For the players in the CFL it has been a long time coming to be in the position they are today. Nearing the end of the first week of 2021 CFL training camp players are back on CFL fields for the first time in a full year and a half and in any field of work or way of life a year and a half is a long time. A lot can change in a year and a half and for the majority of the CFL a lot has changed, especially for the Ottawa Redblacks.
Just a few days into training camp in Ottawa a lot of new faces have hit the field at TD Place in Ottawa and have talked to media, and if you take a look at who these players are there are more new faces than familiar faces considering the rebuild that happened following the 2019 season where the team went 3-15. A part of the rebuild was head coach Paul LaPolice, defensive co-ordinator Mike Benevides and quarterback Matt Nichols. These three are looked at to be in the centre of the team’s improvements this year and will each help the team succeed in their own ways. For Nichols and LaPolice that will be on the offensive side of the ball, helping lead the young group of players that the Ottawa Redblacks have, including quarterbacks Taryn Christion and Caleb Evans who battle for the third string quarterback spot and a list of offensive skill position players that come into Ottawa for their very first CFL opportunity. As for Benevides, he looks to evolve a defence in Ottawa which looks to be one of the best in the CFL on paper into being the best on the field. He is working with CFL veterans Cleyon Laing, Avery Ellis, Don Unamba, Micah Awe, Antoine Pruneau, Sherrod Baltimore, Abdul Kanneh and Avery Williams on the defence alongside a number of other talents who look to headline not only the defence in Ottawa but the entire team and help win games.
The three names mentioned are some of the key people in this year’s CFL training camp in the capital as for making an immediate impact on the team and helping the team get ready for the season but there are also a good group of players, among the 100 players at camp to look out for to make an impact. Some of those players would include offensive skill players Timothy Flanders, Akeem Hunt, Ryan Davis, Jerminic Smith, DeVonte Dedmon, Jordan Smallwood and Kendrick Rogers as well as offensive linemen Na’ty Rodgers, Chris Ferguson, Jakub Szott and Ketel Asse, defensive players Ironhead Gallon, Praise Martin-Oguike, Kene Onyeka, Adam Auclair, Marcus Roberson, Gump Hayes and Christophe Mulumba.
Of course when you have 100 players at training camp there are a number of players to choose from to make an impact in camp and in the 2021 CFL season so in reality all 100 players should be very closely watched because this is the CFL and anyone can make an impact at any time, but the 2021 CFL season will be based off of veterans and who makes the biggest impact in training camp because of the short camp, no pre-season and shortage of games in the season.