A six-year-long relationship between Darvin Adams and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers came to an end during the offseason. The two celebrated some great times together, including two 1,000-yard seasons for Adams and two Grey Cup wins, but all good things eventually come to an end. Adams was one of many players to sign with the Ottawa Redblacks in the offseason, but between him and Winnipeg, there’s no bad blood.
“I will always love Winnipeg,” Adams said. “Those guys gave me a chance and there’s no bad blood with any of those guys. I love those guys on that team, they are my brothers. But it was an easy choice for me to come here with the situation that was at hand.”
Adams, who turned 32 in January, is coming off a pair of seasons where his numbers were down. In 2019 and 2021 combined, he had 990 yards receiving in 24 games, but his production being down isn’t entirely a coincidence. In the two seasons the Blue Bombers won the Grey Cup, they had options to throw to. Adams was targeted just 118 times, the exact same number of times the ball was thrown his way in his best statistical season in 2017.
His two best seasons came when Redblacks’ head coach Paul LaPolice was the Blue Bombers’ offensive coordinator. While making his decision in the offseason, Adams remembered those seasons, and thought the Redblacks provided him with an opportunity. The stars aligned for Adams, and it made his choice easy.
“I liked the energy that Shawn Burke came at me with,” he said. “I liked what he was putting together and it made it really easy, especially with coach LaPolice here. That was the cherry on top, I love LaPolice. I just feel like this is a good place and a place where I fit in.”
“I can not complain at all,” said Adams reflecting on his new surroundings. “I love it. I love the atmosphere, I love the guys, and it feels good to be playing.”
Adams wasn’t the only high-profile signing to be brought in. Other receivers including Jaelon Acklin, B.J. Cunningham, and Tevaun Smith were signed, while other names like Nate Behar and R.J. Harris remain on the roster. This has made for a highly competitive receivers room, but Adams doesn’t see that as a bad thing.
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“I think for one, it’s a great idea,” he said. “It’s a long season, a lot of knicks and bruises come with this game over the season. Especially with the receivers, we do a lot of running. I think they did a great job of getting a lot of people that can play football.”
Between LaPolice and the number of talented players around him, Adams is starting to feel right at home in his new colours.
“Not only coach LaPolice, but the guys around me are making it easy to fit in,” Adams said. “It feels like a good group of guys. I’m just happy to be here in this offence and to play in this organization.”
Even still, there are more players on the roster that have Adams excited. Much has been made about “The Masoli Effect” in Ottawa, and that is for good reason. The MOP winner brings stability to the Redblacks quarterback room, something it has been lacking since Trevor Harris left for Edmonton after the 2018 season. Masoli is excited to be teaming up with Adams, and that feeling is mutual between the pair.
“It’s excitement, like playing catch in the backyard,” Adams said. “He makes plays, and it’s always good to know that there’s a good guy pulling the trigger back there.”
As a veteran of the league, Adams knows that he will be a leader on the team. He’s never been an overly vocal guy, but he wants to lead with his actions.
“I ain’t with all that talking,” Adams said. “I come out and try to show what I have learned and what I know. It’s all about actions. I’m a leader, just not on the talking part. I’m coming in and trying to earn my spot, just like a lot of other guys. I want my actions to show my leadership.”
Now heading into his ninth season in the CFL, Adams is rejuvenated but is still willing to do whatever it takes to have his name etched into the Grey Cup for a third consecutive season.
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