Ottawa Redblacks general manager Marcel Desjardins would like quarterback Dominique Davis to use his athleticism when it’s needed.
“One of the things that he can do and now that he’s basically 100 per cent healthy, he can’t be afraid to pull it down and create with his feet. He needs to be able to do that,” Desjardins said on TSN radio 1200 in Ottawa.
Davis had the lowest output of his three games in 2019 so far, 234 yards passing and just two yards on the ground in the Redblacks’ loss to Winnipeg in Week 4. Overall through a 2-1 start to the season, the 29-year-old has thrown for 864 yards, three touchdowns against six interceptions and 11 carries for 55 yards and three majors on the ground.
“Some good things, some things that he still needs to work on. What I do like is he has a presence in the pocket. He’s not going to be gun shy back there, he’s not going to turtle, he’s going to stand tall, he’s going to show poise and he’s going to try to find the right guy to throw the ball to,” Desjardins said.
Those proper decisions could involve finding the reigning CFL Most Outstanding Canadian, Brad Sinopoli more often. He has four straight 1,000-yard campaigns on the go, including a career single-season best 1,376 yards last year. The offence could improve simply by getting the ball to Sinopoli.
“It’s something that we need to make an emphasis of our offence. Not to the detriment of what we’re trying to do, but it really shouldn’t be. He should be able to fit in to what we’re trying to accomplish on a series-by-series basis,” Desjardins said.
“We need to get him more involved, he’s one of our better guys. You know when the ball’s going his way that the likelihood is he’s going to catch it and get it upfield quickly. He needs to be more involved and the coaches are cognizant of that too.”
For the most part the big boys up front have done their job to help Davis and the offence move the ball. The all-Canadian group has played beyond their experience. From left to right: Mark Korte, Even Johnson, Alex Mateas, Nolan MacMillan and Jason Lauzon-Seguin with backups Alex Fontana and Philippe Gagnon. It’s the only all national unit league-wide.
“Most of those guys are still young, so it’s not necessarily going to be a consistent arrow up, there may be some bumps on the road. All in all we’re happy with them,” Desjardins said.
“Generally it’s been pretty good, I think we took a step back last game. But we need to set the tone with the offensive line and those guys know it.”