The first two episodes of the second season of the “Behind The R” documentary series have been posted on the Ottawa Redblacks YouTube channel. The documentary gives an unfiltered behind the scenes look into the Ottawa Redblacks locker room and front office.
The first season of the documentary showed the 2022 offseason and the second season is following the team throughout the 2022 regular season. Despite the documentary being produced by the team, the series does not just focus on the positives and shows fans moments of frustration and failure.
The start of the first episode showed the Redblacks 0-3 start to the season which they only lost by one score in two games vs Winnipeg and one vs BC. With Winnipeg and BC being the two best teams in the CFL The Redblacks start of the season was considered to be impressive despite them being winless. Redablcks linebacker Avery Williams said that he was surprised when he would meet fans while out in public and they would tell him that they’re “great”.
“In my head I’m like dang man we’re letting people down but in their head they’re like oh my god you guys are really good” said Williams.
The main focus of the first episode was the Redblacks week five game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Regina. This was the game where Redblacks starting quarterback Jerimiah Masoli sustained an injury from a hit from Roughriders defensive lineman Garrett Marino that would cause him to miss the rest of the season. Marino’s low hit on Masoli and his celebration after it was clear Masoli was seriously injured did not sit well with the Redblacks players and caused fighting between the two teams.
Masoli discussed what he was thinking in the moment after his injury.
“It was pretty painful so I kind of knew it was pretty serious and I was just mad, I was just angry. Angry at the fact that I would be out for a while,” said Masoli.
Redblacks players were clearly angered at the way Marino behaved after the injury.
Redblacks receiver Jaelon Acklin said “I would be disgraced to even be his teammate,” and backup quarterback Caleb Evans who replaced Masoli in that game said “everybody wanted to attack immediately so I didn’t know whether to get on the field and get on them too or start warming up.”
Episode 2 focused on the Redblacks’ struggles in July and August after Masoli’s injury.
The episode began with Redblacks GM Shawn Burke discussing the decision to trade for quarterback Nick Arbuckle despite having Caleb Evans.
“We know Caleb’s going to play and we want to give him the opportunity to play but what happens if Caleb goes down…Everyone knew we had to bring someone in with some experience,” said Burke.
The episode then went on to show the Redbalcks crushing last second loss to the Hamilton Tiger Cats that dropped them to 0-5.
“It’s a shame to have so much talent in the room and keep losing and you really don’t know why you’re losing it was just mind blowing,” said Williams.
On July 22, Masoli had to go to the hospital because of an infection he got during his surgery.
“It was tough getting through all of that. I had to stay in the hospital for eight or nine days…It was a rollercoaster ride emotionally. There were a couple days where they were telling me I might have an infection in my heart… so it was tough to get through,” said Masoli.
“For what I’m thinking is this means Jerimiah is not likely back this year to lose the amount of time and have to gain weight back. I knew it wasn’t realistic at that point,” said Burke.
The rest of the episode shows the Redbalcks finally get their first win of the season over the Toronto Argonauts but then go on to lose their next two games to the Calgary Stampeders and Edmonton Elks as the team begin to grow more and more frustrated.
There are two episodes yet to be released in season two of “Behind The R” with episode 3 coming out on February 1st and the fourth and final episode coming out on February 8th.