Redblacks unveil jersey… numbers ;)

As if the excitement of their first official team activity wasn’t enough, the Ottawa Redblacks also gave fans a peek at what to expect from the team’s uniforms at their inaugural mini-camp this past week in Richmond, VA.

Here are a couple of photos that provide a good look (courtesy of the Ottawa Redblacks and the Ottawa Sun):

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For lots more photos, check out the Redblacks Facebook page.

As expected, the jersey numbers have the same saw blade slice style as the Redblacks ‘R’ logo.

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So, it’s not a traditional number style, but it definitely works on the practise jerseys. As long as there isn’t too much more going on with the jerseys, other than a little bit of shoulder striping, it should make for a great looking uniform. Hope they opt for a simple font for the player names as well.

As for the colour options, pretty standard stuff – black, white & red. Found this tweet particularly inciteful:

@OttRedandBlacks: @Redblacks dark practice jerseys are black so very likely the real jerseys are too. Every #CFL team follows suit with their practice jerseys.

Makes sense, although I still have a sneaking suspicion the team could go with a red home jersey, as opposed to black. At any rate, with a third jersey likely coming this fall, and with jersey combination mixing & matching becoming so commonplace in pro football, good chance we’ll see both black and red jerseys worn at home regularly.

With the jersey launch date rumoured to be May 10th, we’re now just under a month away from the big reveal. While we wait, whose name/number are you thinking about for your first Redblacks jersey? We put together a quick poll:

Mini-Camp Coverage

Couldn’t end this mini-camp post without a shoutout to the Redblacks social media team and The Ottawa Sun’s Tim Baines for the excellent coverage from Richmond. Both provided piles of great photos, videos, interviews and incite. Was fun to follow the action, giving fans a sense of the atmosphere and some of the personalities we have to look forward to this season.

Kudos to the Ottawa Sun for sending Baines to Richmond. Shame the Ottawa Citizen didn’t send Gord Holder or anyone else. The Sun’s domination on Redblacks coverage in the city continues.

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Things we learned at Redblacks mini-camp

By: Santino Filoso

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The Redblacks took an important step in their development this week as the team came together for mini-camp in Richmond, VA. The historic gathering gave coaches and management their first look at their players on the field (albeit without any equipment, due to league rules) and allowed the team to begin developing some chemistry. Here are a few takeaways from the three-day camp:

Marcel Desjardins is the anti-Burris, in that he seemingly never cracks a smile. After all the tough legwork he’s done to get the franchise to this point, the guy has to be giddy inside to finally see his players on an actual field, doing football things. Not that you’d ever be able to tell from his body language though. I think Desjardins will only smile when the Redblacks win back-to-back Grey Cups, and even then only if they’re blowouts.

Henry Burris could make a hell of a weatherman. Smooth clear voice, check. Million dollar smile, check. Ability to concentrate in averse conditions (Fred Rouse), check. Strokes his audience’s ego with subtle comments, check. Interesting random prop (banana peels), check.

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– You heard it here first: there’s no chance Kevin Glenn shows up to training camp. This was the Redblacks first organized event in team history. You can’t overstate how important it was for all the guys to get together and to start building some chemistry. This would’ve been the perfect opportunity for Glenn to silence his critics and play the good solider until another team’s pivot went down, paving the way for him to be traded. By failing to show up at this mini-camp, he’s alienated himself from the guys on the roster and missed out on a crucial bonding experience. One thing’s for certain: with Burris, Thomas DeMarco, Matt Faulkner and the newly signed Corey Leonard, the Redblacks have a bevy of strong arms. The only person Glenn’s hurting right now is himself.

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Keith Shologan is happy to be out of Regina, even if it’s only for a few days. Who can blame him, considering the seasons in Regina are Winter (October to mid-May) and Spring/Summer (July to early September).

Shologan interview

– The numbers on the Redblacks jerseys are going to be unique in the CFL, as they’ll feature a small notch, just like the R on the buzz saw in the logo. Personally I love this touch and can’t wait to see what the finished product will look like when the uniforms are finally and officially revealed on May 10th.

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According to the Ottawa Citizen, Eric Fraser is the Redblacks CFLPA rep. Between mini-camp drills he took some time to meet with the Redblacks veterans and updated them on the latest CBA situation. From his tweets you can see that Fraser is a very intelligent and reasonable guy, and hopefully this translates in a positive manner during the CBA negotiations. Also he got sore feet:

– R-Nation cannot be contained and we are already everywhere. We’re going to have strong showings at every stadium this season so that our boys know they’ll never be alone in enemy territory. Zack and Erika Wood got an early start on the road tripping by heading down to Richmond to watch the Redblacks practice.

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– Remember the name Jordan Roberts (RB). He was an absolute monster in college putting up 50 TDs in just three seasons at the University of Charleston and sounds like he really had a strong camp. I think he’ll be an impact player and quickly turn into a fan favourite.

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– The mistakes the doomed the Renegades will not be repeated by the Redblacks. The team had a ton of French content in their camp coverage, with tweets in both English and French, interviews with players like WR Simon Le Marquand and FB Patrick Lavoie and used both languages in their daily video updates. Smart move by management to keep everyone happy.

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– The Redblacks team Desjardins has put together looks very fast. Bodies have been flying around and everyone from reporters to coaches to the players themselves have been commenting on it. That being said, take it with a grain of salt as it’s easy to look fast without helmets and pads and when you’re not being fully jammed at the line.

– Lastly, there’s something different about this team, it isn’t your normal expansion group. The feeling of optimism surrounding the players and the quality of their resumes gives the Redblacks more than a fighting chance out of the gate and you could even make the argument that they’re already better than some teams (hint: Winnipeg). GM Desjardins hammered this message home at the team’s first meeting when he told the players that “from this point forward, we are the Ottawa Redblacks, not the expansion Ottawa Redblacks”. That’s exactly the mentality the team needs to adopt to be successful and it’s good to see it expressed from management.

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“From this point forward, we are the Ottawa Redblacks, not the expansion Ottawa Redblacks”.

With our first look at the team in the books, what position do you think is the Redblacks strongest?

@RedBlackGade