HAMILTON — Like anyone else who has moved to a new city, Zach Collaros is trying to scratch a few housekeeping items off his to-do list.
But while he hasn’t actually found a place to live yet (he’s been looking in areas not too far from Hamilton), Collaros’ items are themed more towards the football field.
Item one: Meeting his new teammates.
Since signing on to become Hamilton’s new starting quarterback in late January, Collaros has met and trained with receivers Andy Fantuz, Bakari Grant, Luke Tasker, and Jay Diston.
Though it was only a brief outing, Collaros is pleased with what he saw from his new crop of pass catchers.
“It looks like everybody had a good off-season,” Collaros told Ticats.ca.
“I know we are still two months out, but I thought the routes were sharp and everyone was in pretty good condition, so that’s exciting knowing we still have about 60 days until camp.”
Item two: Start learning the playbook.
Set to enter his first season as a starting pivot in the CFL, Collaros has admittedly placed an added importance on familiarizing himself with his new playbook.
Kent Austin’s playbooks have a reputation of being complex, but Collaros says it’s all part of the process.
“Yeah, it’s like anywhere new you go because the verbiage is so different. It would be nice in football if everyone said the same thing and make it easy for people, but I know it’s a complex offence,” he said.
“I’m anxious to get in there, I think at the end of April we have an OTA where I’ll sit down with coach Condell and Coach Austin and get it started. But yeah, I’m trying to memorize some verbiage they sent me,” he added.
Item three: Adapting to his new role.
No longer in the shadows of one of the league’s all-time greats in Ricky Ray, Collaros will have an opportunity to instill his own reputation across the league.
Step one of the process, however, is trying to implant himself as one of the leaders of the Ticats’ locker room
“I think there is definitely a sense of urgency and responsibility. I don’t want to show up somewhere and there are cameras and you are a letdown,” he said.
“So there is definitely a sense of urgency to make sure I’m getting the right amount of work in everyday, the right amount of reps when it comes down to throwing or foot work and in knowing the playbook as well.”
Collaros is fully aware that developing into a locker room leader isn’t something that happens overnight.
But as a quarterback, he’s also aware that there might be some extra pressure on him to develop into one a little sooner rather than later.
“I guess the obvious answer is yes, there will be more pressure, but I think the way you deal with pressure is being prepared. That’s my job and on me and I’ll be prepared.”