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“I see this being a premier company in sports by the end of 2021.” co-founder of Personal Corner Dan McCreesh beyond excited to help grow with Dez Bryant

“Romo drops back… looking to his right… he finds Dez Bryant in the end zone… what a catch, touchdown Dallas.”

For many, when the name Dez Bryant comes up they think of a football player and what comes to mind first is a picture of him wearing his NFL Dallas Cowboys uniform, but for Dan McCreesh that isn’t all that comes to mind when he hears the name. Making a name for himself in navy blue and silver, Bryant caught 909 passes with the Cowboys over 113 regular season games, gaining a total 7,459 yards and scoring 73 touchdowns in the air and McCreesh knows all about it. He was a New York Giants fan growing up in South Plainfield, New Jersey but after hearing from the star NFL receiver just under two weeks ago in his Instagram direct messages McCreesh now thinks of a lot more than just a football player when the name Dez Bryant comes up.

McCreesh, who is from New Jersey and has found himself in the business side of sports for a few years now since he and former NBA player and current ESPN analyst Jay Williams formerly launched a data analytics startup together in Simatree. Jay Williams is one of the main pioneers of leading the Sports/Business intersection – as a former host of “The Boardroom”. So McCreesh has quite the pedigree so far of strategically positioning himself within the right lanes in this Sports x Business ecosystem, now being able to work with more athletes and brand exposures including Dez Bryant. Bryant reached out to McCreesh just under two weeks ago through Instagram, writing in a direct message “Yo what’s your number?” Getting this message got him excited to see what was in store with he and Bryant. They later connected on a Zoom where Bryant informed him that he’d like for him to be flown to Dallas the very next day however his wife was in a wedding the next day so he had to arrange his flight to Dallas after the wedding. It’s not every day that you have an NFL great messaging you to fly to him and work together so McCreesh jumped on the opportunity, come to realize that Dez Bryant had been working on the company he is getting Dan McCreesh’s help with for over two years.

That company is Personal Corner, a company for athletes, by athletes that gives athletes of all levels, high school, college and professional the opportunity to not only be the athlete they dream of being on the field, on the court, in the ring, in the water or on the ice but also the influencer and entrepreneur they dream of being outside of sports. It has been something that Bryant has visioned for some time now, having worked on the vision for years now but with the rule change in the NCAA, and athletes of all levels now allowed to profit off of their name, image and likeness its as of recently that he has taken full action on putting everything he has worked on out to the public and doing so the right way. Being able to do it the right way, on social media and in business Dez Bryant has Dan McCreesh helping out as a co-founder. McCreesh flew to Dallas following his encounter with Bryant on Instagram and mentioned in an interview with JZ Media’s Jordan Zlomislic, “He’s been building this for over 2 years. Nobody really knew that. I didn’t know that before I came to Dallas and when he rolled out the technology platform to me it was mind-blowing. He has put. a lot of time, energy and resources into this, he just needed the guy to lead it and thats where I come in.” McCreesh continued, “The platform is outstanding.”

Along with both Dez Bryant and Dan McCreesh who are each found at the top of the Personal Corner name brand, there are about a dozen others working on the development of the company, and soon to be more as Bryant gets busy with his 10th NFL season. McCreesh says, “The timing of me coming on board with this is all great because Dez has been training for football and will be on an NFL team this season so he won’t be able to do as much as he has done recently with the company. There is about 15-16 of us on the team right now but we are planning on doing a hiring day soon where we’ll be acquiring another 40 so people.” Unlike other companies out there, Personal Corner didn’t start out with hundreds of employees with the same vision. For the longest time it has been Dez Bryant and Dez Bryant alone, but with McCreesh and others involved now, it could benefit the company moving forward to attack on not only one or two different visions that Bryant may have but several visions from the entire team. McCreesh’s vision behind Personal Corner and everything else he does in the business side of sports, finishing Jerry Maguire’s story. “I think I want to relate this as much to finishing Jerry Maguire’s story as possible. He believed in doing right by the athlete, and he left a big firm to follow that vision, I don’t mean to talk down the agent because it is very much a hustle but I think doing right and adding value to the player is the creme and we have the opportunity to partner with the agents and agencies, there’s the opportunity to partner with the brands, there’s the opportunity to intersect and integrate fans, players and brands together under one roof where they are all under one ecosystem, we are creating an athlete community and that athlete community will be unmatched given the opportunity to build brands and build behind those brands for athletes of all levels.”

The athlete community that both Dez Bryant and Daniel McCreesh have each helped build the base of at Personal Corner is unmatched, one reason being is the work ethic and passion behind those a part of it all. As a co-founder, McCreesh shows his passion for finishing that Jerry Maguire movie storyline, not as an agent representing Rod Tidwell but as a sports business man at Personal Corner with Dez Bryant and Bryant himself has showed his passion throughout his entire football career, beginning with his time at Oklahoma State University and being drafted 24th overall by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2010 NFL Draft. His passion hasn’t always been viewed as a positive attribute on NFL sidelines, however it is something that is needed in this day and age. Passion is everything in everything you do, and Bryant has shown passion in Personal Corner, like he has with his football career he has invested a lot of time and money, close to one and a half million dollars already according to his social media posts and if he has the passion towards the company, has invested time and money towards it and a lot of it, the sky is the limit for Personal Corner and the vision attached to it for each individual involved. When asked about his expectations for the company McCreesh told Zlomislic of JZ Media, “This is going to sound crazy but I see this being one of the premier companies in sports by the end of 2021. I would like to see the world find more ways to collaborate than to push back against. We are willing to work with everybody and anybody that can benefit from what we have started and that we can potentially benefit from too. That is where I see us separating from other people that have visions of helping athletes because a lot of people shy away from opportunities of working with other people.”

Bryant added, reading the article, “Sooner than that.” meaning he believes the company will reach that status in sports even sooner than the end of the year.

Unlike other companies out there, Personal Corner has been able to do the dirty work, networking with athletes and brands out there and actually want to network and benefit athletes out there. The slogan is “for athletes, by athletes” not “for the company to make money, by business men” for a reason and that is something Dez Bryant has capitalized on, being able to do a lot of work himself, even the networking which could be difficult for many to do. “We’ve put our money where our mouth is, especially Dez. He has been amazing to work with and he is a great leader for this company. Dez has no problem reaching out to people, he’s actually one of the best networkers that I’ve ever met which is extremely hard to find in the pro sports world but its a main reason why I am doing what I am with him and it is cool to see his brand evolve because Dez 3.0 is here and he is going to be the revolutionizer and the person that gives the power back to the players. It’s going to be exciting to be a part of that train.”

That train that McCreesh is on with Bryant is going full steam ahead and is ready to take over the entire sports industry for the athlete’s benefits. See everything Personal Corner related on social media NOW and be sure to watch the brand grow into an entire lifestyle for many.

Caleb Evans returns to TD Place after two week 10 road games; what to expect from the Ottawa Redblacks in today’s game

Just over two weeks ago the CFL was introduced to Ottawa Redblacks quarterback Caleb Evans for the first time. The Mansfield, Texas raised quarterback found himself starting for the Redblacks in week 9 against the Edmonton Elks after spending 6 games as the team’s third string quarterback. Evans threw for 191 yards and a score as well as ran for 59 yards in his debut in place of the injured Matt Nichols and Dominque Davis. He has since started two more games, against both the Argonauts and Alouettes on the road and eventhough he may not have had the most electric starts in those games like he did on his opening night in the CFL, Caleb Evans has continued to pick up on a number of things and has progressed, making this week’s game against the Alouettes at TD Place a game to watch all across the CFL.

Evans will return to TD Place where he had his CFL debut, and coming off of a game against the Alouettes, who he will play again on Saturday where he ran for 64 yards, including a 36 yard run he looks to provide R-Nation with another big reason to cheer him and his teammates on as they fight for a chance in the 2021 CFL playoffs in November. For the fans going to the game against the Alouettes at 4:00 on Saturday, there are a lot of new things to watch out for and expect to see since the last time the Redblacks played at home.

Starting off with what may be the biggest change on offence along with Caleb Evans in the backfield is new tail back De’Lance Turner. Turner got his first CFL action last week in Montreal where he carried the ball 10 times for 71 yards and caught 3 passes for 15, taking over what was Timothy Flanders and Justin Davis’ role at starting running back. Last week wasn’t the best of examples for Turner since the pass game wasn’t hitting like it was in the previous two games that Evans had started for Ottawa but it is clear that the Redblacks did get a run game going in Montreal, having Turner break one run for 28 yards was nice to see as it was the longest rush on the season by a Redblacks running back. Expect to see a lot more of him this week at home. Having a consistent run game is something Paul LaPolice and his offence has tried to establish all season but hasn’t succeeded, having trouble staying healthy not only in the backfield but up front on the offensive line as well but with a new look offensive line this week and Turner coming off of a great CFL debut a week ago, a run game can only help this Redblacks’ offence orchestrated by 23 year old quarterback Caleb Evans.

Also on the offensive side of the ball, receivers Ryan Davis and R.J Harris are coming off of a game where they combined for just 3 catches and 43 yards. This is after they caught 21 combined for 344 in Caleb Evans’ first two starts with Ottawa. Expect the two of them to be more involved this week against the Alouettes as well as Kenny Stafford, Nate Behar and Anthony Coombs at receiver as Evans will look to spread the ball around like he did in both Toronto and his first CFL game.

As for the defensive side of the football, the Ottawa Redblacks have faced a lot of change since they last played at TD Place. In the 34-24 victory at TD Place on September 28th over the Elks the Ottawa Redblacks had defensive backs Brad Muhammad, and Gump Hayes starting alongside both Brandin Dandridge and Randall Evans. Both Dandridge and Evans remain in the lineup alongside Antoine Pruneau against the Montreal Alouettes this weekend but in place of both Hayes and Muhammad are Redblacks’ fan favourites Abdul Kanneh and Sherrod Baltimore. The two star defensive backs are making their first appearances of the 2021 CFL season at home at TD Place, marking Kanneh’s first home game at TD Place since the 2016 East Final against Edmonton and Baltimore’s first since the 2019 CFL season finale. For them it will be a special game to be back on that field in front of R-Nation once again together and fans should expect to see plays made from the two of them as well as Brandin Dandridge, who was mentioned earlier. Dandridge has played three games with Ottawa this year, his first being against the Elks at TD Place on September 28th and in each of the three games he has an interception, 2 in regulation play and the other on a two point conversion. He is tied with Kanneh with regulation interceptions for a Redblacks team lead and all eyes are on him to continue his streak.

Other changes on the defence come on the front seven, with edge rusher Praise Martin-Oguike on the injured list after last week’s game Canadian and Carleton University product Kene Onyeka is expected to start at defensive end for Mike Benevides. Onyeka is coming off of a two sack game a week ago in Montreal and looks to repeat himself against Matthew Shiltz and the Alouettes. Linebacker Jerod Fernandez will also be coming in for the injured Avery Williams at middle linebacker. Fernandez was the Redblacks’ 2019 rookie of the year candidate after making 52 tackles and forcing two fumbles in 11 games. He makes his first appearance in 2021 on Benevides’ defence where he will play in between both Micah Awe and Don Unamba.

Watch the Ottawa Redblacks kickoff against the Montreal Alouettes at 4:00 at TD Place live at the game or on TSN/ESPN.

The long awaited return to TD Place of Abdul Kanneh and Sherrod Baltimore set to happen Saturday against the Alouettes

During the 2019-2021 CFL off-season the Ottawa Redblacks signed defensive back Abdul Kanneh. Kanneh was signed by the Redblacks after spending time with both the Hamilton Tiger Cats and Toronto Argonauts from 2017 through the 2019 CFL season but is and always will be known for the success he had in the nation’s capital early on in his professional career. He played for the Redblacks during their first year of existence, being around for the 2-16 season but also grew with the team, going to the Grey Cup the next year and winning it in 2016 thanks to a massive Abdul Kanneh shoe string tackle on Calgary quarterback Andrew Buckley on a goal line scramble. When he became available once again for the Ottawa Redblacks, after going 3-15 in 2019 and losing a number of defensive backs already, it was a no brainer to bring in the Redblacks’ fan favourite once again.

In Kanneh’s first game back in red and black, the entire Ottawa Redblacks organization and fan base was reminded of the kind of player he is. Making seven tackles on the day against the Edmonton Elks and changing the game with two interceptions, including one pick six, Abdul Kanneh was looked at as the entire league’s player of the week, except that would be the last time we’d see from him until week 10 against the Toronto Argonauts. Kanneh missed a total 6 games after suffering an injury in practice, but has now been back for two games and is set to make his return to TD Place. It will be the first time since the 2016 CFL East Final against the Edmonton Football Team where Abdul Kanneh, in number 14 will suit up at TD Place with the Ottawa Redblacks and he will do so alongside good friend on the team and other fan favourite for R-Nation Sherrod Baltimore.

Baltimore has played three games on the season this year, just coming back against the Montreal Alouettes on Monday after getting hurt following the game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders at Mosaic Stadium, but all three of his games have been on the road, making his last home game just under two full calendar years ago on November 1st 2019 against the Alouettes. On Saturday at 4:00 he and Kanneh will both suit up at TD Place for the first time on the 2021 CFL season, and with three home games left on the season, they look to bring an electric vibe to all of R-Nation as the Redblacks do indeed look to close out on a strong note, with the opportunity of making the playoffs still up for grabs with 5 games left on the schedule.

Also back in the lineup on the defensive side of the ball is linebacker Jerod Fernandez. Fernandez won the Ottawa Redblacks’ 2019 rookie of the year award after making 53 tackles and forcing 2 fumbles in just 11 games. After making a number of signings at the linebacker position this past off-season the Redblacks had Fernandez on the CFL practice roster for the majority of the 2021 season, but with the injury to Avery Williams last week, Jerod Fernandez will be getting his first game action of the season and first action since the final game of the 2019 CFL season against the Alouettes on Saturday.

The Ottawa Redblacks will play their 10th game of the 2021 CFL season on Saturday and will look to start their 5 game winning streak to close out the season with Caleb Evans at quarterback, De’Lance Turner at running back and those mentioned back in the lineup. Watch the Redblacks and Alouettes at TD Place at 4:00 on Saturday or on TSN from home.

Ottawa Redblacks make some roster changes as they approach the final 5 games of 2021

During the 2019-2021 CFL off-season the Ottawa Redblacks had shifted their entire identity, if they even had one after going 3-15 in the 2019 CFL season. A number of changes were made, the staff for this season was almost full of new faces with the exception of both Bob Dyce and Patrick Bourgon and the roster had a whole new look to it as well. From quarterback to defensive back there were new names across the roster, and the league expected to see Matt Nichols, Timothy Flanders, RJ Harris, Nolan MacMillan to lead the Redblacks offence and Avery Ellis, Don Unamba, Cleyon Laing, Abdul Kanneh and Antoine Pruneau to lead the defence this season, however a lot has changed since the beginning of the season.

Starting at quarterback, both Matt Nichols and Dominique Davis who came into the season as the Redblacks’ 1 and 2 quarterbacks have suffered injuries, giving 23 year old rookie quarterback Caleb Evans the opportunity to play early on in his career.

At running back Timothy Flanders has been on the injury report a couple of times this season, giving Justin Davis the start twice before he suffered an injury of his own. De’Lance Turner has most recently went for 71 yards on just 10 carries in his CFL debut, replacing the two other backs.

As for the receiver position, both R.J Harris and Ryan Davis has led the pack, both have over 400 yards receiving on the season while Nate Behar has 271 yards of his own, Daniel Petermann is at 148, Anthony Coombs has 186 and Kenny Stafford has 119 yards in three games.

On the offensive line the Ottawa Redblacks have seen the most changes, having seen injuries from Nolan MacMillan throughout the season and trying to balance the Canadian, American ratio the team has seen Jamar McGloster, Juwann Bushell-Beatty, Na’Ty Rodgers, Trevon Tate, Jakub Szott, Andrew Pickett and Christopher Ferguson on the line alongside Mark Korte who has played pretty much every position on the line at this point of the season.

For Mike Benevides’ defence it has been a good run for the most part of the season except for the defensive secondary. Early in the season the team was hit with injuries to both Sherrod Baltimore and Abdul Kanneh, sidelining them both for 6 games each, and have also lost both Brad Muhammad and Gump Hayes to injuries recently. This has made way for a number of other players to get opportunities with the Ottawa Redblacks, and so have the injuries on the defensive line of Stansly Maponga and Frank Beltre.

This week, though among all of the roster changes having to be made already this season the Ottawa Redblacks announced the signings of both defensive end Tre Hornbuckle of Duke University as well as defensive back Douglas Coleman ii. Coleman is a Texas Tech product who had 8 interceptions in his final season with the Red Raiders. Global draft pick Anthony Mahoungou, a 6-foot-3 wide receiver from France has also flew into Ottawa to play for the Redblacks and newly signed offensive lineman Dino Boyd is expected to make his first start with the Ottawa Redblacks this upcoming weekend as the Redblacks kickoff yet again against the Montreal Alouettes at TD Place on Saturday at 4:00.

Ottawa Redblacks look to turn around the season with 5 games left; what have been some positives for Ottawa in 2021?

This 2021 CFL season has been a tough one for the Ottawa Redblacks. Like the 2019 season, they got off to a hot start, opening the season 1-0 in Edmonton with a big defensive victory over the Elks going into a bye week, but since then, over the past 9 weeks of the CFL season they are 1-7. 9 games into the 2021 season the Ottawa Redblacks are 2-7 and the best they can do is go 7-7 and likely find themselves at second in the eastern division, and despite that looking impossible from a fan’s point of view and someone looking from the outside in, that is exactly what the Ottawa Redblacks will be striving to do.

To be able to close out the 2021 CFL season on a good note and even go 5-0 potentially to finish the season with a 7-7 record a lot has to go right, and a lot has gone right for this Ottawa Redblacks team already this season, except a lot has gone wrong as well. Some of the things that have gone right and are looked at to be positives for the 2021 Ottawa Redblacks would be the discovery of offensive weapons Caleb Evans, De’Lance Turner and Ryan Davis, Mike Benevides’ defensive management and Bob Dyce’s electric special teams unit.

At the top of the list, and something all of R-Nation has been talking about for the last couple of weeks is the discovery of their new favourite quarterback Caleb Evans. Starting off his professional football career off strong, Evans had thrown for 191 yards and 3 scores while even running for an additional 59 yards in his CFL debut against the Edmonton Elks in an Ottawa Redblacks win. He has since struggled over the last two games, throwing a total 4 interceptions but has still had a number of bright spots and the hiccups are expected out of a fresh out of University 23 year old rookie quarterback. Over the last two games he has continued to help the run game excel, running for 64 yards in Montreal on just 5 carries on Monday, and in Toronto last Wednesday he was able to throw the ball well. Eventhough he has the four interceptions over the last two games, Evans surpassed the 300 yard marker in just his second start in the CFL against the Argonauts, throwing for 334 yards. He has been able to connect with his playmakers on a number of occasions, and will continue to do so as they look to run with what works in this Paul LaPolice led Ottawa offence.

What did work in the Redblacks’ last game against the Montreal Alouettes on Monday who they play once again on Saturday at TD Place was the run game, led by running back De’Lance Turner. Turner, in his CFL debut, after a successful career at Alcorn State University and 12 games played in the NFL split between the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins was able to run for 71 yards on just 10 carries and has an additional 15 yards on 3 receptions. With 86 yards of offence gained on just 13 touches in his very first game as an Ottawa Redblacks running back, after watching the run game struggle with both Timothy Flanders and Justin Davis leading the pack, it is clear that the run game can be established now, and with big play potential, runs of 16, and 28 in his debut Turner will need to get more touches to help move the ball and score points most importantly.

On the defensive side of the football, Mike Benevides has also been doing an exceptional job as the Ottawa Redblacks defensive coordinator and the defence has been a bright spot and a positive for the most part of the season. He has done a very good job working with the front seven, getting 6 sacks on Montreal Alouettes’ quarterbacks a week ago and running a defence to help Avery Williams, and Micah Awe to have outstanding seasons at linebacker, Williams leading the league with 62 tackles and Awe comes off of an 11 tackle performance, sitting at 50 on the season. The secondary has had its ups and downs due to the injuries of both Abdul Kanneh and Sherrod Baltimore which had been suffered earlier in the season, however with them back in the lineup and Brandin Dandridge getting three interceptions in his first three games played of the 2021 CFL season, there may be a turning point in this defensive secondary and the last 5 games may be the best 5 we’ve seen by this Mike Benevides’ defence, especially coming off of a 6 sack performance a week ago, this may just be true.

Also a large part of any success that the Ottawa Redblacks have had this season would be Bob Dyce’s electric special teams unit. Like every year, the Redblacks kicking game has been hitting on all cylinders. Of course there has been some moments, like 3 missed Lewis Ward kicks and a blocked Richie Leone punt that have hurt the Redblacks, however the field position that Leone’s punts have put the opposing offences in this season has helped in a big way for Benevides’ success with his defence and without Lewis Ward’s field goals, Ottawa would be shut out of a number games this season. Not mentioned yet, but has been likely the biggest positive that has come out of this 2021 CFL season for the Ottawa Redblacks would be the return game of DeVonte Dedmon. In just 8 games this season Dedmon leads the league in all-purpose yards with over 500 yards more than the next best player on the list. He has over 1,500 yards returning as well as 150 plus on offence along with 2 return touchdowns and a rushing score. Clearly he has been a game changer for the Ottawa Redblacks and has put Caleb Evans and the Ottawa Redblacks quarterbacks in good field position every time he touches the ball. If he continues at the rate he is at right now there is no questioning he will be the CFL special teams player of the year and will have an opportunity in the NFL for 2022 at just 26 years old.

Ottawa Redblacks beat themselves in loss to Montreal Alouettes, De’Lance Turner makes change in run game

After playing the Toronto Argonauts last Wednesday night, losing 35-16 in a well played defensive game and Caleb Evans’ second start of his professional career the Ottawa Redblacks found themselves in Montreal on thanksgiving Monday to play the Alouettes. Going into the game, R-Nation knew they’d see a different team being played by the Ottawa Redblacks. Seeing Sherrod Baltimore and Abdul Kanneh back in the line-up together on defence made it a game to watch, while on the offensive side of the ball Caleb Evans was given a new weapon with running back De’Lance Turner who Timothy Flanders was benched for. Turner, heading into the game hadn’t had much exposure to Redblacks fans, other than some stats at Alcorn State and 12 NFL games with minimal touches but was soon a fan favourite in the run game.

The Redblacks ran him 10 times on the ground for 71 yards, averaging 7.1 yards per carry, even having a 28 yard run and 15 yards on 3 receptions and it was clearly a bright spot in this Ottawa offence, as well as for Caleb Evans in his young CFL career but the run game needs to be used even more now that it is working. Prior to this game against the Alouettes the run game wasn’t hitting for the Ottawa Redblacks. Starting running backs Timothy Flanders and Justin Davis averaged just a total 3.7 yards per carry. It has been hard to establish the run game for the Ottawa Redblacks, and many different factors have played into exactly that but after a 71 yard performance on the ground and 86 yards of offence gained in his CFL debut it is clear that things are changing in this Ottawa Redblacks offence with De’Lance Turner in the backfield alongside Caleb Evans who also ran for 64 yards in Montreal and Paul LaPolice has to take advantage of the opportunities he now has to be able to run the ball. Running De’Lance Turner 15 to 20 times a game, if he does three quarters of what he did in Montreal, there could be 80 to 110 yards gained on the ground from him alone, plus what Evans has been able to do on the run, this will change the way defences look at the Redblacks’ offence and also gives Caleb Evans help as he continues to progress in his first year in the CFL.

In Montreal against the Alouettes, the Ottawa Redblacks lost the game in the long run. It was a 20-16 win for the Alouettes, and the game ended with 24 seconds left on a Cameron Artis-Payne game winning touchdown. Many would say it was a depressing loss for the Ottawa Redblacks, and as much as they should have won that game, having had the lead a lot throughout the game, they beat themselves in Montreal, and they are the reason why they lost to the Alouettes, because it is clear that the Alouettes did not play a very good football game themselves. On the offensive side of the football, Caleb Evans threw the ball to Ryan Davis and RJ Harris just 3 times for 43 yards. Going into the game, with Evans at quarterback the two playmakers had a combined 344 yards on 21 receptions, they are both leading receivers in this Redblacks offence and have helped the offence on multiple occasions. Limiting them to just 3 catches in a must win game is not the way to go. They will need to be put into the game plan more moving forward, like De’Lance Turner after his success against the Alouettes. The offensive line for the Ottawa Redblacks also had given up 5 sacks to the Alouettes, including two on the opening drive of the game, and to keep quarterback Caleb Evans on his feet and healthy to close out this season, the sacks need to be eliminated, and the offensive line will need to improve. There have been a number of injuries to the line this season, and its understandable that there have been issues on the offensive line, however with a young, promising quarterback in the backfield, and now a talented running back in De’Lance Turner, better protection will be needed moving forward.

As for the defensive side of the football, on the opening Montreal Alouettes drive of the game, on a Jake Wieneke score, where he was wide open on a slant route in the end zone, there were just 11 of 12 players on the field. Stefan Charles came onto the field to replace a defensive lineman to be able to rush Vernon Adams, and Sherrod Baltimore was called off of the football field as well, taking two players off of the defence for one. That is a mistake made by the coaches above and needs to be looked at on film this week and cannot be made again. Also on defence, the Ottawa Redblacks defence struggled on making tackles early on in plays, allowing the Alouettes offence to extend on plays and gain additional yardage on multiple occasions, and although the defensive front was able to get to Vernon Adams on 6 occasions, there has to be more pressure on the quarterback throughout the entire game. Adams felt free in his backfield for a large portion of the game on Monday and that needs to be stopped as the Ottawa Redblacks enter the remainder of their 2021 CFL season.

That season now has 5 games left on the schedule, 2 more against the Alouettes, the next being on Saturday at TD Place, 1 against the Calgary Stampeders, Hamilton Tiger Cats and Toronto Argonauts. It may be stretching it, but if the Ottawa Redblacks are able to improve and come back after beating themselves in two straight games against the Argonauts and Alouettes, there is a real chance of being 5-0 to close out the season considering the opponents they have left. With a 7-7 record the Redblacks would then be able to make it into the playoffs and change everybody’s outlook on the franchise moving into the future.

It is Ottawa Redblacks game day; what needs to be incorporated into the game plan to beat the Alouettes on Canadian Thanksgiving

Today the Ottawa Redblacks, alongside the Toronto Argonauts will be kicking off to play their second game in week 10 of the 2021 CFL season. The Redblacks will be in Montreal, playing against the Alouettes at 1:00 eastern and the Argonauts are in Hamilton for a 4:00 eastern kickoff. Going into the week the Ottawa Redblacks looked to win both games and sit at 4-5 to close out week 10, coming off of a momentum boosting win over the Edmonton Elks in quarterback Caleb Evans’ CFL debut but after losing to the Argonauts in Toronto on Wednesday 35-16, Paul LaPolice and company shift gears and look at a must win Montreal Alouettes game on Canadian Thanksgiving which would bring the Redblacks to 3-6 going into week 11 against the Alouettes once again.

To be able to win today’s game in Montreal the Ottawa Redblacks must click as an entire team, playing winning football on all sides of the ball and play as a team. Often this season we have seen this Redblacks team play very good football and they’ve remained in the majority of their games but it is the big plays and the small mistakes that end up costing them in the long run. Against the Alouettes, Caleb Evans and the Redblacks team he leads will need to eliminate all game shifting mistakes and will do so by filling the game plan with plays and systems which can help them win against Khari Jones’ Montreal Alouettes.

In that game plan for the Ottawa Redblacks today is going to be; establishing the run game with new running back De’Lance Turner, getting the playmakers, Ryan Davis, and R.J Harris involved, getting to Vernon Adams as much as possible, locking down the Alouettes versatile pass game and changing the game on special teams with Bob Dyce’s electric special teams unit led by Lewis Ward, Richie Leone and DeVonte Dedmon.

To start off, the run game will be key for the Ottawa Redblacks, on both sides of the ball really. On offence, the Redblacks will get their first in-game looks of running back De’Lance Turner. Coming in for Timothy Flanders, Turner who ran for 1,357 yards in his senior year at Alcorn State University, averaging 7.5 yards per carry and 130 yards of offence per game played should bring speed and big play potential to the Ottawa Redblacks’ offence. With rookie quarterback Caleb Evans under centre, having a consistent run game will only help him manage the game, especially adding in his own ability to extend plays and run the ball. As for the defensive side of the ball, the Montreal Alouettes will be without star running back William Stanback in today’s game, but just because he will not be suited up for the Alouettes, the Redblacks will still need to stop the run game. Mike Benevides will have to game plan to stop running backs Cameron Artis-Payne who spent time in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers and Canadian Jeshrun Antwi who had 35 yards on 6 carries the last time Montreal and Ottawa faced each other. Quarterback Vernon Adams, like Caleb Evans for Ottawa has the ability to run the ball himself, and has done so extremely well early on in his CFL career, having scored 12 times on the ground in 2019 so his abilities should also be considered in the defensive play calling.

Stopping a quarterback like Vernon Adams can be very difficult, and the Redblacks had their struggles against him already this season, however if Benevides establishes the pass rush, which has been looking very good recently, Adams may have his own struggles against this Redblacks team. Linemen Praise Martin-Oguike, Avery Ellis, Davon Coleman and Cleyon Laing as well as linebackers Micah Awe and Don Unamba on the outside will have to play lights out against Adams and if they do a good job in stopping not only the run game but the pass game up front, the Redblacks secondary, which now has both Abdul Kanneh and Sherrod Baltimore back from injury shouldn’t have much trouble against the Alouettes receiving core. Baltimore, Kanneh, Brandin Dandridge, Randall Evans, and Antoine Pruneau will lead the Redblacks defensive backfield, and will look to win the turnover battle like they did a week ago against the Edmonton Elks.

Also crucial in today’s game and some things that will only help win the game for the Ottawa Redblacks against the Alouettes would be incorporating playmakers RJ Harris and Ryan Davis into the offence and winning the special teams battle with Richie Leone, Lewis Ward and DeVonte Dedmon. With Caleb Evans at quarterback, both Harris and Davis have a combined 344 yards on 21 receptions and one touchdown in two games. It is clear that they are both Evans’ favourite targets and with Anthony Coombs, Nate Behar and Michael Klukas also starting on offence expect a big game out of both 84 and 15 against the Alouettes as they look to make a name for themselves as number one receivers in the league. On special teams, both Richie Leone and Lewis Ward have proven themselves as two of the best kickers in the CFL and maybe even history as a duo in the league, but coming off of a game where the Redblacks had a punt blocked and returned for a touchdown for the Argonauts, Leone and Ward will look to rebound against the Montreal Alouettes while DeVonte Dedmon will have the opportunity to have his second breakout game at Percival Molson Stadium in Montreal. The last time he played there, August 2nd 2019 he returned two kicks for touchdowns and had 377 return yards on the day to break an Ottawa franchise record. With 1,346 return yards and 3 all-purpose scores on the season Dedmon has the opportunity to score big again against this Alouettes team. When they faced off against each other earlier this season Dedmon had a 75 yard kickoff return, one tackle shy of the end zone and a 44 yard catch and run, one tackle shy of the end zone as well. Watch for number 17 as he looks to breakout at Percival Molson once again.

Caleb Evans, Ottawa Redblacks look to bounce back in second week 10 matchup

On Wednesday night the Ottawa Redblacks kicked off week 10 of the 2021 CFL season against the Toronto Argonauts at BMO Field in Toronto and on Monday they will close out the week with the Argonauts as well. The Redblacks will play the Montreal Alouettes at 1:00 on Monday while the Argonauts and Tiger-Cats kickoff at 4:00 for a Canadian Thanksgiving double header. Monday’s game, for the Ottawa Redblacks looks as much like a “do or die” situation as it gets. They are 2-6, and eventhough the Elks are 2-6, Alouettes are 3-4, and the Stampeders are 4-5, every game that the Ottawa Redblacks play moving forward has to be looked at as a must win. If they happen to win each of the next 6 games, the Redblacks would finish the season with a 8-6 record and likely find themselves in the second or third spot in the eastern division depending how the rest of the league plays but to be able to find themselves in that position come late November, head coach Paul LaPolice and company would need to make all of the right decisions and the team will have to play at their best going forward.

Some players that would have an impact on the remainder of the 2021 CFL season and would be in the front lines of a late season push for a playoff spot, starting with Monday’s game in Montreal would be quarterback Caleb Evans, running back De’Lance Turner, receivers Ryan Davis and R.J Harris, offensive lineman Mark Korte, defensive end Praise Martin-Oguike, linebackers Avery Williams, Micah Awe and Don Unamba as well as defensive backs Sherrod Baltimore and Abdul Kanneh and kickoff returner DeVonte Dedmon.

At the top of the list is 23 year old rookie quarterback Caleb Evans. Making his debut in professional football just a week ago against the Edmonton Elks, Evans impressed the entire CFL, throwing for 191 yards and 3 scores while running for 59 yards on the ground. Against the Argonauts it was a different story, in his second career start Caleb Evans hit a few obstacles, throwing three interceptions, two of which going for pick sixes and losing 35-16 against Toronto, but he did in fact throw for 334 yards and run for 54, making his totals over two games; 525 yards in the air and 3 scores as well as 113 yards on the ground. The Alouettes have a very similar quarterback in Vernon Adams, both having the ability to not only throw the ball extremely well and accurate but also extend plays with their legs and establish the run games as a quarterback. The run game he’s established though, running for 113 yards has been on a limited number of rushing attempts, 13 to be exact. Possibly in the next couple of games as the offence sees a change at running back with De’Lance Turner making his first career start on Monday and Evans continues to get comfortable in the Redblacks backfield we see those numbers go up and see more points on the board as well.

De’Lance Turner will be replacing Timothy Flanders at running back and will look to provide a much needed spark in the run game for the Ottawa Redblacks and young quarterback Caleb Evans. Running backs Flanders and Justin Davis who have started all 8 games for the Redblacks have a combined 309 yards rushing on 84 attempts, averaging just 3.7 yards per carry and zero scores on the ground. Turner hasn’t had a starting role since University, but at Alcorn State for his senior season in 2017 he ran for 1,357 yards and 10 scores and had a total 1,569 yards and 13 touchdowns from scrimmage, while averaging 7.8 yards per offensive touch. If he is able to do half of what he did that season where he averaged over 130 yards per game played, Turner would be a major reason for any change in offensive success.

Some success the Redblacks have seen on offence over the past two weeks though with rookie quarterback Caleb Evans calling the shots has been in the pass game. Despite throwing three interceptions against Toronto on Wednesday at BMO Field, it is clear that Evans has earned the trust of his teammates, and most specifically the receiving core who have been playing lights out with him at quarterback. Both receivers Ryan Davis and R.J Harris have been his favourite targets by far and with Kenny Stafford out against the Montreal Alouettes on Monday they will continue to be looked at as threats to CFL defences for Ottawa. They have a combined 21 catches for 344 yards and 1 touchdown over the past two games with Evans, averaging as a duo 10 receptions, and 172 yards per game. Expect to see a lot of Davis and Harris against the Alouettes, but lined up at receiver in Montreal is also Nate Behar, Anthony Coombs and Michael Klukas as Canadians. They, as well as both Daniel Petermann and DeVonte Dedmon may see some targets from Evans and have potential to make a play in the Redblacks offence.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Ottawa Redblacks have seen consistent success. Defensive coordinator Mike Benevides has a group full of positive energy, led by linebackers Avery Williams who is two tackles shy of the league lead, Micah Awe and Don Unamba who combine for 77 tackles, 2 sacks and 2 forced fumbles, as well as defensive linemen Cleyon Laing, Avery Ellis, Davon Coleman and Praise Martin-Oguike who have 11 sacks together, 4 from Martin-Oguike as the team-lead as well as defensive backs Abdul Kanneh and Sherrod Baltimore that are back in the lineup together against the Alouettes. Benevides saw Abdul Kanneh back in his lineup against the Argonauts, but Kanneh and the secondary will now see veteran defensive back, defensive playmaker and fan favourite Sherrod Baltimore who is ready to make a difference in the Redblacks’ secondary. Baltimore and Kanneh had a great game together in week one of the CFL season against the Elks, combining for 14 tackles and of course Kanneh had the two interceptions which changed the game. The Redblacks have had success on defence with who they’ve had in the system, but with this duo back in the defensive backfield, it is clear that they will be able to do so much more as a group and may even be able to turn the ball over against that Alouettes receiving core and Vernon Adams.

Another player and performance to be on the lookout for that the Ottawa Redblacks would love to see against the Alouettes would be DeVonte Dedmon’s return to Montreal. On August 2nd 2019 Dedmon suited up for his third career CFL game at Percival Molson Stadium in Montreal and put on a show. Dedmon combined for 377 return yards, an Ottawa franchise record and scored two return touchdowns. Unfortunately he suffered some injuries which sidelined him in 2019, but in 7 of the Redblacks’ 8 games this season Dedmon has 1,346 return yards, 153 yards of offence and 3 touchdowns all-purpose, 2 of which being return touchdowns. If Dedmon were to make the most of his return to La Belle Province, the Redblacks and rookie quarterback Caleb Evans will see themselves getting good field position and may even have points put on the board by Bob Dyce’s electric special teams unit which could help change the game and help the Redblacks improve to 3-6.

Watch the Ottawa Redblacks and Montreal Alouettes on Monday at 1:00 on TSN, or live at Percival Molson Stadium in Montreal and support the Redblacks as they look to turn the season around and make their way into the CFL playoff hunt.

University of Ottawa Gee Gees look to bring Panda Game momentum into week 4 against York at TD Place

The University of Ottawa and Carleton University both went head to head last week in the annual Panda Game at TD Place. Ottawa came away with the win and their third straight win in the inner city rivalry game, taking home Pedro in a 19-17 final score. With the win, the team built up a lot of momentum and have a lot of excitement surrounding the facility, but they look to bring all of that momentum to the rest of the games moving forward this season, beginning with their week 4 matchup against York.

UOttawa have 3 games left on their 2021 schedule, all home games at TD Place and have the chance to go 4-0 in Ottawa, finishing the season 4-2. To make that happen though, a lot of things have to go right. Last week in the Gee Gees win over the Carleton Ravens they played extremely well defensively and developed quite the run game. If they want to stand a chance this season moving forward and potentially go 4-0 to close out the season, what worked last week will need to continue to be put into the game plan. Ottawa-raised running back J.P Cimankinda had a monster game against the Ravens, running for 133 yards on 22 carries, and defensive stars T.K Victome, James Peter, Johari McGregor, Alex Douglas, Tramayne Stephen, and Michael Pezzuto are all players to watch, as are receivers Rodney Estime and Daniel Oladejo coming off big games against the Ravens.

The game at TD Place between both the Gee Gees and the Lions will be at 5:00 on Saturday. If you’re unable to attend the game the stream will be available on OUA TV.

Caleb Evans and Redblacks offence continue to progress, defence provides bright spot in loss to Toronto Argonauts

After throwing for 191 yards and 3 scores while rushing for 59 yards in his professional football debut last week against the Edmonton Elks, Ottawa Redblacks quarterback Caleb Evans was given a lot of praise. The 23 year old impressed the entire CFL with his debut and he was on track to have a similar performance in his second start against the Toronto Argonauts, getting off to a great start, connecting with his receivers and even establishing quite the run game himself early on in the game but soon found himself making a few rookie mistakes, which is expected early on in a quarterback’s career. Evans still surpassed the 300 yard marker against the Argonauts, finding receivers Ryan Davis, RJ Harris, Anthony Coombs and Kenny Stafford on a number of occasions, having a total 23 completions over the four quarters. He also ran for 54 yards on 6 scrambling attempts but the yards didn’t impact the game as much as the three interceptions thrown, including two pick sixes. The first of the two defensive touchdowns came on a tipped ball at the line of scrimmage, not Evans’ fault by any means, however the other pick six and interception came on bad reads, which considering he is just 23 years old and was making his second career start is okay. Caleb Evans, like all young quarterbacks is expected to make some mistakes and make questionable reads, it was just a matter of time before he made them and now he will learn from them.

Fortunately, he can learn from his mistakes with some help. A great coaching staff led by Paul LaPolice and Steve Walsh on the offensive side of the football know what they are doing in this league and adding player help from veteran quarterbacks Matt Nichols and Dominique Davis to the list, Evans is in a perfect position with the Ottawa Redblacks where he will be able to rebound from a bad game against the Argonauts. His next game will come on Monday in Montreal where the Redblacks and Alouettes will kickoff for the second of four times this season. The last game against the Alouettes, Dominique Davis threw for two scores and ran for one. Ottawa’s thanksgiving Monday matchup will look to be a big test for the young quarterback but he and his offence will not be doing it all alone against the Alouettes. Mike Benevides’ defence and Bob Dyce’s special teams unit combine together to be the best help in the CFL for Caleb Evans and demonstrated that once again against the Argonauts on Wednesday night.

Other than a 63 yard score from explosive running back DJ Foster, the Argonauts offence, which pre-season was given a lot of praise was shut down by the Redblacks’ defence. They were held to just 253 total yards and had three forced turnovers, one block punt, one fumble and a turnover on downs. Both the special teams and defensive units kept the Redblacks in it throughout the game when the offence had it’s struggles and will continue to do so as they move forward with the season. Keep all eyes on defensive stars Abdul Kanneh, Avery Ellis, Micah Awe, Don Unamba and Davon Coleman as the Redblacks move on with their season, looking to get into the win column once again with help from Benevides’ defence.

One part of the Redblacks’ game plan that will need to improve moving forward though would come on the offensive side of the ball in the run game. Caleb Evans has been killing it over the last two games, throwing for over 500 yards and rushing for an additional 113, and while he continues to progress and develop as a quarterback in the CFL he will need help in the run game. Consistent 5+ yard runs and big plays on the ground can make a major difference in an offence and for a young quarterback with limited professional experience, it is clearly needed for Caleb Evans in the Redblacks offence but the run game, other than the plays he makes himself are next to non existent. Running back Timothy Flanders has made some plays here and there this season, including a great receiving touchdown a week ago against the Elks, he’s had a few 10+ yard carries to extend drives but it is clear that this Redblacks offence needs more of that. Flanders will need to get more touches to help the Redblacks’ offence pick up more first downs and drive the ball down the field easier for Caleb Evans, or perhaps they can use one of their other running backs, De’Lance Turner or Justin Davis in addition to Flanders. It is a perfect opportunity for a 1-2 punch in this Redblacks’ offence if they are able to make it work with the Canadian ratio. Both DeVonte Dedmon and Anthony Coombs have been able to take snaps at running back previously and may also be included more to establish the run game, but if that run game works and they are able to gain more than 100 yards and get consistent first downs using the run game the Redblacks have the opportunity to make some big plays this season, there is indeed 6 games left on the schedule and there may be an opportunity to get into the playoffs with other teams across the league struggling still.

It is Ottawa Redblacks gameday; Caleb Evans to make second career start, Abdul Kanneh returns from injury

Tonight the Ottawa Redblacks and Toronto Argonauts will kickoff week 10 of the 2021 CFL season, it will mark the Ottawa Redblacks’ 8th game of the season and one of two during the week, the second coming on Thanksgiving Monday in Montreal and is a as close as you can get to a must-win game for the Redblacks. At 2-5, the Redblacks are coming off of a big, momentum shifting win over the Edmonton Elks in Caleb Evans’ professional football debut while the 4-3 Argonauts are coming off of a week 9 bye week where they regrouped and got healthy, seeing defensive end Shane Ray back in the lineup for the game against the Redblacks, but the Ottawa Redblacks also see a couple players back in the lineup, starting with star cornerback Abdul Kanneh.

Kanneh was out for 6 games with a hamstring injury. His only game this season, was one of the best defensive performances by a CFL player in 2021, 7 tackles, 2 interceptions and a defensive touchdown. With veteran quarterback Mcleod Bethel-Thompson under centre for tonight’s game, a big game, similar to the one Kanneh had in week one would be big for a Redblacks win. Big games from other defensive players Gump Hayes, Avery Williams, Micah Awe and Don Unamba would also be crucial for a win, but through the first 7 games of the CFL season, the Redblacks’ defence though has very few times been a problem, in fact they have kept the Ottawa Redblacks in games, defensive coordinator Mike Benevides has done a tremendous job with the group he has. What will need to excel on all cylinders though, would be the Ottawa Redblacks’ offence. The offence will be led by quarterback Caleb Evans once again as he makes his second career start, and although they have had some problems with consistency, Evans seems to have control of the offence and if he has a similar performance as the one he had a week ago, throwing for 191 yards and 3 scores while rushing for 59 yards on the ground the Redblacks will have the advantage over the Argonauts and the entire league should look at Caleb Evans differently.

Against the Elks last week, Evans made a number of big plays alongside his skill position group. Receivers Ryan Davis, R.J Harris, Anthony Coombs and Kenny Stafford each made an impact on the game, so did running back Timothy Flanders who got his first touchdown of the season. If Evans can look Ryan Davis, RJ Harris, Kenny Stafford, Anthony Coombs and DeVonte Dedmon’s way on offence in the game against the Argonauts, the Redblacks are bound to make big plays. Dedmon is already guaranteed to make a big play or two on special teams in the return game but if he is incorporated on the offensive side of the ball it will only benefit the team and their chance in not only tonight’s game but the remainder of the season.

Keep all eyes on Caleb Evans, Ryan Davis, R.J Harris, new offensive lineman Christopher Ferguson, Praise Martin-Oguike, Avery Williams, Abdul Kanneh, and DeVonte Dedmon in the game at BMO Field and continue to cheer on the Ottawa Redblacks as it is just a matter of time before they break out, like they began to do against the Elks a week ago.