Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Young Ottawa Team Already Has an Identity. Being a Redblack Means Being Selfless

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Young Ottawa Team Already Has an Identity. Being a Redblack Means Being Selfless

Article excerpt

Being a Redblack means being selfless

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WINNIPEG - Ottawa led the CFL with 62 sacks this season, with six players registering five or more. It speaks of the Redblacks depth but also their willingness to play for each other.

Being a Redblack means being selfless.

"They're working for one another," said defensive back/linebacker Antoine Pruneau. "That's Redblacks football."

Defensive end Justin Capicciotti says the Redblacks play for the guy next to them.

"Even if I'm not going to get the sack, maybe I can set up the guy next to me so he can get a sack. We work together very well," said the six-foot-three 235-pounder, who ranked third in the league with 12 sacks.

Echoed defensive end Shawn Lemon: "We mesh well together. We look out for one another."

Coach Rick Campbell wouldn't have it any other way.

"You do have to have the talent level but at the same time I think you need to surround yourself with quality people with some character," Campbell said after a chilly morning practice Friday. "So that when things don't go well, people don't point fingers and throw each other under the bus.

"And also in tough games, when the game's on the line, people aren't complaining or whining. They're people that look for solutions instead of looking for blame."

That brotherhood and commitment to the cause will be tested Sunday against the favoured Edmonton Eskimos in the 103rd Grey Cup.

But in a week where Toronto Raptor James Johnson showed the selfish end of the athlete spectrum by tweeting "Mood. Under-utilized," the Redblacks have been poster boys for unity.

Ottawa's ability to establish an identity in just its second year in the league is remarkable. But Campbell and GM Marcel Desjardins were able to build the team from the bottom up.

Adding more skill to last season's base, the Redblacks went from 2-16 to 12-6. …

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