June 19, 2024

Damon Webb’s game-saving pass breakup a reflection of REDBLACKS’ new mindset

Did you know that Damon Webb is actually a synonym for “makes big plays?”

Okay, well, not really, but you could make the argument it should be.

In Thursday night’s home opener, with the game on the line, Webb came soaring through the air to break up what would have otherwise been a Winnipeg Blue Bombers touchdown, instead setting the Ottawa REDBLACKS up for what became a massive win to move to 1-0 on the young season.

Webb was an instrumental piece in the REDBLACKS’ smoothing defensive effort, registering three tackles, including a sack on a second down play, which forced a punt, and gave Ottawa fantastic field position at a pivotal juncture of the game.

His diving play in the endzone will all but certainly end up in the highlight reel for the REDBLACKS at the end of the season, but for Webb, it’s just one more feather in his hat of big plays.

“I would say it’s top 10,” Webb said. “I’ve made a lot of good plays in my life, but I’ll put it up there in the top 10. I was telling the dudes in the locker room that if they threw it my way, I was ending the game, and I stood on my word.”

His list of important plays comes to a head with the 2017 Cotton Bowl, where Webb picked off USC quarterback Sam Darnold, taking it back to the endzone to extend Ohio State’s lead to 17. The Buckeyes went on to win 27-7, and Webb was named the Defensive MVP of the game.

At all levels of the game, the Detroit, Michigan native has come up clutch when he was needed most.

“That’s what I do, I’m a playmaker,” Webb said. “When the ball is in the air, I’m going to get it, I’m a ballhawk. I consider myself an all-around DB, I can play man-to-man, I can play in space, and I’m good in the run game, so when there’s a play to be made, I want to make it.”

The late defensive stand was much more than just Webb’s play, of course. Shortly after a weather delay forced the REDBLACKS off the field for nearly an hour, the Bombers connected for a pair of big plays, marching their way down to the doorstep of the endzone, needing a touchdown to take the lead.

From the seven-yard line, it was tight coverage on first down, and a massive sack by Lorenzo Mauldin on third down sandwiching Webb’s breakup, reflecting the confidence the defence shares with one another.

“There’s no one that I’m not 100 percent confident in,” Webb said. “There are going to be times where they are put in a tough position, and they are going to try us, but I have confidence in our dudes back there. They can ask questions [of us], but we’re going to keep answering them.”

“We were down a few guys, but others stepped up. It’s our second year in this defence, so it’s like guys are ready to fill in, and we’ve all played with one another already. We’ve got a good chemistry going, so it’s about building on that.”

In past seasons, moments like those never seemed to go the REDBLACKS’ way, and there was a looming sense of “Oh no, here we go again.” But this time, it was different, that sense never appeared on the sideline, and the group was poised to snatch an important home victory.

“Last year, we’d always be in the game, and then one thing would happen and it would be like an avalanche,” Webb said. “For our defence to come through at the end of the game like that, it shows us the difference from last year. We’re building a winning culture.”

That mindset preaches being bullies – the Bank Steet Bullies.

“We’re defending our home,” Webb said. “Ain’t nobody about to come in here and think they can step on us. Ain’t nothing sweet here. We defend our home turf, and that’s what it is, we’re the bullies of Bank Street.”