucas Corimer, and linebacker Peter James in the second round of the draft. They weren’t done yet as they selected linebacker Josh White in round three as well. All three of these players were direct threats to the playing time Levels saw in 2023, they also will help the roster flexibility for the Redblacks giving them three potential contributors that are all national players who don’t count toward the American player ratio, unlike Levels, a Dallas, Texas native who attended Baylor University.
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