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Coaches Clips: Ottawa REDBLACKS Running Back Coach Nate Taylor  

Whether you’re cheering for the Northside or a Southside, there’s one thing we can all get pumped about – football season in Ottawa is here! 

To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Ottawa REDBLACKS, CAA spoke to the team’s Running Backs Coach, Nate Taylor. Did you know he was a running back for the Ottawa Renegades in 2004? That’s right, he has a deep connection to Ottawa football and is now back to help lead the REDBLACKS to victory.  

With his strong background in football and passion for coaching, Nate has been an integral part of the REDBLACKS’ coaching staff since 2018. As the new season approaches, let’s learn more about this dynamic coach and how he contributes to the success of the team. 

From armchair coaches to fans in the stands, football has the power to unite us – and spark passionate conversations. To celebrate the REDBLACKS 10th anniversary, football super fan Jeff Walker (and CAA North & East Ontario’s CEO and President) sits down with REDBLACKS coaches to ask the big questions before each game throughout the 2024 season. 

How did you become coach for the Ottawa REDBLACKS?

I was at Concordia for four years, played three years at Concordia Stingers and then moved to safety my fourth year. I was the kind of guy that got all the guys together to go to the field and do some a little extra work and training. I fell in love with coaching and the whole process. Then I had a sip of tea in the CFL of the Montreal Alouettes where I was cut after training camp. My head coach Jerry McGrath told me, would you like to be the coach because our defensive back (DB) coach is leaving. I was like, absolutely.  

So as soon as I cut, I called my mom, and I called Jerry. I’m like, “Is the offer still there?”  

What about being a defensive back coach makes you a better offensive coach?

I went from being a defensive backs coach, specialist coordinator to coaching receivers. And initially it was kind of daunting to a certain extent. But then I reverseengineered my coaching in the sense that I knew what affected DBs, what I could use to kind of make their lives more difficult.  

What are the differences in coaching in the CFL versus university?

One big thing is that coaches must wear so many hats. You’re all different things, whereas at the pro level, we can lock in football, making these guys as best we can, maximizing their potential, not having to be as worried about the academics and that side of things 

What is it that makes for a great running game and a great running back in the CFL?

It takes 12 guys to run the ball. So offensive line: The tailback must be great, the quarterbacks that executes fakes and pull defensive ends out of the way. I think a lot of credit goes to the tailback, but I believe that it’s all 12 guys working together in unison. 

The running back gets a lot of congratulations and love, but if quarterback does a great play pick and pulls the end out, now we can cut backside, that means he’s done his job. I think the whole offensive works as one cohesive unit for one singular goal.  

So, in terms of your day-to-day, what are you trying to do with them?

Well, right now we’re trying to get them up to speed. We’re working on that playbook, but getting a lot of records right, and just kind of indoctrinate them into what we’re trying to accomplish. Every year, we always start fresh.  

What are you most looking forward to this season?

Just playing games and winning football. I’m looking forward to the long days of sweat, the rain, the hail, whatever it may be. And we’re looking forward to getting the ball and just starting to play games. 

Want to read more? CAA Magazine will publish a new Coaches Clip article and video before every game this summer! Missed a Coaches Clip? Read them here. 

CAA Members! Get up to 30% off REDBLACKS tickets this summer and 10% off official CFL merch online and in-store. 

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