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Training camp is in the books and the roster is locked in as the Ottawa REDBLACKS head to Calgary to kick off the 2019 CFL season against the Stampeders.
Not only will Ottawa launch their quest for a second Grey Cup, the REDBLACKS will be doing it against the team that edged them in the championship game last year.
As the business of professional sports goes, both teams have bid farewell to some players and welcomed in new faces. Named the team’s starting quarterback early in training camp, Dominique Davis is looking forward to the opportunity of leading the REDBLACKS on and off on the field in 2019.
After a full offseason with a bittersweet taste left in their mouths, the REDBLACKS will look to not only avenge their loss to Calgary in the latest Grey Cup Final, but more importantly, start the season on the right foot with a big win on the road.
New look offence, familiar defence
While the REDBLACKS made some well-publicized changes on the offensive side of the ball this past off-season – with the likes of Dominique Davis at QB, Mossis Madu starting at running back, a receiver core that will see RJ Harris, Caleb Holley, Nate Behar and Dominique Rhymes take on bigger roles – the defence will be very similar and very tough to play against. Players such as Antoine Pruneau, Jonathan Rose, Sherrod Baltimore, Michael Wakefield, Avery Ellis, Avery Williams and Anthony Cioffi, among others, all started in the 106th Grey Cup and are all back with the team.
Looking for that Calgary win
While many will be looking at this game as a Grey Cup rematch, coaches and players are only concerned about leaving Calgary with a W. Should Ottawa get the win on Saturday, it would mark the first time in REDBLACKS history that they have won at McMahon Stadium.
The start of the Dom Davis era
While Dominique Davis may not be new to the REDBLACKS after serving as the team’s backup last season, Davis will finally get a chance to lead a CFL team into battle. The 29-year-old has appeared in 12 games over the course of his three-year CFL career, completing 57 passes for 750 yards gained and three touchdown passes. Davis is also a dual threat QB who can use his legs, which will give a whole new dimension to the REDBLACKS offence.
Scouting the opposition
The Stamps may be the defending champs, but some key pieces were lost during the, though star QB Bo Levi Mitchell remains the leader of the team. Ciante Evans, Micah Johnson, Lemar Durant, Chris Mathews, Ja’Gared Davis and Alex Singleton all left in the off-season.
DeVone is gone
Calgary starts this season without regarded former defensive coordinator, DeVone Claybrooks, who was with the Stampeders as a coach since 2012, winning two Grey Cups. Claybrooks, who is now the BC Lions’ Head Coach, is another significant loss for this Stampeders team.
Ottawa REDBLACKS @ Calgary Stampeders | Week 1 – June 13, 2019
Kickoff – 7:00 p.m. ET | McMahon Stadium
7 PM ET | EN: TSN 1/5 | RADIO : TSN 1200