On Tuesday, to open the first week of the new month the Ottawa Redblacks had announced that they extended the contract of slot receiver and return specialist DeVonte Dedmon. This news brought a lot of excitement to all of R-Nation, knowing that one of their favourite players, and maybe the most electric player in all of the CFL will be back in the nation’s capital, but it isn’t the only good news Redblacks fans will get before their final home game of the 2021 CFL season on Saturday. Adding to Tuesday’s transaction, the Redblacks also announced the extension of punter Richie Leone on Wednesday. The contract brings Leone back for the 2022 CFL season with the Ottawa Redblacks and may just give them the best special teams unit in the league for another season.
This year the Redblacks’ special teams unit, coached by coordinator Bob Dyce has been the best in the CFL. There have been just two major plays given up by the unit, a field goal miss return touchdown for Lucky Whitehead in week 4 and a Dejon Brissett blocked punt touchdown in week 10, but other than those two mishaps, the Redblacks have been nearly perfect on special teams. Return specialist DeVonte Dedmon leads the CFL in return yards by a total 726 yards (Dedmon with 1,648 and Frankie Williams with 922), and that is with him missing 3 games already this season, place kicker Lewis Ward may not have another streak going this year but is kicking 90%, 27 of 30 with 0 missed converts and the talk of the town on Wednesday after signing his contract, Richie Leone averages 46.9 yards per punt as well as 60.7 yards per kickoff.
Over the years, with the kickers, punters and returners that the Ottawa Redblacks have had on the roster, they have always had one of the best special teams units in the CFL, thanks to the front office and coach Bob Dyce that will continue to be the case.