July 24, 2019

The Weekly Say: Which backup has made the most of his opportunity?

The Canadian Press

TORONTO — It’s quickly becoming the year of the backup in the Canadian Football League.

More than half of the league’s opening day starters have gone down, including Bo Levi Mitchell, Zach Collaros and Antonio Pipkin, among others.

One’s misfortune has been another’s opportunity, however, as several second-string quarterbacks have risen to the occasion.

In Montreal, Vernon Adams Jr. has won three straight starts, putting the Alouettes back in contention in the CFL East.

What looked like a potential time share in Regina has become Cody Fajardo‘s job to lose, as the Riders’ pivot has done damage with both his arm and legs ever since an injury to Zach Collaros.

And when many thought the Stamps were in trouble after Bo Levi Mitchell got hurt, Nick Arbuckle has emerged as the next top quarterback prospect in the CFL.

With the door wide open for new, up-and-coming quarterbacks, which backup has made the most of his opportunity?

More in The Weekly Say:

Which backup quarterback has made the most of his opportunity?

Vernon Adams Jr. has led the Alouettes to three straight wins and currently a playoff spot (The Canadian Press)

Matthew Cauz: All three have been pleasant surprises but I’m going with Fajardo, who has a chance to get the starting job when you consider the health issues with Collaros.

Jim Morris: I have to go with Arbuckle. I think Fajardo has proven he can be a starter in the league but the Riders probably had that in mind when they signed him. I doubt many people gave Calgary much of a chance when  Bo Levi Mitchell got hurt, but Arbuckle has shown he can be a CFL quarterback.

Marshall Ferguson: Adams has had more success but as an individual Arbuckle has done the most thus far.

Chris O’Leary: Vernon Adams. There’s no way that the Als don’t let him continue to start once Antonio Pipkin gets healthy, right?

Don Landry: Which quarterback has most likely won his team’s starting job going forward? That would make it a tie, in my eyes, between Adams and Fajardo.

Fan Poll
Which backup QB has made the most of his opportunity?
Vernon Adams Jr.
Nick Arbuckle
Cody Fajardo

Are the Lions and Duron Carter a long-term fit?

Now with his fourth CFL team, what are Duron Carter‘s long-term prospects in BC? (Jimmy Jeong/CFL.ca)

Ferguson: I honestly don’t think so. Little in this league is long term and the connection with Reilly just isn’t there. Reilly is staying, I’m not sure Duron will for long.

Morris: I’m not sure he will last to the end of the season. I have heard rumblings that some of his own teammates would like to see him go.

Cauz: Hard to say that any player who has been on three teams in the last two years has a long term future anywhere. Even harder when this particular player is averaging less than nine yards a reception. Duron isn’t gonna get angry at on me on Twitter, is he?

O’Leary: I’d say that at 1-5, very few people have stability on that Lions roster right now. We’ve been talking about the targets to completions ratio all season. All of the other receivers that are targeted the way Carter is — Speedy Banks, Bryan Burnham, Greg Ellingson, the list goes on — have almost double the production that Carter does. If things get worse in BC I would think everything will start to be re-evaluated.

Landry: I’d say no. That’s simply because history has shown us that he has not had a long term future anywhere, for one thing. Beyond that, with Bryan Burnham in the fold and with Lemar Durant and Shaq Johnson emerging, and Ryan Lankford now on the roster, it’s going to be harder and harder to see him getting the target numbers he likes.

Fan Poll
Has Duron Carter found a long-term landing spot in BC?

Who’s more exciting with the ball in his hands: Lucky Whitehead or Brandon Banks?

Brandon Banks is coming off a three-touchdown performance for the Ticats (Johany Jutras/CFL.ca)

Landry: Banks, for the time being. But Whitehead has the ability to change that perception as this season carries on. He’s a little faster and a little bigger, tools that might lead him to being called the CFL’s most dynamic player if he adds to his body of work the way I think he can.

Ferguson: Lucky has been great but Banks’ longevity and continuous explosive play production against schemes and extra defenders amazes me weekly.

Morris: I think Brandon Banks is still more of an all-around player.

O’Leary: I’ll take Speedy, because his resume is longer. Both are a ton of fun to watch.

Cauz: Brandon Banks. I typed that in 1.6 seconds and if I could have answered that any quicker I would have. NOTHING against Whitehead but Banks does it in every possible way. He makes a missed field goal the most exciting play in football.

Fan Poll
Which player is more exciting with the ball in his hands?
Brandon Banks
Lucky Whitehead