After losing their home opener to the B.C Lions in week 4 of the 2021 CFL season the Ottawa Redblacks sit at 1-2 heading into their first in conference game of the season. They are set to play the 1-2 Montreal Alouettes at TD Place on Friday September 3rd and after two straight losses to both Saskatchewan and B.C the Ottawa Redblacks will look to get back into the win column.
To get into the win column once again the Ottawa Redblacks will need to focus on what has worked so far this season and continue to use it. As of yet the Redblacks defence, led by defensive co-ordinator Mike Benevides has been playing lights out alongside Bob Dyce’s special teams unit, but so far the Redblacks’ offence has been the problem. They have been able to move the ball here and there, however it has been very inconsistent. It has been tough for the offence to have something work and run with it, LaPolice and his offence has had to make numerous changes to the game plan since week one of the season against the Elks but will hope to stick with what worked in their home opener on Saturday against the Lions. Ottawa moved the ball well using dynamic receivers Ryan Davis and DeVonte Dedmon, with Anthony Coombs back at practice for day one of this week they will have three players with similar skill sets along with Nate Behar and RJ Harris who have been proven to move the ball down field in the pass game and Justin Davis did in the run game during his first start against the Lions, rushing for 43 yards on 12 carries and catching 4 passes for 14 yards. If they stick with what worked last week on offence and begin to stretch the field, throwing the ball deep the defence of the Alouettes will not bite so much on the short game and will open up a whole new level of offence for the Redblacks.
As for the defensive side of the ball, they have played lights out, having given up just the three touchdowns in the first three games of the season, the Redblacks will have back defensive linemen Cleyon Laing and Stefan Charles against the Alouettes and defensive back Gump Hayes by the looks of it. Ottawa will also have a group of new comers as they add a list of defensive players and wide receivers on Tuesday.
They have signed American defensive backs Ranthony Texada and Brandin Dandrige, Texada spent the 2019 CFL pre-season with Ottawa while Dandrige was with the team during the duration of 2019 and the 2021 training camp. Also brought in was defensive lineman Qaadir Sheppard who played his collegiate career at Ole Miss and Syracuse and spent time with the Stampeders earlier this year. The Redblacks also brought in receivers Ervin Phillips and Alonzo Russell. Phillips is a former Syracuse Orangemen receiver who played a versatile role in Eric Dungey’s offence, being found at running back sometimes. Russell is a 6-foot-4, big body receiver from Toldeo and has spent time with the NFL’s Bengals, Cardinals and Giants prior to the 2020 XFL season with the St Louis Battlehawks and 2021 training camp with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
The Ottawa Redblacks also signed Christophe Mulumba to their practice roster, a Canadian linebacker which they signed in 2020 during free agency from the Edmonton Football Team.