Today, for the very first time since November 1st of 2019 when the Ottawa Redblacks had their 2019 CFL season finale against the Montreal Alouettes at TD Place there will be fans at the stadium. TD Place will have a maximum of 1,000 fans watching the team’s inner-squad game, giving fans their first look at the 2021 new look Ottawa Redblacks. The practice runs from 11:30 through 1:30 and fans will be able to have drinks and snacks while they are there but the main reason why some fans will be there would be to answer all of the questions they have had surrounding the team this off-season.
One of the biggest questions, who will step up for the Ottawa Redblacks in 2021, showcasing that they have indeed improved since the 2019 season when they went 3-15?
Some names to watch out for to answer that question during today’s inner-squad game would be returning Ottawa Redblacks R.J Harris, DeVonte Dedmon, Mark Korte, Nolan MacMillan, Avery Ellis, Avery Williams, Sherrod Baltimore, Randall Evans and Antoine Pruneau. These players were key contributors in the 3 wins that the Redblacks had in 2019 and will be key components to the 2021 Ottawa Redblacks, a major reason why the front office wanted each of them and more players back from the previous years.
Alongside the familiar faces from the 2019 CFL season in Ottawa, Ottawa Redblacks general manager Marcel Desjardins and his front office have brought in quarterback Matt Nichols and running back Timothy Flanders this off-season to pair in the backfield. The two spent time together under head coach Paul LaPolice’s offence in Winnipeg with the Blue Bombers and have each had success in the CFL. Bringing their veteran presence, previous success and everything else the two will suddenly improve the backfield as soon as you see them behind the line of scrimmage in today’s practice. Also on the offensive side of the ball is a trio of Canadian receivers in Michael Klukas, Daniel Petermann and Anthony Coombs who will all play with new Americans Kendrick Rogers, Ryan Davis and Jordan Smallwood who will all provide the Redblacks with threats in the pass game and will prove that the team has improved since November 1st of 2019.
The offensive side of the ball for the Ottawa Redblacks has improved since the 2019 CFL season, but the defence is and will be the team’s best asset this season. Ottawa brought in defensive stars Cleyon Laing, Davon Coleman, Micah Awe, Don Unamba, Abdul Kanneh, Marcus Roberson and rookies Adam Auclair, Brad Cowan, Reshaan Davis, Treshaun Abrahams Webster and Dan Basambombo who will all be great additions, pairing with the returning Redblacks from the 2019 CFL season. Out of all of the additions the ones to make the largest improvement would have to be Don Unamba, Cleyon Laing and Micah Awe who have each made huge impacts previously in their professional careers and will do the same here in Ottawa, making today’s practice and scrimmage the best opportunity for all of R-Nation to see how they will do moving forward.