Veteran quarterback Dominique Davis is thrilled to work with a core group of teammates he has experience with. He will get another chance to prove his worth playing for the Lions.
During the 2023 CFL free agency negotiating window, Davis expressed early interest to play for his former head coach in Ottawa and to reunite with his fellow ex-Alouette, Vernon Adams Jr.
Before the start of free agency, Davis the seven-year CFL veteran relocated to the West coast and has been training with quarterback coach Rob Williams, who also trains Nathan Rourke and Michael O’Connor.
“I moved out here in December. I started training with Rob. Ever since then, on and off. But now I’m basically training with him weekly. That’s pretty much my routine, just training with him and workout on my own,” Davis said the day after he signed with the Lions.
“I was waiting to see if I got a call or what would happen. BC ended up calling me and everything just makes sense.”
Davis signed a one-year contract with the Lions on the opening day of the 2023 CFL free agency. He will reunite with a few familiar faces like Adams Jr. and receiver Dominique Rhymes, his former teammate in Ottawa.
The Lions also beefed up the quarterback room by adding quarterback Dane Evans from the Hamilton Tiger-cats into the Lions rotation on February 23, in exchange for a fourth-round conditional pick in the 2024 CFL Draft.
Davis now enters his eighth season in the CFL after spending three seasons each in Winnipeg and Ottawa while suiting up with the Alouettes in 2022. Playing behind Trevor Harris for most of last year and proving himself as a short-yardage specialist, Davis managed to reach the end zone 13 times and dished out three passing touchdowns as well.
Montreal Alouettes QB Dominique Davis warms up before CFL action against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in Winnipeg on Thursday, August 11, 2022. (CFL PHOTO – JASON HALSTEAD)
Prior to joining the Blue Bombers, Davis backed up NFL quarterback Matt Ryan both at Boston College and with the Atlanta Falcons. Davis was also a JuCo transfer at Fort Scott Community College and finished the remainder of his college career at East Carolina University. Davis threw for 7,192 yards for 62 touchdowns in two seasons with the Pirates before he signed with the Falcons.
His football career hasn’t always been smooth sailing, but the veteran quarterback said it’s the experiences he gained along the way that matter.
“One thing I’ve learned from being a pro is that you won’t know until you know. That’s basically what I’ve been experiencing my whole professional career. So, I treated them as lessons. It might not be the best experience but I’ve been through a lot,” Davis added.
“I’m just happy that coach Rick Campbell and the organization still believe in me and that I can still be a player in this league.”
A new door has opened for Davis to play on the west coast. He said that each of those phases in his career serves as a life lesson. He feels very fortunate to get another chance to play alongside Adams Jr., who he had bonded with last season, in a culture he is familiar with.
“It’s exciting. When I moved out here to BC, I ended up contacting VA and letting him know I might be coming. When I first got to Montreal, it was a great relationship. We got along great. With us being in BC now, it’s nothing new. It’s great to work with Vernon again,” Davis added.
While playing on the same Alouettes team with Adams Jr. last season, Davis rooted for his fellow quarterback when he was traded to the Lions mid-way through the 2022 season. Davis said he was happy to see Adams Jr. land in the perfect spot to play right away.
“All that stuff last year turned out man, you don’t expect things to happen like that. VA is still the man in this league, everything just worked out for the better,” Davis said.
Montreal Alouettes QB Dominique Davis battles in for a touchdown during fourth quarter CFL action against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in Winnipeg on Thursday, August 11, 2022. (CFL PHOTO – JASON HALSTEAD)
Davis himself also continued to play a vital role in short-yardage situations with the Alouettes and going up against tough opponents. Like the overtime win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in week ten last season when Davis reached over the goal line twice against his former team.
“Last year in Winnipeg, when the emotions of the game are pretty crazy, you’ll do anything to score. We had played them the week before, I had scored a touchdown and it was a TV timeout, I screamed at Jermarcus Hardrick, ‘If I score one more time, I’m doing the Hardrick Hop.’ He gave me the head nod, I scored again and I did the hop,” David recalled.
“I used to play in Winnipeg and we were teammates back in college. I never got the chance to run out there and jump into the crowd when I was there, so that was my only shot to do it.”
Those moments are made up of who Davis is as a competitive player today. He realizes his role is to be the best possible teammate and be reliable when the team needs to count on him.
“I’m just looking forward to being an asset in any way. I just want the teammates and coaches to know they can trust me if it’s my time to do whatever. Take it one day at a time and keep gaining the trust of my teammates, coaches and fans as well. I’m always proud of myself. You’ve got to earn your spot, no matter what position you’re playing.”
With Adams Jr. leading the charge, the additions of both Evans and Davis no doubt give the Lions perhaps the best veteran-laden quarterback room in the league.