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ANDE DYNASTI? The Ottawa Redblacks bring in former NFL QB Devlin Hodges

ANDE DYNASTI?  The Ottawa Redblacks bring in former NFL QB Devlin Hodges

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One day soon, the Ottawa Redblacks could be led by a Duck.

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The Red Blacks announced on Thursday that they have signed fworms National Football League quarterback Devlin “Duck” Hodges to a three-year contract. Patience paid off – the former Pittsburgh Steeler had been on Redblacks’ negotiating list for more than four years.

This can be huge. The upside is that the 25-year-old product from Samford University should be an elite Canadian Football League quarterback. Most recently, he worked for the New York Giants after originally signing with Pittsburgh as an expired free agent in 2019 after a prominent college career. He has played in eight NFL games, six starting, all with the Steelers. He was also in training camp with the LA Rams this summer.

In his four years starting at Samford, Hodges was named Southern Conference Player of the Year three times. In 2018, a season in which Hodges set an NCAA FCS career record with 14,584 passing yards, he was awarded the Walter Payton Award as the most outstanding player of this level.

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“I hope it’s going to be a big thing,” said Redblacks general manager Marcel Desjardins. “We will see how it goes. We definitely like what we’ve seen from him in different places. He’s going to have to come in and acclimatize to the league and all that. But yes, we are definitely looking forward to signing him. We sign no one if we do not think he has a chance to be our guy. He has a little more pedigree than some of the guys we’ve signed before. I expect good things, but you still have to wait and see how things develop.

“We have previously announced that he has been on our neg list, and it was he who contacted me via social media. We have been communicating for a few weeks: calls, sms, e-mail. ”

Getting Hodges to agree to a long-term deal was key for the Red Blacks. It did not make sense for them to pick him up now if it was a one-year contract.

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And Hodges is being pumped to get a CFL opportunity.

“He’s eager and excited,” Desjardins said. “His response to me when I said, ‘I do not guarantee anything for anyone,’ was, ‘That’s exactly what I want to hear.’ Many times people will try to make it sound almost too good. I hope it works the way we all think it will, but I will not promise anything. ”

Asked what the team liked about Hodges, who became a favorite in Pittsburgh with fans wearing breath, Desjardins said: “He is accurate, he has a certain mobility. With his time in Pittsburgh, he has shown that he can play in big situations. I do not think the big moment is due to him. His touchdown to interceptions in college was excellent. He does many things well. I think the big field will help a little too. ”

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Hodges is expected to arrive in Ottawa within the next few days, then he will have to quarantine. So realistically, the earliest he could practice with the Redblacks is sometime during the last week of September. The team is not planning on releasing any of their current quarterbacks to make room, so it will go with five for now.

In a bye week, the Redblacks have 16 players listed as injured: eight on the one-player list and eight more on the six-match. Ottawa begin practice on Saturday in preparation for its next game, 22. September at home against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

The Redblacks announced on Sunday that they had signed receivers Kenny Stafford (who was with Calgary, Montreal and Edmonton from CFL from 2013 to 2019 and was cut by the moose in training camp this year), longtime Dallas Cowboy (2013-18) Terrance Williams, Terry Williams (out of Tennessee-Martin), Damon Sheehy-Giuseppe (who returned a point 86 yards for a touchdown in a pre-season game for the Cleveland Browns), runs back De’Lance Turner, who has NFL experience with the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins and long-snapper Maxime Latour (who played with Winnipeg in 2019).

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Coming from a couple of crooked losses-51-29 to Montreal at home, then 45-13 in BC, 1-4 Redblacks obviously have a lot of things to clean up.

“It is clear that we must win (football matches). There are things we need to be much better at… pretty much everything, ”Desjardins said. “I thought our (special) team and defense would be ok and the offensive would come along. In Vancouver, the special team games we gave up, I hope more was a departure. The offense has come along, moved the ball and got some points, but the defensive side of things has fallen off the cliff, it seems. ”

THE END AROUND: Former Redblacks quarterback Trevor Harris (neck injury) will not play against the Redblacks here in two weeks. The Elks announced Thursday that Harris would be on the six-game injury list. With good news for the Elks, former Redblacks offensive lineman SirVincent Rogers has been training this week. Rogers tested positive for COVID-19 in August … Earlier this week, the Toronto Argos announced that they had signed former Redblacks back or solid-end Patrick Lavoie.

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