REDBLACKS set to open season with fresh faces, questions at QB
There is no doubt that the Ottawa REDBLACKS will look like a bit of a different team this year after losing four offensive starters during CFL free agency.
The REDBLACKS offence was gutted in early February, with starting quarterback Trevor Harris, offensive lineman SirVincent Rogers and star receiver Greg Ellingson all heading to Edmonton to suit up for the Eskimos next season. Two-time East Division all-star running back William Powell also packed his bag for Saskatchewan this winter.
Aside from losing four significant pieces in the off-season, the REDBLACKS are excited for another CFL Season, which kicks off Saturday night with a pre-season tile vs. Hamilton at TD Place. The team still has important starters in receiver and Ottawa favourite Brad Sinopoli, defensive back Antoine Pruneau and record-breaking kicker Lewis Ward. Sinopoli isn’t worried about his new, and old teammates filling the void.
“We have a couple young guys who have been around though, so they are familiar with the offence,” Sinopoli said during REDBLACKS training camp last week.
“Some new guys that we added have been in this offense in a different capacity on another team, so I feel like everyone is on the same page. Everyone is a good guy, which I think is key to our group. We are just trying to get better one play at a time.”
The big question mark for the team this year will be at the pivot position – who will win the starting quarterback position this year? Will it be newly acquired Jonathon Jennings, who threw for 1,628 yards with the BC Lions or Harris’ back up last year in Dominic Davis?
Both will get opportunities to impress the coaching staff this year – starting Saturday night in Ottawa.
“It’s an open competition between Dominic and Jonathan,” said REDBLACKS head coach Rick Campbell. “We are going to flip flop all the quarterbacks around. The only rule we are following is what gives us the best chance to win.”
Jennings put his best foot forward this past weekend at the REDBLACKS Fan Fest during an offence vs. defence scrimmage. Jennings led the offense to a touchdown on his first drive and led his offence to a 30-27 win.
The REDBLACKS have yet to announce who will start Saturday’s preseason game against Hamilton. But you can be sure that if one of them struggles, the other will be handed the ball.
Saturday’s preseason game is the only home game before the REDBLACKS open the season on the road in Calgary June 15. The team then heads back home for their home opener Thursday, June 20. This Saturday’s game kicks off at 7 p.m. Click here for tickets.