The Grey Cup champion Ottawa Redblacks haven’t won a game this season. But don’t call them desperate.
“Desperate is a terrible word to describe us, but hungry would be a great word to describe us so we’re hungry for a win,” said quarterback Trevor Harris. “We’re very upbeat, we’re very positive.”
The Redblacks take an 0-3-1 record into their Wednesday matchup against the 2-2 Montreal Alouettes.
“Does this game make or break our season, no, that wouldn’t be the truth,” said head coach Rick Campbell. “But do we feel great urgency to win every game – absolutely.”
The Redblacks know they are largely responsible for the situation they’re in and believe that if they can eliminate mistakes things will turn around. Facing divisional rivals in their next two games, a couple of wins would go a long way in turning things around.
“I think if you eliminate one play from each game then we either end up tied or with the win,” said fullback Patrick Lavoie. “I think we shoot ourselves in the foot, which is why we’re not panicking. Coach Rick always reminds us that a CFL season is a marathon and not a sprint, but that being said we can’t wait too long to turn things around.”
It would be easy to point the finger at Harris, who for the first time in his career is the bona fide starter, but his numbers are good.
He ranks third in passing yards (1,379) behind Toronto’s Ricky Ray (1,529) and Calgary’s Bo Levi Mitchell (1,382) and leads the league with eight passing touchdowns.
The 30-year-old said he is ignoring the negative chatter around him.
“The opinions are going to be opinions and the fact of the matter is the only people who truly know what’s going on is the people in here and a lot of times you can take criticism for what it is or you can let it bug you or let it motivate you,” he said. “Some people use it in different ways, I’m just one of the ones that I’m a self-motivated guy.”
The schedule has not been kind to the Redblacks with three games in 11 days, making preparation and rest for players difficult.
“I trust that whoever made the schedule played pro football and they say it’s scientifically, medically safe to play three games in 11 days,” said Harris. “I’ll just trust the fact that they know what they’re doing.”
The only benefit of the short turnaround is that the Redblacks don’t waste time analyzing what might have been and instead place their energy on what lies ahead.
“Sometimes it’s good not to sit around and stew about things and you can move on and get to it,” said Campbell. “The guys are excited to get back out on the field and try to get that bad taste out of their mouths.”