By LISA WALLACE
THE CANADIAN PRESS
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
OTTAWA -- After a sour ending to the 2017 season, Trevor Harris decided to switch up his off-season training for a more allencompassing program.
Harris, the Ottawa Redblacks starting quarterback when they lost the East semi-final to the Saskatchewan Roughriders last season, said he changed his diet over the winter and tweaked his throwing mechanics. He also worked his mental game.
"I expanded my brain training," said Harris, who signed a one-year extension with Ottawa during the off-season.
Harris sustained a lower-body injury in Ottawa's first exhibition game, but said he will be ready for the season. The Redblacks open the year with a bye week and start their season at home against Saskatchewan on June 21.
BREAKDOWN OF THE 2018 OTTAWA REDBLACKS
Rick Campbell, in his fifth season.
Finished second in the East with 8-9-1 record; lost to Saskatchewan 31-20 in East semi-final.
After losing six games by three points or less, the Redblacks needed to add more experience to their young defence. They signed 37-year-old veteran linebacker Kyries Hebert to help with that. Hebert had a careerhigh 110 defensive tackles last season with the Montreal Alouettes and his familiarity with newly hired defensive coordinator Noel Thorpe should go a long way in adding stability and leadership to the Redblacks.
The addition of Dominique Davis as backup QB should allow the Redblacks some breathing room.
The most notable losses for the Redblacks are the departures of defensive tackle Zack Evans, who had a team leading five sacks, and linebacker Taylor Reed.
Evans decided to return home and sign with Saskatchewan, while Reed signed with Toronto.
The Redblacks also traded FB Patrick Lavoie to Montreal in what many viewed was a cost-saving measure. Some of the biggest changes for the Redblacks are with their coaching staff, after choosing to part ways with four members of last year's group
PLAYERS TO WATCH
WR Diontae Spencer had a breakout season last year with 922 yards on 71 receptions and his work on the return side of the game was equally impressive.