The Ottawa Redblacks have chosen a starting quarterback between Dominque Davis and Jonathon Jennings.
“We’re going to go with Dominique Davis. I just really like his approach has been very consistent and he just has a really good command of the offence and the players believe in him, so he’s going to be our guy,” Redblacks head coach Rick Campbell said.
Davis completed 5-of-7 passes for 118 yards during three offensive series in the Redblacks first pre-season game against Hamilton, two of those drives resulted in field goals for Ottawa. Meanwhile Jennings hit on 4-of-8 attempts for 75 and rushed one time for four yards, guiding the Redblacks to one field goal in three drives. There was enough of a difference for Campbell to name Davis the No. 1 quarterback going into the regular season.
“The good news about a guy like Jonathon Jennings is he’s been around this league long enough to know what happens. Jonathon is going to keep working,” Campbell said.
“I’ve been around this business long enough to know that you need at least two guys that you can count on and that can win you games and we feel like both those guys can win us games.”
Davis signed a two-year contract extension in January which all but signalled the end to the Trevor Harris era in Ottawa. Once Harris moved on to the Edmonton Eskimos during free agency, the Redblacks inked Jennings to a one-year pact.
The 29-year-old Davis started Ottawa’s Week 21 game against the Toronto Argonauts last season completing 16-of-23 passes for 220 yards and one touchdown in the Redblacks 24-9 victory. Throughout the 2018 schedule, Davis played 18 games completing 24-of-39 passes for 373 yards with three touchdowns and one interception while rushing 40 times for 73 yards and six touchdowns.
“There’s a bigger body of work at play than that as far as what’s happened in training camp. Dominique being here all last year. The game is another thing that showed he’s a guy that can run the show and feel comfortable with it,” Campbell said.
“I sure like his approach and his demeanour, he’s a very steady guy which I think’s an important quality as a quarterback. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have emotion, I just mean he’s very steady and every day shows up to work and does a great job. He really has a very good command of our offence… being able to tell other players if needed how to line up.”
The 26-year-old Jennings played in 10 games for the Lions in 2018 after agreeing to a restructured contract last off-season. He threw for 1,628 yards, eight touchdowns, seven interceptions while adding 36 carries for 226 yards. But the Indianapolis Colts were still interested enough to work Jennings out in December.
The Redblacks are very high on Davis and it’s led to him being named the starter.