Darvin Adams and Ottawa Redblacks look to come off bye week with win over Lions

Over two games the 2022 Ottawa Redblacks have proven to the rest of the CFL that they have indeed improved from the past two CFL seasons. They have proven that they are a team, and a team that can give a good fight to the rest of the league, something that couldn’t be done in 2019 and 2021 in Ottawa.

Despite going 0-2 in their series with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers the Redblacks key off-season additions as well as the players coming back to Ottawa have all been playing great football, showing real potential in the nation’s capital.

Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli has surpassed the 300 yard passing marker in each of the Redblacks games thus far while the new look offensive line has paved a way for running back Devonte Williams to run free while Powell was out, Jaelon Acklin and Nate Behar led the receiving core with 361 combined yards and the Redblacks defence has been great, holding the Winnipeg offence to 19 in both games, only allowing 38 total points.

Comparing these two first games of the season to losses R-Nation has seen in the recent years make the 2022 Redblacks team look great, but with the Grey Cup on all of the players minds this year, the real comparison needs to be to the 2016 Redblacks team that won the Grey Cup. Sure they finished the regular season ugly with an 8-9-1 record, but the 2016 Redblacks team had all of the pieces to win a Grey Cup and they did. One thing that this 2022 Redblacks team lacks so far in the season is the ability to score in the red zone, which is something Burris and his 2016 Redblacks team had a lot of success with, of course finishing the year off with a big red zone score to Ernest Jackson.

Through two games the Redblacks have allowed four touchdowns and only scored one. They’ve had no problem making big plays and moving the ball down field but they continue to settle for field goals, giving Lewis Ward the opportunity to have another historic season. One player that has the potential to make a big change on the offensive side of the ball this week as the Redblacks kickoff against the B.C Lions would be William Powell, a running back that has found himself in this position once before with the Redblacks from 2015 through 2018, and a running back with a proven resume to score touchdowns. He’s coming back from injury for tonight’s game and should improve the offence heavily, giving LaPolice a solid run game to rely on, enough to open up more of a passing game, which would also open up the opportunity to score points in different ways.

One way could very well be to Darvin Adams.

Adams is a receiver that was talked about heavily in the off-season once he was signed by the Redblacks, and everyone saw him being a potential number one receiver for the team, but with Jaelon Acklin tearing it up over two games its as if we’ve forgotten about the kind of impact Darvin Adams is able to make, and what he’s actually doing in red and black already. Over the first two games he’s already made a few big plays having caught 9 passes for 135 yards, but what’s lacking on the stat sheet is touchdowns.

Coming off of a bye week, Adams is ready to provide the Redblacks with touchdowns, or the opportunity to score touchdowns at TD Place.

“We said all week, we’ve been moving the ball, we look good on paper but we haven’t been getting in the end zone so the main focus is instead of Lewis kicking for 3 points we want him kicking for 1 point to have 7 point drives, thats been the main focus, we’re going to have to work a little harder this week to make it happen.” Adams told JZ Media’s Jordan Zlomislic following Wednesday’s walk through.

Catch the Redblacks at home at TD Place against the B.C Lions at 7:30 tonight as they look to bounce back from their 0-2 start coming off of a bye week.

Gameday with RedBlacks’ defensive back Sherrod Baltimore by JZ Media

Featured image taken by Scott Grant

On Friday June 17th for the CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks 2022 home opener, JZ Media’s Jordan Zlomislic met up with Redblacks fan favourite defensive back to film a gameday video. Every game, Redblacks fans and football fans around the globe get the opportunity to watch number 27 for the Ottawa Redblacks. They get the opportunity to watch him for 60 minutes on the field and do what he’s best at; play football, but there is so much to Sherrod Baltimore, and all players that fans do not get to see by simply watching the games.

Baltimore is known for not only being a great defensive back for the Ottawa RedBlacks but also a great personality, a caring individual and a leader off of the football field.

In JZ Media’s gameday video with Baltimore, fans get to see a little bit more than they normally do, going behind the scenes and seeing what he does to prepare for the Redblacks’ home opener and to watch the story of the Ottawa RedBlacks home opener unfold through his eyes.

This video is just the first of many that will come just like this to get a look in at what the reality of being a football player is at all levels, including the CFL.

“One door closed, but another opportunity opened for me.” Katley Joseph commits to University of Saskatchewan

On Saturday June 25th 2022 Ottawa’s Katley Joseph made a life changing decision. One that will be recognized nationwide. One that sends him across the country, and most importantly, one that will benefit him for years to come.

Joseph’s big decision was to commit to the University of Saskatchewan. Now, as a football player that has had success on many levels, from NCAFA youth football in Ottawa all the way through the NCAA division one stage, the move to Saskatchewan for many is looked at to be a big win for coach Scott Flory and the Saskatchewan Huskies but as big of a win it is for the team, it is a much bigger win for Katley Joseph.

In 2018 and 2019 Katley Joseph was a star defensive back for the University of Maine. Every time he stepped foot on the field he was looked at to be one of the best on the field. He made play after play after play and took on a role as a leader in the secondary and in the locker room as a perfect teammate. After his sophomore campaign in 2019 it even looked as if the NFL would be in the picture for the Ottawa native. In just two seasons with the Black Bears he added a total 69 tackles, 19 pass deflections, 3 tackles for loss and one interception to his name, but that idea of going to the NFL would very quickly erase over the next two years.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the CAA, the conference which the University of Maine plays in had cancelled their fall 2020 football season. They eventually had a shortened season the following spring, however Joseph among many others opted out of the season. After going well over a full year without playing football, in the summer of 2021 it was time for Katley Joseph to return to Maine and get back to work, to finish what he had started in 2018 and 2019. Unfortunately, during Maine’s training camp leading into the 2021 fall season Joseph suffered a torn meniscus which sidelined him for the next 6 to 7 months.

He was back training in February, and entered his name into the CFL and NFL Draft with hopes to continue his football career to the professional stage.

Despite gaining interest from each of the 9 CFL teams and getting the opportunity to speak with a scout from the New England Patriots at his pro day, Joseph went through the draft process with no official contract offers from any team. For many, this could be considered as a reasonable outcome because of the two years away from the game of football and the recent injury, however being at 100% now, and with not only game film to back up his abilities but recent workout footage as well it is surprising that there wasn’t any opportunities for Joseph.

There may not have been professional opportunities right out of the gate for Katley Joseph, but at 23 years old he was given some interest from Canadian Universities to prove himself on the football field once again for the 2022 U-Sports season. Of course he has since made his commitment to the University of Saskatchewan, and with that decision he intends on playing the 2022 U-Sports season and furthering his education, getting his masters in education, with plans to be a teacher following his football career.

This decision and opportunity to not only play football and show his worth to professional scouts one last time but to further his education is so big for Katley Joseph and he is beyond excited to continue what he believes is the best story in Ottawa.

“Its about how bad you want it.” Brandin Dandridge tells his story through JZ Media

In February, just weeks after signing with the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, former Ottawa Redblacks defensive back Brandin Dandridge sat down with Jordan Zlomislic of JZ Media to tell his story through his detailed point of view. From growing up in Des Moines, Iowa, to his early days playing baseball, through the adversity he fought coming out of University to his success in the CFL that got him in the door with the Chiefs, each and every part of Dandridge’s story is inspiring, and it all relates to what he said in the interview. He told Zlomislic, “its about how bad you want it.”

Dandridge has been taking part in all of the Kansas City Chiefs off-season activities thus far and with training camp on deck, he is becoming a name to know in Kansas City. Keep all eyes on Dandridge with the Chiefs, and stay tuned for more JZ Media content regarding Dandridge’s story.

Gameday in the capital; 3 things to watch in the Redblacks home opener

The CFL opened up their 2022 regular season last week. To begin the 2022 CFL season the Ottawa Redblacks lost an away game to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, however it won’t really go down as a loss to everyone. For many Redblacks fans, losing 19-17 to the defending Grey Cup champions could be considered a small victory after what they’ve watched at TD Place the last two seasons. Despite the loss, it was a strong start to the new season and gives fans a lot to look forward to for the home opener tonight at TD Place.

Tonight at the Ottawa Redblacks 2022 home opener three things that Redblacks fans should keep all eyes on would include the leadership of quarterback Jeremiah Masoli on and off of the football field, the play of the new look offensive line and Sherrod Baltimore continuing to make plays in the Redblacks star powered defence led by defensive coordinator Mike Benevides.

Starting off with Masoli, it was clear after week one that he will be a big piece to the Redblacks success this season. Of course having someone under centre that has good experience and most importantly winning experience is always good, but with Jeremiah Masoli the Redblacks didn’t just get a regular veteran quarterback. When Shawn Burke signed Jeremiah Masoli in February he signed a 33 year old MOP caliber quarterback with a big chip on his shoulder, a chip the size of a boulder. Masoli has been on a team that has lost the Grey Cup back to back seasons, he has been on 4 different rosters that have gone to a Grey Cup, and has never hoisted the trophy over his head. He came to Ottawa to lead this Redblacks team to not only make it to the Grey Cup, but win it.

He did a lot in last week’s game to get started on that Grey Cup run, having thrown for 380 yards and a touchdown, and he came away with unfinished business so tonight’s game is a must watch Masoli game for all Redblacks fans.

In front of Masoli this season in Ottawa is an almost entirely new offensive line, and an offensive line that looked good in their week one matchup against the Blue Bombers however the Redblacks offence was never able to establish a solid run game last week. That isn’t all on the fault of the offensive line since the Redblacks running back situation has gotten complicated to start off the season, however in this week’s game expect the offensive line to pave way for rookie running back Devonte Williams in his first game at TD Place in Ottawa.

On the defensive side of the ball last week in Winnipeg, the Ottawa Redblacks played extremely well, and they got a turnover, something that didn’t happen too much last season. Last week Sherrod Baltimore made quite the impact on the defence, as did a majority of the secondary locking up Winnipeg receivers, and holding them to 239 passing yards. Baltimore started off the season hot with a big fumble recovery last week forced by Justin Howell, with Alonzo Addae making his first start at safety, Abdul Kanneh, Randall Evans and Money Hunter alongside him expect him to continue to ball out as he is in for a big breakout season this year.

The Redblacks and Blue Bombers game will kickoff at 7:30 tonight at TD Place. If you’re not there in person don’t miss it on TV on TSN or ESPN!

Ottawa Redblacks off to good start of 2022 CFL season despite week one loss

The CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks opened up their 2022 season in Winnipeg on Friday night against the defending grey cup champions, Winnipeg Blue Bombers. After winning just 6 games combined over the past two CFL seasons, Ottawa’s one goal and plan for this season is to flip the script, to get back on the positive side. Despite losing the game 19-17, on the last Blue Bombers drive of the game, it looks as if the Redblacks are right on pace to do exactly what they hope to, in flipping the script.

This off-season, the Redblacks acquired general manager Shawn Burke who made a lot of major changes to the roster. Of them all, the biggest change came from the quarterback position with veteran quarterback Jeremiah Masoli now calling the shots under centre for Ottawa. In his first regular season game in red and black Masoli showed a lot of great things, and previewed what the rest of the season could look like for the Redblacks.

He threw for 380 yards and one score. His favourite target of the night was his former teammate in Hamilton Jaelon Acklin who caught 6 of 8 targets for 143 yards. Darvin Adams caught 7 passes for 71 yards while Canadian pass catchers Shaq Johnson, Marco Dubois and Nate Behar combined for 147 receiving yards. Unfortunately the pass game was the only thing that worked for the Redblacks offence though. Head coach and play caller Paul LaPolice called 20 run plays which gained just 61 yards. Considering the pass game was very much alive, getting the run game involved with Will Powell, and Jackson Bennett moving forward can help the Redblacks score points, the one thing that they struggled to do offensively in week one.

On the defensive side of the ball, a lot went well. Like it was for the Redblacks, Winnipeg’s run game was non existent, their leading rusher was Brady Olivera with just 17 yards on 10 carries. Blue Bombers quarterbacks were held to 239 passing yards, and Sherrod Baltimore was able to get himself a fumble recovery which was perfect for Mike Benevides’ defence, however one thing that put the Redblacks out of the game at the end was the two touchdowns given up. With the offence only scoring one touchdown and kicking three field goals themselves, Winnipeg’s two touchdowns and two field goals put the Redblacks behind at the end of the game, resulting in a loss unfortunately.

The Ottawa Redblacks will get the opportunity to finish what they started this upcoming Friday at TD Place in Ottawa as they kickoff against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers yet again. If they are able to do what they did in the season opener, while fixing what went wrong as well, it may be a big night in Ottawa to kickoff a successful season at home.

Ottawa Redblacks to kickoff 2022 CFL season on Friday, what does the team look like?

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.

“Its going to be a big year.” B.C Lions receiver Dominique Rhymes set to win on and off of the field in 2022

During the 2021-2022 CFL off-season, B.C Lions wide receiver Dominique Rhymes started a YouTube channel.

Attempting to gather attention around his name, and enough to build his brand more, Rhymes has started to post content around who he is as a person off of the football field, and is hoping to start a trend across the CFL for more players to create content and build their brands.

Rhymes is doing this at a good time. With a big football season on the way for himself and the B.C Lions, there will be plenty of talk around who Dominique Rhymes is, or who his teammates are. If he is able to keep up with the channel, he can answer all of the questions that fans may have during the 2022 CFL season, and show some content that has never been seen before in the CFL.

In 2021 Rhymes, in his first year with the Lions played in a limited 8 of 14 games. He ended up hauling in 28 passes for 411 yards and a score, really making the most of each moment he was on the field. With a 1,000 yard season behind him from his time in Ottawa, and a lot of inspiration for the upcoming year, Dominique Rhymes should be a player to keep eyes on across the CFL this season, especially with big time playmakers like Lucky Whitehead and Bryan Burnham around him. Young Canadian quarterback Nathan Rourke will be having a blast this season slinging the rock to these guys.