Dominque Davis found out about being Ottawa’s starting quarterback straight from Redblacks head coach Rick Campbell.
“I was getting ready for practice and coach Campbell just called me and set me aside and told me he was rolling with me to be the guy. He just wanted me to continue to be myself and keep leading the guys,” Davis said on TSN radio 1200 in Ottawa.
“It’s one of the best feelings ever. This is something I’ve been waiting for my whole professional career. I just want to win some games.”
The six-foot-three, 215-pound pivot signed a two-year contract extension in January which all but signalled the end to the Trevor Harris era in Ottawa. The 29-year-old 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. That outing offered a glimpse of his potential.
“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,” Campbell said.
“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.”
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.
“That whole first quarter was a pretty big confidence booster for me,” Davis said.
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. The comfort level on both sides between Davis and the Redblacks was part of the reason the a multi-year pact was finalized prior to free agency during the off-season.
“I just wanted to show this team and this city that I’m committed to them if they’re committed to me. I’m here for two years and I’m going to do the best I can to win games and bring a Grey Cup back to Ottawa,” Davis said.
It’s the first time since college Davis had been the starter. During two years as the No. 1 QB at East Carolina, Davis completed 65.9 per cent of his passes for 7,192 yards 62 touchdowns against 35 interceptions and added 14 more touchdowns on the ground.
Prior to coming playing in the nation’s capital, Davis spent time with the Stampeders and Bombers, including three seasons in Winnipeg. That came after two seasons with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and stints with the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts. Staying patient for a starting opportunity can be difficult Davis admitted, but it had benefits.
“I was blessed to be behind some great quarterbacks, so I took it as a learning experience. Everything I’ve taken from Bo Levi Mitchell, Matt Nichols and Trevor Harris I will definitely implement into my game,” Davis said.
“I try to get to know all the guys in the locker room and try to show them that whatever walks of roads we’ve come down I can relate.”