- Free Agency
TORONTO – It’s been quite a year for Canadian quarterback Kyle Quinlan.
First, he wowed the nation with a resounding performance in a double overtime victory over Laval in the 47th Vanier Cup, cementing his place in CIS history and catching the eyes of CFL scouts as well.
Four months later, he was invited to CFL Evaluation Camp, hoping to impress the said scouts with his on-field play, as well as his testing abilities.
But they weren’t. At least not right away.
Kyle Quinlan By the Numbers
2011 CIS Stats: 5 GP, 99-153, 1,708 YDS, 13 TD, 2 INT
Quinlan was overlooked during May’s CFL Canadian Draft, prompting many to believe that his showing at E-Camp had forced his stock to drop.
Barely a week later, however, Quinlan was handed a lifeline when the Montreal Alouettes came calling to offer him his first professional contract.
One month later, the six-foot-three, 215 lbs. pivot was in Lennoxville, QC. at Als training camp.
Though he was facing an uphill in terms of cracking the team’s roster, he hoped to hone his skills while learning under several talented quarterback gurus in Anthony Calvillo and head coach Marc Trestman.
After two grueling weeks of camp, Quinlan was finally given the opportunity to show his stuff at the next level, being inserted into Montreal’s final pre-season game late in the fourth quarter.
“I was kind of on edge hoping that I would get in later on. Sure enough, (Marcus Brady) came around and said ‘you’re in,” said Quinlan shortly after Montreal’s loss to the Argonauts on Tuesday.
“I was pretty excited, it was good to get a chance to show the team what you can do and contribute in any way you can,” he added.
Though he only appeared in one series late in the fourth quarter, Trestman was impressed with what he saw from his young pivot.
“We were excited for him; Kyle didn’t look out of place throwing that ball, he made a beautiful big-time throw,” said Trestman.
“We’re excited for him, I’m sure he’s excited about going back (to McMaster), and trying to win another championship,” he added.
Quinlan finished his professional debut by completing two of his four passes for 45 yards.
Calvillo, meanwhile, also saw his first taste of pre-season action, completing seven of his 11 attempts for 55 yards.
The grizzled veteran is set to enter his 19th CFL season. Quinlan was just five years old when Calvillo played his first game in 1994.
The soon-to-be 40-year old indicated that while he was always there to offer Quinlan advice when needed, he hoped that he would be able to develop his own routine and methods himself.
“The one thing I try to do is let the coaches coach. I try to go do the things that I do every day; how I prepare how I conduct myself,” said Calvillo.
“When I was a young quarterback that’s what I would look at. Even though I don’t say a lot to them maybe, just to see the professionalism of practicing, of going through their reads and all that, I think they can take that away from the experience.”
Despite being released earlier today, Quinlan understands that this is only the beginning of what he hopes develops into a lengthy CFL career.
“I realize that there is a lot of stuff to work on, that’s why this situation was great,” he said.
“Now I can identify some things I need to work on and get better,” he added.
“My goal is to play in the CFL – definitely.”
The Alouettes also announced the following cuts on Thursday:
Reed Alexander Offensive line Non-import Calgary
Vance Cuff Defensive back Import Georgia
Chris Davis Receiver Import Florida State
Kyle Graves Quarterback Non-import Acadia
Julian Hartsell Defensive tackle Import Catawba
Felton Huggins Receiver Import Southeastern Louisiana
Dylan Hollohan Defensive back Non-import St.Francis Xavier
Travon Patterson Receiver Import Colorado
Quinton Richardson Cornerback Import Washington
Scott Riddle Quarterback Import Elon
Sidney Stewart Receiver Import Northwestern
C.J. Washington Defensive back Import Winston-Salem State
Jerod Zaleski Fullback Non-import Langley Rams (CJFL)