TORONTO -- What do Adrian McPherson, Mike Reilly and Quinton Porter have in common?
It’s not that difficult to figure out, but in case you haven’t yet, they’re all career backup quarterbacks with a chance to take the next step in their respective careers.
The key word in that sentence, however, is chance.
Highlights: Backup Pivots
While they don't get much action, Adrian McPherson, Mike Reilly and Quinton Porter certainly make good use of their time when they do get a chance on the field. Check out some of their best plays.
» McPherson Strikes for TD
» Reilly Zings One in for 6 Points
» Porter Seals it in '11 ESF
» McPherson Plunges in for TD
» Reilly Finds Moore for Score
Both McPherson and Reilly are set to become free agents on Feb. 15, but there is still a possibility they remain on with their current clubs in Montreal and BC respectively.
While it’s unfair to speculate what path they might take as we inch closer and closer to the noon deadline in 30 days time, we can at least glance over to their current situations to see what might prompt them to either stay or go.
In Montreal, McPherson faces free agency after completing his fifth season learning the Canadian game behind one of the all-time greats in Anthony Calvillo.
The 29-year-old Bradenton, FL. native has shown flashes of being a successful starter, but still remains unproven.
Throughout his five years in the CFL, McPherson has yet to throw more than 94 passes in a season and has seen his playing time decrease immensely over the past two years, throwing just 43 passes in 2011, followed by a mere 31 this past season.
Safe to say, there are certainly pros and cons to playing behind a player of Calvillo’s stature.
4,900 KM west of Montreal in BC, Reilly has quickly shot up the backup ranks and is now knocking on the door of becoming a full-time starter.
While his experience might ultimately be his achilles heel – he’s thrown just 77 total passes over three seasons with the Lions – Reilly also has been the beneficiary of playing behind one of the league’s best passers in Travis Lulay.
Reilly’s shining moment arrived this past season, as he took advantage of a Lulay injury to strut his stuff, completing 52 of his 75 passes for 682 yards and four touchdowns in only two weeks of action.
He also managed to register one win and a loss during that span.
Porter faces a much different scenario. On Tuesday, the Tiger-Cats released the 25-year-old, allowing him to get a head start on finding a new home under centre in the CFL.
It’s unsure whether or not he’ll be able to do so, but if he is going to break through as a legitimate starter, his time appears to be now.
Already 30 years old, Porter has spent the last five seasons bouncing up and down on the Ticats’ depth chart, at one point even being heralded as their pivot of the future.
It’s still possible that he retains that title, but the question still remains – with who?
In fact, the same question can be asked for all three passers.
Teams such as Montreal, Toronto, BC, Calgary, Hamilton and Saskatchewan all appear to be set under centre for the foreseeable future.
As a result, it really leaves Edmonton and Winnipeg as the only true viable options for McPherson, Reilly and Porter to earn starting jobs.
Edmonton’s QB situation remains cloudy, as incumbents Kerry Joseph ,Matt Nichols and Steven Jyles were unable to propel the Esks very far offensively.
In Winnipeg, while the Bombers are large in number at quarterback with Buck Pierce, Joey Elliott, Alex Brink and Justin Goltz, GM Joe Mack has stated he will look to improve his quarterback situation by any means necessary – even if it means going external.
So which QB has the inside track to a starting job in the CFL? Only time will tell, but for now, it’s anyone’s game.
|2||Blue Bombers||DE||Mulumba, Andy|
|3||Alouettes via EDM||LB||Edem, Mike|