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March 7, 2019

Checking Down: REDBLACKS’ QB contest wide open

The Canadian Press

TORONTO — REDBLACKS head coach Rick Campbell has confirmed it’s a wide open battle for starting quarterback in the nation’s capital.

Former Argos head coach Marc Trestman has found a new job with the XFL’s Tampa Bay franchise.

And before hanging up the cleats, did Travis Lulay almost become a Saskatchewan Roughrider?

The off-season continues and we’ve got all the latest in this week’s Checking Down:

Jump to team:

BC | Calgary | Edmonton | Saskatchewan | Winnipeg | Hamilton | Toronto | Ottawa | Montreal

BC LIONS

Newly-signed Lions receiver Duron Carter says signing with BC has been reinvigorating (The Canadian Press)

– Long-time Eskimos scout Rob Ralph has re-joined Ed Hervey in BC, signing on as the Lions’ East regional scout (3 Down Nation).

– As Mike Reilly looks to reinvigorate the Lions’ fan base, the early results are encouraging with the team reporting its largest season ticket renewal rate since 2012 (Ed Willes, Vancouver Province).

– Former Lions star defensive back Ryan Phillips is hoping his success on the field translates to the sideline as the team’s defensive backs coach (Matt Baker, BCLions.com).

– In an interview with CKRM, Duron Carter said signing to play with Mike Reilly is the best move he’s made in his career (3 Down Nation via CKRM).

– A couple of new menu items at BC Place have fans talking, including the towering ‘Outrageous Burger’ (The Snap, CFL.ca).

EDMONTON ESKIMOS

The Esks’ offence will have a new look in 2019, starting at quarterback with Trevor Harris (The Canadian Press)

– While their production may have been similar in 2018, Trevor Harris and Mike Reilly are very different quarterbacks. How will the Esks look with Harris leading their huddle? (Marshall Ferguson, CFL.ca).

CALGARY STAMPEDERS

With a Grey Cup-winning offence back in tact, the Stamps are the early Grey Cup favourites (Johany Jutras/CFL.ca)

– Despite the Stamps losing a number of key pieces this off-season, odds-makers agree that Calgary remains the early-2019 Grey Cup favourite (Justin Dunk, 3 Down Nation).

SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS

At 33, Marcus Thigpen appears to have found the fountain of youth for the Riders (Arthur Ward/CFL.ca)

– Despite almost being 33, Marcus Thigpen says he feels good and is hoping he can see more touches in 2019 (3 Down Nation via CKRM).

– Duron Carter’s return to Riderville and Zach Collaros facing the Ticats are among key dates to circle in 2019, as we revisit the schedule post-free agency (CFL.ca).

– Retired quarterback Travis Lulay says that before retiring, he strongly considered joining the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who offered Lulay a contract (3 Down Nation via CJME).

– As the free agent period winds down, have the Riders gotten better or worse since Feb. 12? Jamie Nye analyzes the team’s off-season so far (CFL.ca).

– Former kick/punt return phenom Tristan Jackson has called it a career, retiring as a member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS

Going into his second season, Canadian receiver Rashaun Simonise looks to take a step forward (BlueBombers.com)

– Bombers GM Kyle Walters says Canadian receivers Daniel Petermann and Rashaun Simonise could make a strong push for more playing time next season (Ed Tait, BlueBombers.com).

– If the Bombers opt to start a third American O-lineman in Manase Foketi, the club is well-equipped to start three Canadian receivers (John Hodge, 3 Down Nation).

HAMILTON TIGER-CATS

Terrell Sinkfield is once again a free agent after being released by his AAF team (Ticats.ca)

– After boasting the CFL’s most productive offence last season, a new-look O-line will be key to the Ticats repeating in 2019 (CFL.ca).

– While Johnny Manziel’s tenure in Hamilton was short-lived, the Ticats capitalized on the asset in ways that could benefit the team for years (Steve Milton, The Hamilton Spectator).

– Former Ticats receiver Terrell Sinkfield is a free agent again after being released by the AAF’s Orlando Apollos (3 Down Nation via Orlando Apollos).

TORONTO ARGONAUTS

Former Argos head coach Marc Trestman has landed with the XFL’s Tampa Bay franchise (Johany Jutras/CFL.ca)

– The Argos have signed international offensive lineman Randy Richards, who’s coming off a Grey Cup win with the Stamps (CFL.ca).

– Former Argos head coach Marc Trestman has taken a job with the XFL’s Tampa Bay franchise (XFL via Twitter).

– One of several running backs on the Argos’ crowded depth chart, Branden Burks hopes to find ways to contribute after re-signing through 2020 (Josh Boutwell, The Southeast Sun).

– Of all the celebrities connected to professional sports teams over the years, John Candy did things differently. Doug Smith reflects 25 years after Candy’s death (Doug Smith, Toronto Star).

– In a tribute to John Candy, CFL.ca’s Matthew Cauz wonders which celebrity owners would be a fit for each CFL team (Matthew CauzCFL.ca).

OTTAWA REDBLACKS

It seems Dominique Davis will be given every opportunity to win the starting QB job (The Canadian Press)

– Rick Campbell says Dominique Davis is 1-A and Jonathon Jennings is 1-B as the team prepares for an open competition for the starting quarterback job (Tim Baines, Ottawa Sun).

– Following the departure of SirVincent Rogers, the REDBLACKS could turn to international Josue Matias at left tackle, while a Canadian could start at right tackle (Tim Baines, Ottawa Sun).

– Justin Howell’s path to the REDBLACKS may not have been possible without a successful regional combine in Montreal last year (Kristina Costabile, CFL.ca).

MONTREAL ALOUETTES

Antonio Pipkin continues to lead the discussion at quarterback for the Alouettes (Johany Jutras/CFL.ca)

– Even after all the ‘Johnny drama’ in Montreal, quarterback remains the biggest question mark for the Als (The Waggle Podcast, CFL.ca).

– The ‘Mr Irrelevant’ of the 2008 draft, Luc Brodeur-Jourdain has gone on to enjoy a lengthy career despite his late-round slot (The Canadian Press).

– The Alouettes have signed American defensive end Joby Saint Fleur to a one-year deal, after two seasons with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys.