With a third of the CFL season gone and teams already making cuts and picking up NFL castoffs, it is a good time to start speculation about who will wind up on the new Ottawa team that will start next year.
Already, it is possible to list some candidates for the quarterbacking position.
There are stable quarterbacking situations in Calgary, Montreal, Hamilton, Saskatchewan and Edmonton so candidates will probably come from the remaining three teams plus some other notables.
There has been some lousy quarterbacking in the CFL this year. Anthony Calvillo has been head and shoulders over everybody else. Henry Burris is good but not at the peak he was last year. Ricky Ray is coming on.
Quinton Porter can look like a future star or a rookie kid who needs Kevin Glenn to back him up. Darian Durrant is being mishandled in Regina. And those are the good ones.
So Ottawa's future quarterback will likely come from Winnipeg, Toronto, B.C. or elsewhere.
1. Casey Printers
He was a flop when he tried to come back with Hamilton and never regained the promise he showed with B.C. He will either be at Ottawa's camp next year or turn up in the CFL again this year with Toronto, Winnipeg, or B.C.
2. Marcus Crandel
He was handed the job in Saskatchewan last year and managed to play himself off the team. Still, he could be a candidate for Ottawa next year.
3. Jarius Jackson
4. Buck Pierce
Wally Buono won't put up with the inconsistent quarterbacking he's got this year. If Jackson and Pierce don't grab the Leos by the tail, next year he might clean house and bring in fresh young faces.
5. Kerry Joseph
If Toronto didn't have a good third string quarterback, he might be gone already. He's shown nothing since he left Saskatchewan and he could be competing in his old stomping grounds next year.
6. Cody Pickett
Pickett had great statistics against B.C. but could only get the ball into end zone once. He won't last that long no matter how impressive his stats may be if he can't finish drives and score touchdowns. If the pattern continues, he could be following Joseph to Ottawa.
7. Jason Maas
Hamilton handed him the starting quarterback job after seeing him engineer a few comebacks in Edmonton. But he managed to play himself off the team and has never looked like the dynamic quarterback those comebacks suggested since then.
He does an adequate job as a backup with the Eskimos, but if they replaced him, nobody would lose any sleep. He could find his way to Ottawa too.
8. Anybody from Winnipeg
So far Winnipeg has had one half of decent quarterbacking this year (Michael Bishop against Calgary in the second half) where their quarterback looked like he belonged on the same field as his opponent.
Two quarterbacks have already been cut. If the offense doesn't improve, all the quarterbacks from the current season could be queuing up at the Parliament Buildings next year.
And the best solution is....
All the above names have been inconsistent or bad. Many have been handed the starting position and ended up playing themselves off the team. So Ottawa's best choice is to go back to 1975 when they brought in two new rookie quarterbacks who had never played professional football before, Tom Clements and Condridge Holloway.
Bring in new blood like they did that year, with a good quarterback coach and offensive coordinator, and start off on the right foot. A winning team will bring the fans back in Ottawa.
P.S. If any readers would like suggest further names for quarterback or speculate on other positions (how about the talented but always brittle Jesse Lumsden?) leave some comments or write a follow-up article of your own.
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