An end to cut-down day

Ottawa Redblacks QB Danny Collins during training camp at TD Place on May 21, 2019. Errol McGihon/Postmedia

What is Cut-down day?

Cut-down day was today, Saturday June 8th. Where each of the CFL teams have to release enough players so the roster sits at 46 players and the practice squad has 12 players. The deadline is 10 pm tonight, but most teams have already finished up this afternoon.

Our Cuts

*= Global player

  • Wide receiver, Jordan Bouah*
  • Defensive Lineman, Kevin Bronson
  • Linebacker, Charles Brousseau
  • Defensive Back, Joe Brown
  • Defensive Back, Shamar Busby
  • Quarterback, Danny Collins
  • Running back, Dalton Crossan
  • Offensive Lineman, Jacob Czaja
  • Defensive Back, Monteze Latimore
  • Linebacker, Drew Morris
  • Wide Receiver, Tyrone Pierre
  • Wide Receiver, Darius Powe
  • Offensive Lineman, Ryan Schmidt
  • Defensive Lineman, John Sheehy
  • Defensive Back, Ironhead Gallon
  • Defensive Lineman, Max Valles
  • Defensive Lineman, Max Soto*

Cut breakdowns

  • Danny Collins, the former Maine quarterback was entering his third season in plaid while a Quarterback Carousel took place during camp. This off-season, Ottawa lost their starting QB, Trevor Harris and got Jonathan Jennings to fight the starting job with Dominique Davis. While the two fought for the #1 and #2 spot, there was a mild competition between Danny Collins and Will Arndt for the 3rd spot on the chart. Once camp ended, Will Arndt threw for over 300 combined yards on 23 completions, winning the spot over Danny Collins who threw for 137 yards on 13 completions.
  • Ironhead Gallon, the 25 year old DB entering his rookie year of his CFL career had an outstanding camp. He started his CFL career in a preseason game vs Hamilton, where he had 7 defensive tackles and was the defensive player of the game. The next week in Montreal he got one tackle, and bad news. The former Georgia Southern athlete, suffered a torn Achilles in the first half of his second preseason game.

2019 Practice Squad

  • Running back, John Crockett
  • Defensive back, Deandre Farris
  • Defensive back, Shaneil Jenkins
  • Wide Receiver, Wesley Lewis
  • Running back, Greg Morris
  • Offensive Lineman, Daniel Omara
  • Defensive Lineman, Kene Onyeka
  • Offensive Lineman, Devondre Seymour
  • Defensive back, Ranthony Texada
  • Wide Receiver, Guillermo Villalbos
  • Defensive Lineman, Blaine Woodson

We didn’t win, but we didn’t lose

For the last pre-season game, for those that watched, witnessed the unusual tie at 20-20. You also would have noticed a few position battles at RB, QB, WR, DB and on the defensive line.

Eye Openers

The run game

Throughout the football game, we had two running backs in the game. John Crockett (#35) for the first half and Dalton Crossan (#30) for the second half.

With the two backs splitting time at the position, they combined for a total of 103 all-purpose yards on 16 touches.

  • John Crockett, 4 carries for 14 yards, 4 catches for 38 yards.
  • Dalton Crossan, 7 carries for 34 yards along with 1 catch for 17 yards.

This season will all depend on touches that the backs get, with Mossis Madu and John Crockett probable starters in the position, they don’t always make the big plays. When we have the backs in the game we’ve got to give them the ball early, therefore once they get it about the 5th carry they’ll be heated and ready to make a big play.

Pass Catchers Galore

This off-season we lost Trevor Harris, our starting QB, now we’re mixing through some CFL backups. But this is a perfect year for a new Quarterback, because with all these great recievers, nobody should be worried about how experienced our QBs are.

This pre-season, there has been a few slot backs/receivers that have caught an eye or two by the fans, here is a list of them with their combined pre-season stats.

Stats *= fighting for spot on roster

  • Nate Behar, 5 catches for 33 yards.
  • Jacob Scarfone* 8 catches for 82 yards.
  • DeVonte Dedmon*, 2 catches for 51 yards, 3 kick returns for 157 yards and 2 punt returns for 23 yards.
  • Ryan Lankford, 4 catches for 74 yards, 5 punt returns for 50 yards and 2 kick returns for 46 yards.
  • Caleb Holley, 3 catches for 120 yards.
  • R.J Harris, 2 catches for 30 yards.
  • Dom Rhymes, 2 catches for 25 yards.
  • Tyrone Pierre*, 2 catches for 17 yards.
  • Guillermo Villalbos*, 3 catches for 28 yards.
  • Marco Dubois 4 catches for 45 yards.

Top 10 players

  • Jacob Scarfone, 7 catches for 75 yards (26 yard long)
  • Will Arndt, 16/23 184 yards 1 interception and a 1 yard QB sneak TD
  • John Crockett 4 rushes for 14 yards and 4 catches for 38 yards
  • Ranthony Texada, 3 defensive tackles and 1 interception
  • Danny Collins, 12/20 120 yards 1 interception
  • DeAndre Montgomery, 5 defensive tackles
  • Dalton Crossan, 7 rushes for 34 yards and 1 catch for 17 yards
  • Randall Evans, 1 defensive tackle, 2 special teams tackles, 1 sack and a forced fumble
  • Jonathan Newsome, 3 defensive tackles and 1 fumble recovery for a TD
  • Marco Dubois, 4 catches for 49 yards (30 yard long)

Cutdown day

With the CFL having their cutdown day this Saturday, there will be multiple transactions today and tomorrow, so stay up to date by reaching this page, or 3downnation.com

Looking Forward

Top 5 players to look for

Photo by Errol McGihon
  1. Will Arndt; He had the most passing yards in the pre-season debut, and is looking to be moved up to the 3rd string spot as he is in fact starting this Thursday.
  2. John Crockett; He rushed for 57 yards on just 7 carries in his CFL debut and has an opportunity to be the starting running back if all goes well.
  3. Ironhead Gallon; Gallon led the team with 7 tackles in the first pre-season game and was an absolute bird flying around the field. If he keeps it up, he’s got a good chance to make a spot on the starting roster this season.
  4. DeVonte Dedmon; Yes, he returned a kick 100 yards, but he also caught and ran a ball for 38 yards. The REDBLACKS lost Diontae Spencer and released Troy Stoudermire, therefore we are looking for a solid return man between Ryan Lankford and Dedmon. He is fighting for a spot on the team.
  5. Ranthony Texada; Texada who had 4 tackles and a few pass deflections in the first game, has a shot at a position in the secondary after the release of Troy Stoudermire.
Ranthony Texada, Charlie Neibergall

Moves From Within

Photo Scott Grant

Depth Chart

VS Montreal (June 6)

Photo by Errol McGihon
  • QBs: Will Arndt and Danny Collins
  • RBs: John Crockett, Dalton Crossan and Greg Morris
  • FBs: Anthony Gosselin and Marco Dubois
  • SBs: Wesley Lewis, Jacob Scarfone, Nate Behar, Jordan Bouah
  • WRs: DeVonte Dedmon, Ryan Lankford, Guillermo Villalobos, Tyrone Pierre, Darius Powe
  • OT: Devondre Seymour, Stephane Nembot, Ryan Schmidt
  • OG: Phillippe Gagnon, Dan Omara, Jacon Cazja
  • C: Alex Fontana
  • DE: Max Valles, Kene Onyeka, John Sheehy, Chris Larsen, Samson Abbott
  • DT: George Uko, Blaine Woodson, Shaneil Jenkins, Thomas Grant, Kevin Bronson
  • OLB: Randall Evans, Nicolas Boulay, De’ Andre Montgomery
  • MLB: Jonathan Newsome, Mickael Cote, Charles Brousseau
  • HB: Joe Brown III, DeAndre Farris
  • DB: Jon Rose, Ranthony Texada, Monteze Latimore
  • S: Ironhead Gallon, Shamar Busby
  • K/P: Jose Maltos
  • KR: Ryan Lankford, DeVonte Dedmon

Roster Moves

RB Mossis Madu during Redblacks training camp at TD Place. May 31,2017. Errol McGihon/Postmedia

With the 2019 season opening up June 15th in Calgary, the REDBLACKS have officially announced who their starting quarterback will be. Dominique Davis is in charge week one. After QB, the only other position with a possible change would be at Runningback. At RB, Ottawa has Mossis Madu who is expected to start, and John Crockett who may slide in for the starting job.

Cutting it down

Justin Tang/Canadian Press

Transactions

Released

  • International linebacker John Vogeler
  • International defensive back Troy Stoudermire
  • International receiver R.J. Shelton

Signed

  • National linebacker Drew Morris
  • International defensive back Monteze Latimore
  • National defensive back Shamar Busby
  • International defensive lineman Kevin Bronson
  • International defensive lineman John Sheehy

The Ottawa REDBLACKS appear to be getting a head start to the cut-down this Saturday. Each CFL team is obligated to decrease their roster amount down to 56 players on Saturday June, 8th. With Ottawa releasing R.J Shelton and Troy Stoudermire and signing the players above, it looks like they’ve got a good idea who they’re keeping and who are leaving.

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It is back!

Lil’ Recap

Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
  • First play of the game, Dominique Davis finds Caleb Holley on a 62 yard completion. This play lead to a 23 yard field goal by Mr. Automatic, Lewis Ward.
  • Shortly after a Hamilton touchdown, R.J Shelton fumbled near the goal line, and may have suffered a major leg injury.
  • Getting hot early with a 28 yard run, John Crockett surprised fans with his 54 yards on just 7 carries.
  • In the third quarter, DeVonte Dedmon took a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. Jose Maltos’ convert tied up the game 18-18 with about 8 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter.
  • Will Arndt who was on fire in the 4th Quarter hit DeVonte Dedmon for 38 yards, which lead to a 38 yard Jose Maltos field goal.
  • REDBLACKS who were found inside their own redzone, got out from a 33 yard Will Arndt to Ryan Lankford connection, instead of the 50 yard field goal attempt, Will Arndt had a pass knocked down on 3rd and 10.
  • With 5:30 left in the game, Troy Stoudermire intercepted Hamilton QB, Moore to take over at the Ottawa 18 yard line.
  • The turnover drive ended in a punt by Maltos, and Will Arndt and the squad only got the ball back with 1:34 left in the game.

Stats… Top 10 players of the game!

  1. DeVonte Dedmon, 1 catch 38 yards, 2 Punt Returns 23 yards, 1 Kick Return for 100 yard TD, 1 tackle.
  2. Caleb Holley, 120 yards on 3 catches (62 yard longest)
  3. Ironhead Gallon, 7 tackles (lead both teams)
  4. William Arndt, 7/16 124 yards, 17.7 yard average.
  5. John Crockett, 7 carries for 54 yards, 1 catch for 11 yards, 1 special teams tackle.
  6. Dominique Davis, 5/7 118 yards, 23.6 yard average.
  7. Ryan Lankford, 3 catches for 62 yards, 2 Punt Returns for 20 yards, 2 Kick Returns for 46 yards.
  8. Troy Stoudermire, 4 tackles, 1 interception, 1 Kick Return for 12 yards.
  9. Lewis Ward, 3/3 field goals (27 yard longest)
  10. R.J Harris, 2 catches for 40 yards (22 yard longest)

Top 3 notes

Julie Oliver/Postmedia
  • Will Arndt performed well, and threw for he most yards on the team, has a shot to move up on the QB depth chart.
  • John Crockett and Mossis Madu could create the best backfield the CFL has ever seen.
  • Diontae Spencer and Greg Ellingson will not be missed. It may only be pre-season, but damn Caleb Holley was on fire. Ryan Lankford who also returns kicks has some reliable hands and has a shot to be a super duper receiver. EXTRA: Lewis Ward is still good, at 3/3 he has already started his streak to 50.

So it begins…

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

What to look for… Top 3

  • QBs! With Trevor Harris one of a few departures this off-season, we’ve got eyes on a new starting QB. Last year, the REDBLACKS had Dominique Davis as a backup, and this year he has his hands on the starting job. Although Dom has seen the most time in plaid, we also have signed Jonathon Jennings, who will also be chasing down to be QB1. On Saturday, when Ottawa faces Hamilton at TD Place, we should see lots of the two QBs, nut we should also see lots of Danny Collins, who could slip into QB1 talks!
  • Special teams! Do I really have to say anything for this? Lewis Ward is a God. Last year, the kid made 48 straight kicks in the regular season. Did I forget to mention, it was his rookie year? Coming in for his sophomore season, this Saturday we will see Lewis Ward do Lewis Ward things. Even without Lewis Ward, we’ve got the best punter in the CFL in Richie Leone, and might have the two best returners in the league with Ryan Lankford and Troy Stoudermire.
  • The bud? With Greg Ellingson off to Edmonton, Brad is all by himself. With all his time in Ottawa, Brad has yet to play without Greg. Although many fans are worried about these departures like Trevor Harris, Greg Ellingson or William Powell, we shouldn’t be worried at all. This season will be different than others, but the whole “Next man up” mentality has got to be big in the locker room. At running-back, losing Will Powell wasn’t too bad. Considering we’ve already got Mossis Madu, signing John Crockett was huge. Also on offense, we lost Diontae Spencer and Greg Ellingson, to replace them we signed Caleb Holley (Sask), Ryan Lankford (WPG, KR/WR), and Nate Behar from Edmonton. If you are at the game or watching it at home, watch out for Caleb Holley, RJ Harris, Nate Behar and Ryan Lankford, they’ll be doing special things this year!

Who to look for… Top 3

JEAN LEVAN/POSTMEDIA NETWORK
  • RJ Shelton. Former Michigan State Spartans wide receiver/kick returner has eyes on the 2019 roster. Last season, he was given a shot with the REDBLACKS. It opened his eyes, and showed him what he can do! He was given a spot on the practice roster, until the team made moves and later released him. RJ is back in camp, and is not taking his opportunity for granted. This Saturday, he will face limited time on the field, but will give his “A” game every second he is playing.
  • Danny Collins. The former Maine QB enters his third season in the CFL in the middle of a QB carousel. Danny has spent the last two season behind Trevor Harris, but with Trevor gone Danny has his opportunity to show what he is made of. Sure, Dom Davis and Jonathon Jennings may have more CFL experience and all, but I am looking forward to seeing Danny give 110% every single snap.
  • Troy Stoudermire. The Minnesota University product would not have to prove himself on any other team, but this year’s defense is stacked. Our secondary contains of, Jonathan Rose, Sherrod Baltimore, Corey Tindal, Antoine Pruneau, Chris Randle, Anthony Cioffi, Justin Howell, Randall Evans, and Troy Stoudermire. Troy performs well on the defensive side of the ball, but once-you see him return a few kicks, your mind will be blown. Troy set the record for most kick return yards in FBS history at 3,615 yards. With Diontae Spencer off to the NFL, Troy might have a shot at returning kicks, alongside WR Ryan Lankford.

Thanks for reaching the end of the article, enjoy Saturday’s game, keep your eyes open for a game recap Sunday morning.

John Crockett Leans Towards Career in CFL

Photo by Robert Greeley
  • Born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • 27 years young; February 16 1992
  • Went to Fridley Totino-Grace High School
  • Played with Brock Jensen and Carson Wentz at North Dakota State University
  • In his senior year of University, he scored 21 rushing touchdowns on over 2,000 all purpose yards
  • 3 time NCAA FCS National Champ
  • Played with Green Bay, Oakland and Baltimore in NFL
  • Played with the Arizona Hotshots of the AAF
Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images

During my time at this year’s fan fest, I was fortunate enough to interview veteran running back, John Crockett.

Photo from David Purdy/Getty Images

With John Crockett held onto NFL rosters, he has not been on any CFL rosters. His numbers back in college, are unheard of. If he can match those numbers here in Ottawa, he can be a superstar. Q: Outside of football, what do you think of Ottawa so far? A: “Actually, I love the city of Ottawa. Right now I’m just a little scared about the cold weather coming later on. I’m a Minnesota guy, so the cold doesn’t affect me too much, but the weather has to stay consistent.” Q: Have you been to Canada before this? A: “Absolutely not. The closest I’ve been to Canada is listening to Drake.” Q: With most of your career under the American rule book, how has it been adjusting to the CFL? A: “Well, that is one of the greatest things about it (the game of football), the field is bigger, only 3 downs and people have to realize that its a way faster tempo than the NFL. At the end of the day, its just football, you go out there and play the game you love with just another guy on the field.” Q: From your time in the AAF, how was your experience with the league? A: “The AAF really did stand out, it was put together for just as long as it was together. Other than that, it was a great opportunity for players to go out and enjoy playing ball again.” Q: If it lasted longer, do you believe that it could have been up with the NFL/CFL? A: “I think it could have definitely been a baby sister (Farm League) to the NFL or CFL, the NFL is and always will be the best, then going north is the CFL, and after that we’ve got nothing. If they had lasted longer than it did, I believe it could have done well.” Q: With the REDBLACKS losing a few big pieces during the off-season, how do you give yourself the best opportunity to get noticed during camp? A: “Well, you come in with a good mindset to make plays, the one thing you want to do with a successful team like Ottawa, is contribute everything you’ve got, and try your best to makes difference and show coaches and scouts what you can do for the team.” Q: What advice would you give a young athlete looking to go next level? A: One thing that I go by and others don’t always believe is that the hard work really does pay off. You have to put time and effort into what you love,and you will see success chasing you down.

Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Thank you for reaching the end of this article. I learnt a few things during this interview, and I hope you did too! #RNATION

Tyrone Pierre’s March to Legacy

Tyrone Pierre

  • Born and raised in Ottawa, ON
  • Went to St.Peters Catholic High School in Ottawa
  • 24 years young; February 8 1995
  • 41st overall pick in 2018 CFL draft
  • Among the 6 REDBLACKS’ players from the University of Laval
  • Is a rapper that goes by the name “Hueso”
  • Link to music https://open.spotify.com/artist/5px5qdwlkLxEYOBRKDBlyI
  • Has fought through a few leg injuries, and is at 100% as of now
  • Has high hopes to be a hometown hero in near future

On Sunday, May 26, the REDBLACKS hosted “Fan Fest”. Fan Fest is a great day, which gives fans the best opportunities to interact with their favorite players. Just before the activities, I was fortunate enough to have a quick interview with Pierre.

Even though, the REDBLACKS lost Greg Ellingson, and Diontae Spencer during the off-season, the wide receiver depth is insane. Q: There are many good wide-outs here in camp, how do you separate yourself from others? A: “In all realness, I just try to learn something from all of them. With guys like Dominique (Rhymes), RJ (Harris), and Brad (Sinopoli), its not about standing out, its more about learning, taking all information coach (Winston October) gives us and applying it onto the field. As a rookie, I don’t know as much as the veteran guys, so right now, learning and improving is on my mind.” Q: As one of the new guys on the team, what veteran guys have you been looking up to? A: “For me, its actually an Alumni from my old school, Julian Feoli(Gudino). He’s taken a leadership role within the guys to critique me once and a while. From there, everyone is helping everyone, and that is something we all need. Day 1-3 we’re all fresh and ready to go, but day 4 and 5 are always tough, and we’ve been pushing each-other for those last reps, so everyone, weather you’re a rookie or a veteran guy, we’ve all been leaders.” Q: This off-season, you launched your career as a rapper, what inspired you to start making the music that your making? A: “Honestly, it was just the fact that I was injured, I injured my knee, so there wasn’t much to be doing. I was going through a lot mentally, having mixed emotions and I thought it was therapeutic. I started to write, and spilling my emotions over a beat and get to work.” Q: Who is your favorite artist? A: “Sheesh, right now I’ve got so many. I like Meek Mill a lot. Before football games, you can put on some Meek Mill and get hyped up.” Q: What is it like playing pro football back home? Was this a big dream of yours? A: “Ya, honestly I’m sure its every athletes dream to play back home. Its been great so far, although since it’s only camp it hasn’t quite soaked in as I thought so. In camp, the schedule is off, so once we get moving it might soak in more. I feel like the first game will be pretty sweet, having friends and family out!” Q: What advice would you give a young athlete trying to go next level? A: “All honesty, school. Growing up, I wasn’t exactly the best student. If there was something I can change, it would be that. Make school your priority, because that’s the only way you’re able to play football, play basketball and hockey. Stay in school and keep the grades up, so when you are done with sports, you can better not only your life, but the lives around you.”

Thank you very much for reaching the end of the article. I hope you learned a thing or two more about Tyrone. Hope to see some #85s at TD place that say “Pierre” instead of “Spencer”.

Nicolas Boulay

Nicolas Boulay putting pressure on QB Brandon Bridge, photo by Matt Smith

Nicolas Boulay, the Quebec native signed by Ottawa on February 12th is looking to be a key to the REDBLACKS defense this upcoming season. Boulay, product of Sherbrooke University, was originally drafted and signed by Montreal in round 4 of the 2012 CFL Draft. Nicolas has been a big piece to the defenses he has been on, rallying up 58.5 tackles and 5 sacks in the 9 games from his 2012 season in Sherbrooke and 102 tackles, 1 forced fumble within the 97 games played for Montreal.

The newest REDBLACKS linebacker, has a brother who has spent time on the defensive line on Winnipeg, Saskatchewan, and Edmonton. The two siblings actually have had games played against each other on August 8th 2014, Montreal played Edmonton. Edmonton came out on top 33-23, but Nicolas won the battle between the siblings, getting one tackle, and a fumble recovery.

This off-season, shortly after Nicolas was signed, I was fortunate to ask him a few questions.

Q: What is your favorite color? A: Black

Q: What is your favorite meal? A: Shepherds pie, with any fruit known to humans!

Q: What is your dream car? A: I’m a big truck guy and already own one, a Toyota Tacoma, and I love it!

Q: If you couldn’t play sports, what would you be doing? A: Become a professional gamer!

Q: If you could pick one NFL team to play for, who are you playing for? A: Not abig fan of the NFL, I’ve fallen in love with the CFL and would have to stay with Ottawa! #RNATION

Thank you for checking out the website, hope you enjoyed getting to know Nicolas! See you at TD Place!