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November 1, 2019

Berg vs. Ferg: Could a two-QB system be an advantage?

Peter McCabe/CFL.ca

Berg vs. Ferg is back for 2019 as columnists Pat Steinberg and Marshall Ferguson debate over some of the league’s most contentious storylines. This week’s question: Is a two-quarterback system advantageous?

TORONTO — Two weeks ago, Pat Steinberg and Marshall Ferguson debated whether the Bombers’ run-heavy formula with Chris Streveler at quarterback could succeed in the playoffs.

Ever since Matt Nichols suffered a season-ending injury, Winnipeg’s quarterback situation has been a hot topic around the league, as a contending team with a deep roster looks overcome adversity en route to a Grey Cup.

The emergence of Zach Collaros adds a much-needed dynamic to the Bombers, who may opt to start the long-time veteran after a strong performance against the Stampeders. Either way, expect Streveler to make an impact.

A dual quarterback system seldom works in the CFL. It’s a rare approach to the game, especially on Grey Cup contending teams. But in this situation, could the duo of Collaros and Streveler actually be advantageous for the Bombers?

For Ferguson, the unique skill-set of Streveler and the steady hand of Collaros could cause issues for opponents in the post-season. Steinberg, on the other hand, believes in the tried and true one-quarterback method.

The debate is on in the final Berg vs. Ferg of the regular season

BERG VS. FERG: LAST TIME’S RESULTS

BergvsFerg_Twitter_Facebook

Last time, Berg and Ferg debated over Trevor Harris and the Esks.

» View previous Berg vs. Ferg

Poll Result: Does Trevor Harris make the Eskimos a contender?

Last Week’s Poll:

Ferguson: No (86%)

Steinberg: Yes (14%)

 

BERG (11-14): A TRIED AND TRUE APPROACH

Pat_Steinberg_2016Pat Steinberg, CFL.ca
@Fan960Steinberg

There’s nothing wrong with having a quarterback tandem heading into the playoffs. But when it comes down to it, if I were a fan, a coach, or anyone in between, I’m going to feel a whole lot better knowing I have my guy, no questions asked. Heading into the most important two or three games of a season, having a bona fide number one quarterback isn’t always possible, but it’s definitely desirable.

It’s not unlike hockey come the post-season. Sure, it’s nice to have a successful goaltending tandem, but when it comes down to it, a team would much rather roll with the same guy on a nightly basis. And, much like the goaltending analogy, usually when a team uses two quarterbacks it’s out of necessity and not desire.

If we look at 2019’s playoff teams, something fairly dire would have to happen for Cody Fajardo, Bo Levi Mitchell, Vernon Adams Jr., Dane Evans, or Trevor Harris to come off the field. The only ways I can see it would be through injury or really poor play. The teams in question would love to avoid both those eventualities.

So that leaves Winnipeg, a team that has already ran into one of those issues above. Matt Nichols is done for the season, which has left the Bombers in a spot where they have to decide between Zach Collaros, Chris Streveler, or a combination of both. In an ideal circumstance, though, Winnipeg would be starting Nichols with maybe a little Streveler change of pace sprinkled in.

The Bombers are in a spot where a tandem approach might be their best-case scenario. I’m not being critical of that at all. Instead, I’m suggesting the ideal approach wouldn’t be tandem but a proven number one pivot. I guess we’ll see starting next weekend.

FERG (14-11): MULTI-DIMENSIONAL IS ALWAYS GOOD

Marshall_Ferguson_2016

Marshall Ferguson, CFL.ca
@TSN_Marsh

One starting quarterback is great, but does two with a more varied skill set give a team a better chance to advance? I believe so.

History is against me in this one as a dual quarterback system has often been utilized and not resulted in playoff success, but I believe the situation in Winnipeg this year – if utilized – could be more effective than most people believe.

This hypothetical requires Zach Collaros to be effective in the majority of snaps (75% at the least). Without Collaros managing the game as a true veteran quarterback of his ilk should, nothing else matters for Winnipeg. IF Collaros is able to operate from within the pocket and complete a high percentage of passes, the second head of this monster could be the game changer.

Chris Streveler proved through his starting opportunity this season that he is not – yet – equipped to run what most would consider a traditional CFL passing offence.

That’s fine. Let Collaros do it.

Regardless of full time duty struggles, Streveler remains the most dangerous short yardage and creative play design threat in the CFL with his unique size, speed and skill set.

Second and four or less, third and one, Streveler is the definition of a Swiss army knife and could make a play here and a play there that changes the Bombers playoff games. I believe he will get his chance to do just this, the question becomes can he execute those very specific assignments and turn a limited role into a huge impact?

If he does, in combination with Collaros working the way he did last Friday in his return to playing lead man, the Bombers’ two quarterbacks should offer enough variety to cause even the CFL’s best defensive coordinator’s headaches.

DON’T SIT ON THE FENCE!

While both sides are pretty convincing, someone’s got to take it. Whose argument convinced you the most?

You can vote for this week’s winner both on CFL.ca and Twitter. Meanwhile, continue the conversation by tweeting @Fan960Steinberg and @TSN_Marsh.

The winner will be revealed in the following week’s Berg vs. Ferg.

Fan Poll
Can a two-quarterback system be an advantage?
Yes
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No
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