Redblacks' Dyce on Masoli's return to practice: 'Doesn't surprise me'
Ottawa Redblacks head coach Bob Dyce spoke about the return of quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, the process of growing as a team in training camp and more on TSN Ottawa 1200 on Tuesday.
The Redblacks, coming off a 4-14 season that saw them finish with the worst record in the CFL, will be buoyed this year by the return of Masoli.
Masoli, 34, played in just four games last season. He was injured after a late hit by Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive lineman Garrett Marino, who was suspended four games for the hit and his behaviour shortly afterward.
"It's outstanding to see him out here, but it doesn't surprise me," said Dyce, who spoke of having a plan through training camp and the importance of sticking to it.
"As things progress, Jeremiah's going to be more and more involved, but it doesn't take us away from our plan."
Masoli set career highs in 2018 with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats with 5,209 passing yards and 28 touchdowns in 17 starts. He suffered a torn ACL in 2019, which caused him to miss the final 12 games of the season. Masoli has not played more than 12 games in a season since his career year in 2018, which means Dyce will have to be cautious with his star quarterback.
"I said from the beginning that Jeremiah's not likely to play in the preseason and it's kind of the same thing: when you set a plan, you continue to work the plan," Dyce said. "I have nothing but respect for Jeremiah, so if he comes to me and says 'Hey, this is how I'm feeling' then we're going to talk to the medical staff and continue to go forward from there."
Ottawa plays their pre-season opener at home against the Montreal Alouettes on Friday. While Masoli will not be on the field, Dyce notes there are some important pieces coming together for the game.
"From the level we practiced at today there was a different type of goal. There's kind of a reward at the end of the rainbow this week with the opportunity to play and hit somebody else," said Dyce.
"These guys are super excited to play with R nation in behind them."
The Redblacks, who finished last season second-worst in points scored and points allowed, will need to patch up a lot of holes to contend this season. Veteran additions Shaq Evans, Cariel Brooks and Jovan Santos-Knox may help along with the return of Masoli, but Dyce is confident in improving the team from the ground up in training camp.
"[Our] goal at camp is to continually get better every single day," said Dyce. "It's just a continuation of what we're trying to build here and the goal is to get better every day."
Ottawa begin their regular season in Montreal against the Alouettes on June 10.