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July 14, 2021

DAY FOUR: News and notes from REDBLACKS Training Camp, presented by TD

Radio waves: 
Minutes after practice wrapped on Wednesday, REDBLACKS receiver R.J. Harris joined the guys on TSN 1200’s In the Box to recap the first four days of camp. Harris, who has two seasons, 1,471 receiving yards under and four touchdowns under his belt with Ottawa, is still soaking in the feeling of being back at his home away from home. It feels wonderful,” he told Graham Creech and Steve Bunda. “When I first got to Ottawa, crossed the border, got to TD Place for the first time, it was really emotional for me.” Speaking of the American pass-catcher, Harris has been impressed with the conditioning level of his teammates with everyone coming off a long layoff. “Everyone has had their own journey since we left in 2019, training for the unknown,” he said. “Life still moved on without football but for the guys who were fortunate enough to come up we just had to carry our end of the rope, keep working out, staying in shape and being on top of things when we got back to Ottawa. I see a lot of that going on in camp so far.” Listen to the full interview here
Benevides weighs in: In his first media availability of camp, Defensive Coordinator Mike Benevides was the picture of a guy thrilled to back doing what he does best. And while he’s pleased with what he’s seen so far from his defensive corps, he’s not one to put the cart ahead of the horse this early in camp. That said, he’s been around long enough to know what to expect. “They are really impressing me in a lot of different ways,” Benevides said of his players.  “Lots to do but we’re just happy to be on the field right now and every single day the guys have been able to take the ball away and make some plays.” While there are difficult decisions ahead, the veteran coach knows the picture will become clearer as days roll along.  “The cream will rise to the top and we’ll find the best Redblacks for our team.”
Introducing: quarterback Taryn Christion. The 24-year-old joins Matt Nichols, Dominique Davis and Caleb Evans as the QBs in camp and he’s soaking in every moment. But Christion, who has had NFL and XFL looks prior to coming to Ottawa for camp this year, managed to keep busy during the pandemic shutdown. “I’ve been throwing in the morning and then going to work at my day job,” said Christion, who has been a corporate fellow in South Dakota, working in business development and operations. “Whenever I’m done playing football I’ll probably end up getting my Master’s in Business Administration.”
Last one off: American receiver Marvelle Ross was the last player off the field on Wednesday, spending extra time taking passes and returning punts before calling it a day and speaking to the media. The 24-year-old from Cleveland has noticed the early pace to camp and is here for every minute of it. “I’m feeling good, it’s what I choose to do, it’s what I signed up for,” said Ross of the training camp grind. “I’m always ready to go. We’re most definitely working, it’s a pace that’s expected and I’m getting used to it but It’s coming along day by day.”
Last word to Benevides on his approach to player evaluation and what the unit will look like coming opening night: “Right now. I don’t have any preconceived notions. Right now, there’s bright lights at every segment of our defence, but we’re still ways away. I’ve told them already, you’re going to declare the roster, if you’re a perfumer and you make plays, you’ll make the roster.”
All the news: Check out the latest from beat reporters Tim Baines (here) and Martin Comtois (here and here)
The REDBLACKS are back on the field for Day 5 on Thursday morning.
Training Camp sponsored by TD.