What to expect out of the Ottawa Redblacks in week 8 of the 2021 CFL season after bye week

The Ottawa Redblacks opened up the 2021 CFL season with a big win. They shocked the entire league and those around it in a 16-12 win over the Edmonton Elks who came into the season looking like one of the league’s top competitors led by former Redblacks’ QB Trevor Harris but since then they have lived up to the expectations set for them during the off-season and pre-season. Those expectations were that they were going to struggle again like they did in 2019 when they went 3-15. Ottawa didn’t quite start out the season as bad as they finished last season, going 1-15 to close out the final 16 games of 2019, however 0-4 is a bad losing streak and Redblacks fans have began to move on to the 2021 NHL season and cheer on the city’s Ottawa Senators but the Redblacks have not even thought about moving on from the 2021 CFL season.

During their second bye week of the 2021 CFL season the Ottawa Redblacks broke headlines. They signed former NFL receiver Terrance Williams just a day after their 45-13 loss to the B.C Lions. Williams who has over 3,000 receiving yards with the Dallas Cowboys to his name was signed by Ottawa alongside 5 others including veteran CFL receiver Kenny Stafford who is known from his time with the Edmonton Football Team and running back De’Lance Turner from Alcorn State that same day. The Redblacks’ front office led by general manager Marcel Desjardins had then brought in quarterback Devlin Hodges the following weekend to close out the week 7 bye. Devlin Hodges, known as “Duck” because of his infamous duck calling abilities started at quarterback for Samford University, throwing for well over 14,000 yards and 111 touchdowns while even rushing for 300+ yards and 8 touchdowns in his senior season with Samford. The time spent at Samford was also spent with Redblacks’ linebacker Shaheed Salmon who came to the Redblacks in 2019 while Hodges moved on to the Pittsburgh Steelers after signing with them and eventually taking over for both Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph, starting 6 games for the Steelers, throwing for over 1,000 yards and 5 touchdowns and leading the team to a 3-3 record under himself. Hodges became a free agent after the 2020 NFL season was spent on the Steelers’ practice roster, played the 2021 NFL pre-season with the Los Angeles Rams, tried out for a few teams including both the Patriots and Giants in the NFL and has now found himself signing a 3-year contract with the CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks.

Hodges, Williams, Stafford and the others signed by the Redblacks’ including offensive lineman Trevon Tate who was signed on Monday may not make a big impact on the 2021 Ottawa Redblacks. That should be clear for everyone watching the Redblacks because some of these players brought in will now have to learn the entire Canadian football game midway through a CFL season and are essentially being thrown into a fire which has already been lit over the past 5 games of the Ottawa Redblacks’ 2021 CFL season, but with that being said each of the moves are great moves by the organization moving forward. Both Kenny Stafford and Terrance Williams are experienced wide receivers. Stafford has a great CFL career to look back on while Williams looks back at 6 seasons spent with Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and Tony Romo. They both are well known in professional football circles and are bound to impact the 2021 Ottawa Redblacks receiving core, whether that be on the field making plays or mentoring the young talent within the organization. The 2021 Redblacks have 24 year old Ryan Davis, 25 year old DeVonte Dedmon, Daniel Petermann and 26 year old Nate Behar, Jordan Smallwood and Wesley Lewis at the receiver position along with young 25 and 26 year old Justin Davis and De’Lance Turner at running back who all have plenty of potential and having some veteran guys like Stafford and Williams to add to what is already there with R.J Harris, Brendan Gilanders and Timothy Flanders at the playmaker positions can only help these guys improve and have success moving forward in their careers. Bringing in a 25 year old quarterback in Devlin Hodges for 3 years, it is clear that Desjardins and his team is looking at the future and are now making moves that can not only help the future of this Ottawa Redblacks team but also help them in the present as they look to win back to back home games starting this Wednesday against the Tiger Cats and then again versus the Elks next Tuesday.

It is not confirmed whether or not any of the newcomers will dress for the week 8 matchup against the Tiger-Cats as Hodges remains in his 7 day quarantine after making the trip to Ottawa on Saturday and the others have just begun practicing with their new team but this will definitely be a hungry Ottawa Redblacks team that R-Nation will have eyes on at TD Place on Wednesday night. Expect to see quarterback Dominique Davis to have a big bounce back game after losing his first start of the season on the road to the B.C Lions. In just 7 quarters of football Davis has thrown for over 620 yards and 3 scores, beating out Nichols’ 476 yards in 4 starts. He has had an easy time moving the ball for the Redblacks, finding targets Nate Behar, Ryan Davis, RJ Harris and Daniel Petermann a number of times alongside the rest of the Redblacks committee at receiver and against the 3-3 Hamilton Tiger-Cats who they have yet to play this season Davis should repeat himself in the air and throw for another good game under centre while playmakers DeVonte Dedmon, RJ Harris, Ryan Davis and Nate Behar continue to move the chains with help from Petermann, Coombs and Flanders that had good outings in B.C in week 6.

To get points on the board and stop the Cats from doing the same, Paul LaPolice and his coaching staff will have to incorporate a lot of versatility into the play calling against the Ti-Cats. The only Redblacks win this season was a “boring” game. Ending in a 16-12 Redblacks win the game was missing the big plays, except for an Abdul Kanneh interception return for a touchdown which the Redblacks have been missing out on since. Ottawa will need to add in some electricity for the Redblacks’ and the fans at TD Place to gain momentum early on in Wednesday’s game. That would include feeding the receiver trio of Anthony Coombs, DeVonte Dedmon and Ryan Davis as much as possible on the offensive side of the ball, getting to the Ti-Cats’s quarterback consistently, sticking to the Tiger Cats’s talented receiving core and winning the special teams game. Each of these strategies have helped the Ottawa Redblacks stay in games and even win the opener against the Elks early on this season and if they are put into the game plan on Wednesday night at TD Place and the game plans moving forward this season the Redblacks will be able to stay contenders and possibly make their ways to the top of the eastern division which has seen their own ups and downs this season with the Hamilton Tiger Cats and Toronto Argonauts at the top of the division with a 3-3 record.

Ottawa will still be without both Abdul Kanneh and Sherrod Baltimore on the defensive side of the ball but will be with Brendan Gillanders for the first time of the season at running back and on special teams alongside DeVonte Dedmon who missed the last Redblacks’ game against the B.C Lions on the road. The additions to the lineup should help the Redblacks out and although the lineup is yet to be confirmed the Redblacks’ may be playing against a Tiger-Cats team with David Watford under centre and without Brandon Banks and Bralon Addison at receiver which may help Mike Benevides’ defence. Stay tuned as the Ottawa Redblacks will have one practice on Tuesday and are set to kickoff against the Tiger-Cats on Wednesday night at TD Place, looking to go 2-4 and put the Ti-Cats at 3-4.

Former NFL quarterback and Samford University star Devlin “Duck” Hodges signed by CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks

The CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks have opened up the 2021 CFL season 1-4. After a 3-15 season the last time they played in 2019 it has looked to be a very similar season this year, however the Redblacks’ front office will not let that happen. During the week 7 bye week the Ottawa Redblacks have already signed former Dallas Cowboys receiver Terrance Williams, along with others Terry Williams, De’Lance Turner, and Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi and CFL veteran wide receiver Kenny Stafford with ambitions to turn the season around. To add to the list of transactions, the Ottawa Redblacks have also brought in quarterback Devlin Hodges off of their negotiations list.

Devlin “Duck” Hodges played his collegiate football career at Samford University where he excelled, breaking records and threw for 14,584 yards and 111 touchdowns over 4 years as a starting quarterback and was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2019 where he would later go on and replace the injured Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph. He started 6 games during the 2019 NFL season with the Steelers, finishing with a 3-3 record, 1,068 yards and 5 touchdowns through the air as well as 68 yards on the ground. Hodges became well known in the NFL throughout the 2019 season because of his interesting nickname “Duck” which was given to him at Samford after the team learned about his duck calling abilities, he actually won the Alabama State Duck Calling Championship in 2018 just prior to his time with the Steelers.

As for football Hodges also spent the 2020 NFL season on the Steelers’ practice roster and was recently found with the Los Angeles Rams for the 2021 NFL pre-season where he had played in one pre-season game, completing 11 of 19 passing attempts for 85 yards and running for an additional 3 yards on one scramble. He was released at the end of August by the Rams and had tryouts with both the New England Patriots and New York Giants in September but with his rights owned by the Ottawa Redblacks in the CFL his only other option outside of any NFL opportunities that may have come up would have been coming to the Redblacks in the nation’s capital.

At just 25 years old, it is clear that he has a lot left in the tank and reuniting with former Samford teammate Shaheed Salmon with the Ottawa Redblacks and finding himself in the quarterback room with Matt Nichols, and Dominique Davis Hodges may have a bright future in the CFL. He has a strong arm and has the ability to extend plays with his legs if needed, but what sticks out the most is his ability to perform under pressure. Coming into Ottawa, if he were to start a game early in his tenure it would be under pressure, there would be a lot of eyes on what he is able to do but it will not be the first time that all eyes are on him. He was able to perform well in a similar situation with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2019. With this signing and the Ottawa Redblacks sitting with a 1-4 record at the timing of it, Redblacks fans will hope that he is able to repeat what he was able to do with the Steelers when Roethlisberger was injured in 2019 and even extend his success into his future with Ottawa.

Hodges’ contract with Ottawa is a three year deal.

A look in at some of the Ottawa Redblacks’ bye week moves thus far, what will need to be done to turn the season around

This season has been a little disappointing for the CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks and their fan base. The team went 3-15 in the 2019 season, the last time they had played and fans around the league, including the media counted the Redblacks out for the 2021 CFL season, even-though they had made a number of changes to it’s roster and organization as a whole. Bringing in coaches Paul LaPolice, Mike Benevides, and others alongside quarterback Matt Nichols, running back Timothy Flanders, receivers Michael Klukas, Daniel Petermann, Anthony Coombs, and CFL all-star defensive players in Cleyon Laing, Davon Coleman, Don Unamba and Micah Awe the Redblacks came into the 2021 CFL season a whole different team than the one they were in 2019, except after a 1-0 start to open up the season in Edmonton the results that the team are getting are very much similar to those in 2019. Ottawa shocked the league and beat the Edmonton Elks in week one in a defensive battle 16-12 but have since lost 4 straight. Once to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, twice to the B.C Lions and once to the Montreal Alouettes and as they sit down during their second bye week of the 2021 CFL season with a 1-4 record they will look to turn things around. Turning around the 2021 CFL season to a point where they can be a .500 team or better, which is still very much possible would help the players’ confidence on the field, the fan’s support off of it and will overall send a good message to the league regarding the team, telling them that the Ottawa Redblacks are indeed a contender in this league.

Starting to turn the table this season, the Ottawa Redblacks front office which is led by general manager Marcel Desjardins have made a number of moves. Signing former NFL receiver Terrance Williams, who is well known from the time he spent with the Dallas Cowboys, having caught for over 3,000 yards over his 6 tears in the NFL and veteran CFL receiver Kenny Stafford who has over 2,600 yards in the CFL to his name along with other receivers Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi and Terry Williams, running back De’Lance Turner and long snapper Maxime Latour. The signings each happened over the weekend following the 45-13 loss on the road against the B.C Lions and some may result in big signings moving forward this season for the Redblacks. With games against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Edmonton Elks, Toronto Argonauts and Montreal Alouettes in the near future the schedule is not getting an easier for Ottawa but if they improve with the signings that they’ve made already and the signings they may make moving forward this week and next they will be able to get back in the win column. To finish the season with a .500 record this season they will have to go 6-3 to close out the season. The team that the Redblacks have right now is competitive. Players like Ryan Davis, DeVonte Dedmon, RJ Harris, Sherrod Baltimore, Abdul Kanneh, Micah Awe, Avery Williams are all all-star caliber players. They each are able to make plays in this league and with others on the team capable of doing so as well they should have no issues making the plays but they will need to be consistent doing so and be able to make plays together.

Ryan Davis scoring a 33 yard touchdown against the B.C Lions last week was awesome, and the Ottawa Redblacks needed that to stay in the game early in Vancouver, however with a missed field goal return touchdown coming from Lucky Whitehead of the Lions on a Lewis Ward field goal and a few Michael Reilly touchdown passes the Redblacks were put out of the game quick to close out the first half and remained out of the picture for the entire second half. To insure that the team can win games, those plays have to be made together, to explain, Ryan Davis’ 33 yard touchdown pass from Dominque Davis would have heavily impacted the outcome of the Redblacks-Lions game if it was followed by a defensive stop or turnover and another touchdown or field goal from the Redblacks. Football is not an easy sport by any means, especially at the professional stage, however once you start making plays, and making plays as a team, the wins will feel more natural to the entire team, the players will get into a rhythm and so will the coaches, understanding what works and what doesn’t. Right now that is what the Ottawa Redblacks are missing out on, if they are able to make those plays consistently as a group, they will be able to win with the team they have right now and the additions that Desjardins and his front office are bringing in will only help the team out as well.

Ottawa’s next game will indeed be a home game at TD Place on Wednesday September 22nd against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. This will serve as a big test for the Redblacks, especially if the newcomers do happen to dress for the game.

Jesse Luketa, Jett Elad, Chase Claypool, Nick Mardner and Christian Covington headline big week for Canadian football

In week two of the NCAA football season and week one of the NFL season there were a number of Canadian football players that showed out big. Of the Canadians with big weeks was Penn State linebacker, 2021 Dick Butkus watch list linebacker of Ottawa, Ontario who had a one handed interception return for a touchdown. He finished the game with 4 tackles and the pick six but is only one of many great players from the week in football from across the border.

Some of the other top performers include:

  • Ohio defensive back Jett Elad: 11 tackles, one tackle for loss
  • Hawaii wide receiver Nick Mardner: 6 catches for 110 yards and a touchdown
  • Coastal Carolina linebacker/safety Enock Makonzo: 6 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss
  • Wake Forest edge rusher Luiji Vilain: 3 tackles, 1.5 sacks
  • West Virginia interior defensive lineman Akheem Mesidor: 2 tackles, 1 sack
  • Bryant running back Fabrice Mukendi: 17 rushes for 98 yards
  • Ohio quarterback Kurtis Rourke: 14/22 passing for 168 yards and a score with 28 rushing yards and a touchdown on 4 rushing attempts
  • Pittsburgh wide receiver Jared Wayne: 3 catches for 56 yards and one 16 yard passing touchdown
  • NFL Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool: 3 catches for 45 yards and a rush for 25 yards
  • NFL Los Angeles Chargers defensive lineman Christian Covington: 5 tackles and a tackle for loss

JZ Media is headed to Texas! Jordan Zlomislic to cover Beaumont, Texas’ Cajun All-Star Bowl in February

(Ottawa, Canada) After doing an interview with Cajun Bowl’s executive director Bryan Beasley a few weeks ago; JZ Media has formed a media partnership with the The Cajun All-Star Bowl. The media partnership between JZ Media and The Cajun All-Star Bowl will consist with full coverage of the college all-star game from JZ Media with top news releases on its scouting of draft eligible Canadians from the Cajun Scouting Department. JZ Media will also assist with bringing Canadian content to the event both on & off the field.

The event will take place in early February, the same week as the Super Bowl. There will be 4 days total, including two practices and the game on Saturday February 12th in Beaumont, Texas at Lamar University’s football stadium. Beasley has confirmed that the game will be broadcasted by ESPN U, and it will be an event for the athletes. It will be one of the last opportunities for University athletes to prove their abilities on the football field prior to the NFL and CFL drafts in April. Just a couple of months into the off-season and weeks before the NFL Combine in Indianapolis and University pro days Bryan Beasley believes it is the “golden ticket” for athletes, he said in the interview with Zlomislic of JZ Media, “We are looking to use this game as a platform for players. We’re giving athletes the golden ticket when they are invited to play at the Cajun Bowl. They will have exposure to NFL and CFL teams at the event and really, the timing is perfect too. The NFL will have the Super Bowl the very next day and football fans can never get enough football, but what that also means is that the NFL season is over so the staffs around the NFL are focused on the draft. We will be the last of the bowl games before the NFL combine so it will be the last time some scouts see the players play against top tier talent before going into the draft.”

Of the players set to play in the 2022 Cajun All-Star Bowl will be a minimum of 10 Canadians from Canadian Universities and NCAA programs and over 22 players from Historically Black Colleges and Universities. With the main goal of the event being to provide opportunity to athletes that deserve it, the Cajun All-Star Bowl should generate some buzz very soon, having head coaches Melvin Spears and Hal Mumme already on board for the first edition along with a number of other coaches, and partners that will make the game great. JZ Media will look to generate as much buzz as possible surrounding the first edition of the Cajun All-Star Bowl as a part of CFL media and media coming from Canada. Leading up to the event Jordan Zlomislic will be writing consistent stories regarding the event, but what will be the main part of the JZ Media X Cajun All-Star Bowl will be during game week when Zlomislic will take photos and video throughout the week, creating content for the game’s social networks and putting together more for the JZ Media website.

Stay tuned for more on the 2022 Cajun All-Star Bowl and be sure to checkout the full interview between Zlomislic and Beasley from a few weeks ago to prepare for the content that will come in the future from the partnership.

Ottawa Redblacks make big splash on Sunday following Saturday’s loss to Lions, sign former NFL receiver Terrance Williams, CFL’s Kenny Stafford and more

The Ottawa Redblacks have lost 4 straight games since their week one win over the Edmonton Elks in early August. Sitting at 1-4, it was clear that the team needed to make some changes and that is exactly what they did.

Ottawa’s front office, led by general manager Marcel Desjardins, Jeremy Snyder and Jean-Marc Edme made some big moves to improve heading into their second bye week of the season this week. They signed former Dallas Cowboys receiver Terrance Williams who has 3,377 yards and 20 touchdowns to his name from the 6 seasons in the NFL, veteran CFL receiver Kenny Stafford who has spent time with the Edmonton Elks and Saskatchewan Roughriders with 2,626 yards and 18 touchdowns over his 70 career games, running back De’Lance Turner who is an Alcorn State product with experience in the Baltimore Ravens backfield, receiver Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi who spent the 2019 pre-season with the Cleveland Browns and is known for his inspiring story to that point in his career and also brought back University of Tennessee Martin receiver Terry Williams who spent the 2021 training camp with the Redblacks.

Of all the signings, the biggest would have to be Terrance Williams. Williams was a number two receiver for the Dallas Cowboys for 5 of his 6 NFL seasons and produced big plays year in, year out for the Cowboys alongside Dez Bryant and is going into an opportunity with the Ottawa Redblacks where he can bring a big spark and help the Redblacks turn the table heading into the second half of the 2021 CFL season. Also a big signing would be Kenny Stafford who is a veteran presence here in the CFL and is a proven receiver in the league. The receiving core, with both Terry Williams and Damon Sheehy-Guisippi too in Ottawa consists of R.J Harris, Ryan Davis, Kenny Stafford, Nate Behar, DeVonte Dedmon, Anthony Coombs, Terrance Williams, Daniel Petermann, Michael Klukas, Wesley Lewis, Ervin Phillips, Jordan Smallwood, Alonzo Russell, Damon Sheehy-Guisippi, and Terry Williams.

As Ottawa goes into their week 7 bye week it is clear that there is no shortage of playmakers for quarterback Dominique Davis who is coming off of a 333 yard performance against the B.C Lions and has thrown for over 600 yards in two appearances this season. Don’t count out the Ottawa Redblacks just yet as there is plenty of time left in the 2021 CFL season to turn it around and the entire organization has the mindset to do so and if they do not, they will be a team to watch heading into the future, especially with all of the young talent in the nation’s capital.

It is Ottawa Redblacks game day in Vancouver, Dominique Davis looks to lead Redblacks to a win in his first start

After opening up the season 1-0 in Edmonton against the new look Elks at Commonwealth Stadium in a 16-12 defensive victory, the Ottawa Redblacks have lost 3 straight. Losing to the Saskatchewan Roughriders on the road and both the Montreal Alouettes and B.C Lions at home in front of R-Nation at TD Place, the Ottawa Redblacks have seen a lot of changes and improvements. The first look at those changes and improvements will come in the Redblacks first re-match of the season as they face off once again against former Ottawa Redblacks head coach Rick Campbell and quarterback Michael Reilly who lead the B.C Lions. The first matchup ended in a 24-12 win for the Lions and a loss for the Ottawa Redblacks, but it was a game that Redblacks quarterback Matt Nichols was in for and was held to just 206 yards passing and threw one interception. As for this upcoming game against the Lions once again it will be quarterback Dominique Davis calling the shots on the offensive side of the ball alongside head coach and offensive co-ordinator Paul LaPolice.

Davis entered the last game against the Alouettes last week in the second quarter and showed success moving the ball and also scoring points. He ended up going 23 of 33 for 291 passing yards and a touchdown, interception ratio of 2:2 while rushing for 38 yards and a touchdown on 8 rushing attempts in three quarters of the 51-29 loss to Montreal. Even-though the game ended in a Redblacks loss and nothing was perfect by any means, Davis succeeded on offence. Despite throwing two interceptions, one being a Patrick Levels pick-six he threw the Redblacks’ first passing touchdowns of the season and had next to zero issues throwing the football to the top targets in R.J Harris, Nate Behar, Daniel Petermann and Ryan Davis. He also threw to receiver and return specialist DeVonte Dedmon twice for 52 yards in the Montreal game but will be short both him and running back Justin Davis in tonight’s game in Vancouver due to injuries. The two playmakers missed all practices this week and will be replaced by both Anthony Coombs and Timothy Flanders who come off of injuries of their own.

Photo of Dom Davis from Ottawa Redblacks twitter along with featured image of Ryan Davis

The Redblacks offence will consist of receivers R.J Harris, Nate Behar, Ryan Davis, Daniel Petermann, Anthony Coombs, Ervin Phillips and Wesley Lewis, running back Timothy Flanders and full back Anthony Gosselin around Dominique Davis in his first start of the 2021 CFL season but where the Redblacks will need to step up once again will be on the defensive side of the ball. In last week’s game against the Alouettes the Redblacks offence moved the ball efficiently. Davis scored three touchdowns on the offensive side of the ball and made a difference compared to the past games which Nichols was in charge for but it was the defence that showed inconsistency. They had forced the Alouettes to 5 field goal attempts and a punt but they scored 5 offensive touchdowns on the Redblacks defence who looked like one of the best defences in the league early on this season. If the Redblacks defence, led by coordinator Mike Benevides can get back to their week one selves, get in the back field and force turnovers they can help the Redblacks offence in a big way, especially with returner DeVonte Dedmon out of this week’s game, they will not be able to rely on the big returns to get them in good field position unless Ryan Davis is able to do so.

In tonight’s game the Ottawa Redblacks will need to get to the quarterback to have any chance at winning the game defensively. Mike Reilly is one of the league’s premier quarterbacks and is able to throw on the run efficiently. If they can sack him early on in the game, they may be able to take some of the passing game out of their play book, especially with both Lemar Durant and Dominique Rhymes out for the Lions at receiver. They will also need to force turnovers. The last time Ottawa had a takeaway was in week one against the Elks where they intercepted Trevor Harris 3 times and won their only game of the season thus far, to win the game they need to win the turnover battle. As for the offensive side of the ball, establishing the run game can go a long way. With Flanders at running back he will need to prove that he can move the ball well on the ground. Justin Davis was able to break for a few long 10+ yard runs in his two starts while he was out with a hip injury, Flanders will need to be able to do the same and more to help Dominique Davis out in the passing game. Also on offence, Davis will have to find receivers Ryan Davis, R.J Harris and Nate Behar early on in the game. Davis caught 8 passes for 70 yards the last time they faced the Lions and with a couple of drops in there as well he could have had 10+ catches, Nate Behar is coming off of two electric performances, catching 10 of 14 passes from Redblacks quarterbacks for 123 yards and R.J Harris is the only receiver for Ottawa to break the 100 receiving yard goal this year and stays consistent moving the chains. If that trio is able to move the ball early in the game, combine for around 150 yards in the first half, they can open up some catches for other receivers like Anthony Coombs, Daniel Petermann, Ervin Phillips and Wesley Lewis who can each make big plays themselves.

RJ Harris at Redblacks training camp, photo by JZ Media’s Jordan Zlomislic

One last major thing that Ottawa must do to win their week 6 matchup against the B.C Lions would be to be impactful on the offensive line. A problem for Matt Nichols in his first two starts of the season where he was sacked 11 times and threw two interceptions was that he didn’t have enough time and he wasn’t able to make time for himself. Davis is at least able to create time for himself with his legs, however there will be plays where he needs to stay in the pocket where he will need help from the line and running back Timothy Flanders will need help of his own as well to establish the run game. It will be crucial for the Redblacks to be able to limit the sacks and also run the ball well against the Lions if they want to win this game and they need to win this game heading into a week 7 bye week.

Watch tonight’s Redblacks-Lions game on TSN or at B.C Place stadium in Vancouver and be sure to cheer on Dominque Davis and the Ottawa Redblacks as they look to turn their season around.

“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.

CFL, Ottawa Redblacks release 10 names on negotiations list; who could come to the capital?

On Thursday the CFL released the names on each of the 9 teams negotiations lists. 90 names were posted publicly and the lists include active NFL players, NFL free agents and University athletes who, if they happen to come to the CFL, they would have to with the team that has their rights. The Ottawa Redblacks have just recently seen this come to play with both offensive linemen Brandon Hitner and Juwan Bushell-Beatty who came to the Redblacks training camp this year from the negotiations list, Bushell-Beatty even remaining on the team and starting games on the line early this season.

For this edition of the Ottawa Redblacks negotiations list the CFL released that the team has the rights to quarterbacks Eric Dungey, DeShone Kizer, Devlin Hodges, Eric Schmid and Dorian Thompson-Robinson, running back De’Lance Turner and wide receivers Terrance Williams, Justin Hardy, Jaelen Strong and Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi.

Headlining the list would be the quarterbacks available right now, alongside receivers Terrance Williams, Justin Hardy and Jaelen Strong. Quarterbacks Eric Dungey, DeShone Kizer and Devlin Hodges are on the open market right now, Dungey coming off of a camp with the Cincinnati Bengals earlier this year following an established career in the ACC with the Syracuse Orangemen and time with the Cleveland Browns, New York Giants and the XFL’s Dallas Renegades, Kizer is a former second round pick by the Cleveland Browns, has spent time with the Green Bay Packers, Tennessee Titans and Las Vegas Raiders since but is likely looking for an opportunity elsewhere as he is a talented quarterback, like he showed in University with the Notre Dame Irish as a dual threat star. Devlin Hodges, like Kizer has had a few opportunities in the NFL. DeShone Kizer has started 15 games in the NFL, all with the Browns in 2017 where he threw for 2,894 yards, 11 touchdowns and 22 interceptions while running for 419 yards and 5 touchdowns while Hodges has 6 starts under his belt with the Pittsburgh Steelers from the 2019 NFL season where he went 3-3, throwing for 1,068 yards, 5 touchdowns and 8 interceptions while running for 68 yards on 21 rushing attempts following a well decorated career at Samford.

At wide receiver, Terrance Williams is a big name and big playmaker on the 2021 negotiations list for the Redblacks and with the offence struggling to move the ball maybe he could help. Coming out of Baylor, Williams was a third round pick by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2013 NFL Draft. He went on to be the number two receiver in the offence up until the 2018 season where he battled injuries and saw other players make plays ahead of him. Over 5 full seasons with the Cowboys he caught and ran for 3,377 yards and 20 touchdowns. In 3 playoff games he adds 198 yards and 3 touchdowns to his totals as well and at just 32 years old and staying fresh, playing arena football in Massachusetts, Williams could be an impactful player if he comes to the Redblacks.

Receivers Justin Hardy and Jaelen Strong also have NFL experience and could be big time players north of the border if they come up. Combining for over 1,200 yards and 13 touchdowns receiving, Strong a 27 year old free agent and Hardy a 29 year old free agent receiver are searching for their next opportunity. Hardy’s latest came with the Chicago Bears for some off the 2021 training camp and for Strong he hasn’t seen the field since a 2019 pre-season with the Cleveland Browns. Strong, an Arizona State product and former 3rd round draft pick has breakaway speed and is able to get open in a hurry while Hardy can do the same and more, having spent a large portion of his time with the Atlanta Falcons on special teams.

Also on the list is running back De’Lance Turner, a 26 year old running back out of Alcorn State. He has spent time with the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins in the NFL and could be a good pickup for Ottawa as they remain thin at the running back position in the 2021 season. Turner rushed for 1,357 yards as a senior with Alcorn State.

“This is what we built it for.” Ottawa Redblacks receiver Nate Behar talks Firework app and recent on-field success

On August 7th the CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks kicked off their 2021 season. Defeating the Edmonton Elks 16-12 at Commonwealth Stadium, the Redblacks played their first game since November 1st 2019. Missing the playoffs in 2019 and losing the 2020 CFL season due to COVID-19, it was over 600 days without football for most CFL players, making the time from December 2019 through July 2021 difficult for a number of athletes, but for Ottawa Redblacks’ receiver Nate Behar it was 600-plus days of work, preparing for his future after his playing career.

Over the extended off-season, Behar worked on his app, Firework which is specialized to help athletes with brand exposure and to profit off of their name, image and likeness. The work surrounding the app started in December of 2019 following the 2019 CFL season which Behar spent with the Ottawa Redblacks, catching 16 passes for 169 yards in 17 games in red and black. He said in an interview with JZ Media’s Jordan Zlomislic earlier this week regarding the app, “Back in December of 2019 I had some businesses reach out to me about athletes they want to have tied to their companies and I kind of turned my thinking towards why they were asking me about them instead of the other guys they could have talked to. I ended up asking around to see how some of my friends and teammates go about getting brand deals, and a lot of them didn’t know the details of it or how they happen so I thought I would do something in my off-season that could help with that.” Starting off the off-season, Behar connected with some people with similar visions and goals as him and began to work on a platform which can connect brands and companies directly with athletes of all levels.

The platform was first created as “ATNMY” in November of 2020 after a summer he spent working on it and coaching with teammates Justin Howell, Dominique Davis, Sherrod Baltimore, Avery Ellis and more with Formula 11 but later transformed into “Firework”. The app launched in the summer of 2021 and is now available to download for all athletes and brands. With the 2021 CFL season also in full swing, Behar has found some of his Ottawa Redblacks teammates using the app themselves and looking to expand on their careers outside of football. “This is what we built it for,” Behar said, “To see athletes get it and see the worth in it is what it is all about.” On the Ottawa Redblacks’ alongside Behar is Micah Awe, Justin Howell and others that have already explored their options post-football, even creating apps of their own like Awe’s “Purpleshift” and Howell’s “Tappdin”. Asked about his ambitious teammates, he commented, “Its been great, we’ve had a few chats and I love what (Micah and Justin) are building. Its cool to see athletes that have the idea of what they are going to do after football because it has to come to an end at some point.”

Visit The FireWork App now!

Behar and his team at Firework have worked extremely hard on the platform and to help athletes off of the football field, but he has also been working hard on the field, even recently seeing some results, having caught 10 of 14 passes for 123 yards in the first two Redblacks home games of the season against the Alouettes and Lions. This is the first time that he’s had a primary role in an offence in the CFL, 257 yards being his season high coming into the 2021 season and “it feels good.” he said, “Its good to contribute to the team and make an impact to what we are doing out there. I haven’t really been able to do that much before but there’s definitely a lot left to do.”

The Ottawa Redblacks sit at 1-3 as they prepare for their second game of the season against the B.C Lions, led by former Ottawa coach Rick Campbell. After that is a bye week and a few home games. Leading into the big game, which now looks like a must win, to prevent going 1-4 to open the season Behar had commented, “A win coming off of a bye is always the best. You don’t want to sit the whole week thinking about some things that you could have done differently to win the game. When you win you can rest and prepare for the games ahead and thats what we want to do.”