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Ottawa Redblacks Re-Sign DB Money Hunter, and OL Jacob Ruby, Shuffle Coaching Staff for 2024

The Ottawa Redblacks have decided that they wanna see more of Monshadrik “Money” Hunter in 2024. In 2021 with the Montreal Alouettes Hunter was named a CFL East All-Star and hit free agency on a high note. Ottawa at the time was looking to solidify their secondary and needed to find a player who could step in and make an immediate impact. 

Initially signing with Ottawa before the 2022 season, Monshadrik Hunter had a solid year in 2022 playing in 12 games he managed 38 tackles and 4 interceptions along the way. Ottawa liked what they saw and opted to re-sign him to a one year extension returning for the 2023 season. However an injury before the season limited him to just four games in 2023. 

Ottawa was encouraged enough by what Hunter was able to do the previous two seasons, and in limited time last year that they decided to bring Hunter back for year three. Adding another turnover machine to a bevy of ball hawking defensive backs Ottawa has assembled this offseason. 

Can Hunter Overcome Injury Again? 

Monshadrik Hunter is no stranger to injuries. After playing in 59 games during his collegiate career he would graduate following a foot injury. This injury required a long recovery period which essentially robbed him of his rookie year. This did not deter Edmonton from signing him in 2018 to begin his CFL career. 

It took just one season as a role player and depth piece before he took over a starting role at halfback. This is a perfect fit for his size, and skill set and it showed through his first 30 games in the CFL. 

Playing 12 games as a rookie in 2018, and all 18 games in 2019, Hunter racked up 85 defensive tackles, 11 special teams tackles, 1 sack, and 4 interceptions. His contract would expire heading into 2020. 

A Year with the Alouettes 

He would sign with Montreal early, but as we know the 2020 season was cancelled. This led him to sit out in 2020. He returned to Montreal in 2021 and put up a career year earning CFL East All-Star honors. 

He would play in all 14 games during a shortened regular season and collect 44 tackles, 1 special teams tackle, 1 sack, and 2 interceptions. Then he joined Ottawa. 

Opportunity in Ottawa

Coming off of a season that earned him a CFL East All-Star bid expectations for Hunter were high. He not only met, but likely exceeded most expectations when he intercepted 4 passes a career high. After injury derailed his 2023 season, it was unclear if he would remain in Ottawa. Ottawa has answered that question and more this offseason. 

There was a message sent that Ottawa would not go through another season with the lack of a passing game, and pass defense that they suffered through last year. Let’s hope these puzzle pieces come together nicely. 

Return of Jacob Ruby

Jacob Ruby was recently released by Ottawa in what now looks to have been a cost cutting move. After an elite performance in 2022, Ruby and the Redblacks went back to the negotiating table. They hammered out a new three year extension for the 2022 CFL East All-Star only to see a rather large regression in 2023, and even then he was still one of the best linemen on the team, ultimately being named the most outstanding lineman for Ottawa. 

This drop off forced the Redblacks to make some moves and bring in veteran free agents. With that they could no longer justify betting on a return to 2022 form for Ruby on his previous deal. Ruby has now been re-signed on a one year contract and will compete for a starting job once again in 2024. This means Ottawa was able to lower his cap number, and build in a fail-safe if he has another rough season. 

New Additions to Coaching Staff

The coaching staff for Ottawa has seen some new additions for the 2024 season, including a recent USFL/XFL coach. Making for an awfully heavy UFL presence on the team in 2024. 

As discussed previously the newcomers are led by offensive coordinator Tommy Condell taking over for Khari Jones who lasted just one season. Condell has a long history of developing offenses, and quarterbacks. It should be interesting to see his work with Dru Brown in 2024. 

Offensive Line Coach 

Pat Perles is a highly respected former CFL coach who has spent time in the college ranks, and most recently the USFL, and XFL. After spending the 2023 season overseeing the St. Louis Battlehawks line, he moves on to the Redblacks that desperately needed a change up front after surrendering over twice as many sacks in 2023 (71) than they had in 2022 (34). 

Under his guidance the Tampa Bay Bandits, and St. Louis Battlehawks collectively surrendered 59 sacks in 20 games. He also helped get Darrin Paulo (Bandits), Jaryd Jones-Smith, and Kevin Atkins, into the NFL. Perles replaces Paul Charbonneau who held the position for two seasons. 

Alex Suber Returns

Defensive backs will again be overseen by Alex Suber who previously held the wide receivers coach role for three seasons from 2019-2022 before taking over the Cornerbacks Coach position at his alma mater Middle Tennessee State. 

Suber a former CFL defensive back himself began his coaching career the same year he played his final season in 2015. Working his way up quickly he spent two seasons coaching high school before he moved up to the college level. Ottawa offered him his first position at the professional level. Now he returns to oversee defensive backs in 2024. Previously held by another former Middle Tennessee alum Jykine Bradley who lasted just one season with the Redblacks. 

Leading the Linebackers 

Finally there will be a changing of the guard at the linebacker coach position. After a decade with Ottawa linebackers coach Patrick Bourgon is moving on. 

He will be replaced by a man who began coaching in 1993 with Western Illinois holding many roles including linebacker coach. He has coached linebackers at every stop in his career for the last 32 years. He also is well versed coaching special teams. I would be curious if he is assisting Cory McDiarmid in any capacity in 2024. 

Defensive Line Coach

Although he wasn’t directly mentioned Mike Phair the defensive line coach hired in 2022 was not listed in the official press release. According to Aj Jakubec (@TheSuperAj) the Redblacks are nearing an agreement with a defensive line coach. 

Returning Coaches

The Redblacks may have undergone some changes but they also managed to retain the majority of their staff. If you look at their biggest areas of concern last season it should have been somewhat expected to see turnover at the defensive backs coach and offensive coordinator spots. The surprise here is Bourgon moving on. Originally joining Ottawa in 2013 he climbed his way from intern to position coach before moving on in 2024. Best of luck to Coach Bourgon. 

Returning for 2024:

Bob Dyce Head Coach 

Barron Miles Defensive Coordinator 

Cory McDiarmid Special Teams Coordinator 

Travis Moore Wide Receivers Coach 

Nate Taylor Running Backs Coach 

Nadia Doucoure Offensive Quality Control

With one big question still remaining on the staff could we see another former UFL coach make the leap? 

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@SamShadySports Reporter
I began writing years ago out of an obsession with the NFL. I never intended to take it anywhere but after watching so many others succeed as freelance writers I decided it was worth a shot. I jumped I and have loved every minute of it. I have expanded my content to include YouTube, as well as Twitter Spaces, SoundCloud, and should be launching on Amazon Podcasts soon.
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