Can the Ottawa Redbacks Beat the Odds in the 2023 CFL Season?
With the regular CFL season set to kick off on 8 June, many Ottawa fans are curious to learn what is in store. Will the Redbacks be able to rise above the competition or might they instead be relegated to a fourth-place finish in the East Division much like 2022? While the verdict is still out, there are still some important takeaway points to mention. Let’s take a look at some factors that could influence how this club is expected to perform as well as why die-hard Redbacks fans have reason to hope.
Out with the Old
We should begin by stating that the Redbacks have nowhere to go but up in many ways after a dismal 4-14 performance during the 2022 football season. This is why we shouldn’t be surprised that several changes were made. Perhaps most notable was replacing their head coach with veteran Bob Dyce. This Grey Cup champion brings a massive amount of experience to the table and he already seems to have the confidence of players behind him. Anyone currently looking at the CFL odds should therefore take into account the role that Dyce is expected to play throughout the upcoming season (especially since he boasts just over 20 years of experience guiding players from the sidelines).
A Strong Selection of Players on the Gridiron
Considering how the Redbacks performed in 2022, it also stands to reason that some major changes were made to the player roster; both in terms of offence and defence. For instance, Drew Desjarlais recently signed a two-year deal and he is set to be the highest-paid lineman in the entire CFL. Linebackers Gary Johnson and Jovan Santos-Knox round out how the Redbacks’ offence should shake things up a bit in 2023.
Management has also carefully analysed defence and if anything, the Redbacks leave little to the imagination. Free agents such as Michael Wakefield, Cariel Brooks and receiver Lemar Durant are set to team up with existing teammates Sherrod Baltimore, defensive back Adbul Kanneh and Hunter Steward (offensive lineman).
The Role of Psychology
We are still left with an important question. Will the Redbacks be able to pair off against formidable CFL teams such as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and perhaps most importantly, the Montreal Alouettes? It can only be assumed that players and coaches alike are grappling with the same quandary. This is when psychology comes into play.
Similar to the NFL, CFL teams can find it difficult to come back from a previous season marked by losses and in many ways, flagging fan confidence. While a certain amount of frustration will naturally be present, managers and coaches should be able to transform this sentiment into motivation. This is when the experience of Bob Dyce could play a crucial role. Regardless of the final outcome, there is little doubt that die-hard Redbacks followers will remain on the edges of their seats throughout the 2023 season.