This Friday, June 10th, the Ottawa Redblacks will be kicking off their 2022 season in Winnipeg against the Blue Bombers.
It will be the first time that the Redblacks play against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers since they played in 2019, but it will also be the first time that the new look Ottawa Redblacks will be on full display for their fanbase and the entire CFL.
The past two CFL seasons have been tough in Ottawa, having gone 6-26 in total over the 2019 and 2021 seasons. During both seasons, it was hard for diehard Redblacks to point out the positives and figure out what was good, simply because of how much bad that was mixed in with the good. This off-season though, after hiring Shawn Burke from Hamilton as the organization’s new general manager, it is looking as if they are eliminating all of the bad, and replacing it with positives, so that this year, in the 2022 CFL season R-Nation does not have trouble finding what is good and what is bad.
On Friday, somethings that will be on display for the first time for the Redblacks would include Masoli’s offence, nearly a completely rebuilt offensive line, a new secondary, and a fresh run game.
The biggest acquisition of the 2021/2022 CFL off-season for the Ottawa Redblacks was by far Jeremiah Masoli. It will be the first time since Trevor Harris that the team will have a franchise quarterback and a face of the franchise caliber player under centre. A lot of people are excited about it, and to see Masoli suit up for real this Friday for the regular season debut, and a major part of the excitement comes because of the offence he has around him.
Players like Darvin Adams, Jaelon Acklin, Shaq Johnson, Nate Behar, Justin Hardy, Devonte Williams and Jackson Bennett are going to be suited up around Masoli on Friday to help him move the ball and score. Out of all of the skill position players to keep eyes on this Friday in Winnipeg, two different players, Devonte Williams and Darvin Adams should be highlighted in this week’s depth chart. Williams is making his first career start with the Redblacks with William Powell out for week one. With fresh legs in the backfield and a solid offensive line built in front consisting of Ucambre Williams, Hunter Steward, Darius Ciraco, Jacob Ruby and Dino Boyd, Devonte Williams could have some success, but only if the passing game works for Masoli. Masoli’s number one target for this upcoming season is looked at to be Darvin Adams. Adams has made a name for himself before in coach Paul LaPolice’s offence before, can he do it again? That should be a major question this season, and can start to be answered this Friday in Winnipeg. With weapons like Jaelon Acklin, RJ Harris and Ryan Davis around for the season this year with WR1 potential, Adams, if he produces well, can open up plenty of plays to be made by the other Redblacks receivers.
On the defensive side of the football, there is a lot of the same from the 2021 CFL season, especially in the secondary with star players Sherrod Baltimore, Abdul Kanneh, and Randall Evans all coming back healthy to start the season, but the addition of Money Hunter will be huge for Mike Benevides’ defence, all to add to the front seven. Added to the Redblacks’ front seven as well was Lorenzo Mauldin who gets the start week one and Patrick Levels who starts at sam linebacker too.
It should be a very exciting time for Redblacks fans to see how their favourite team can flip the script in 2022.