We may have seen the future of the CFL last week when several young guns got an opportunity to audition for quarterback jobs due to injuries and promptly lit it up.
The best of the young guns was, somewhat fittingly, a Texas boy named Bo Levi Mitchell who started for the Calgary Stampeders. Mitchell shot out the lights in Winnipeg and put on a football clinic that was reminiscent of former Stamp quarterback Jeff Garcia in his famous Labor Day debut in the mid-90s.
It would be foolish of me to call Mitchell an instant star but early indications are Bo knows how to win football games. I would guess he may complicate matters when the Ottawa RedBlacks get to pillage the rosters of other CFL teams. Right now I would hang Drew Tate and Kevin Glenn out to dry instead of this kid because I believe Bo has a big upside.
The Toronto Argonauts were forced to start backup quarterback Zach Collaros against the tough BC Lions. Collaros is a young guy who is a household name in his parents’ living room.
He was expected to react to the BC Lions about as well as a slower-than-required gazelle reacts to Serengeti lions. Both situations are expected to be swift and merciless slaughters, but Collaros owned the Lions in the game.
Collaros was fearless, mobile and he tested the Lions many times with his arm. He earned a lot more attention from the Ottawa management after his debut as a starter and could seriously complicate matters for a team like Toronto at the expansion draft.
Saskatchewan used backup quarterback Drew Willy in their game against Hamilton and he also threw three touchdown passes like the other two young guns did in their games. However I believe the Riders are a balanced enough team to make both him and starter Darian Durant better at their jobs, so Willy may not be a lock as a future RedBlack.
Most of the teams have gone on summer vacation for Week 6 in the 2013 schedule, but the struggling Edmonton Eskimos host the struggling Hamilton Tiger Cats on Friday night. The two teams have been huge disappointments this year and both would really like to win a game before they take a mid-summer break.
Eskimo fans were incensed by a last-minute goal-line decision they felt kept them from victory in their game against Montreal. The call was good but the coaching was horrific when Edmonton lined up in a shotgun and handed off to a confused tailback for a loss on the next and last play of the game.
This same coach-firing play was made infamous by Montreal in a last-minute loss earlier this season.
Hamilton has a huge injury problem this year that has wiped out their secondary among other disasters. ‘Cat quarterback Henry Burris has performed incredibly well under heavy fire because he has taken a beating behind center, yet he leads the league in passing yardage. A healthy Ti-Cat team would mean a lot to Hank, including his own continued good health. That said, I think Hamilton wins this game.
The only other game of the weekend takes place on Monday when BC hosts Winnipeg. BC looked absolutely brutal against Toronto and will sport a West Coast Douglas Fir-sized chip on their shoulders in their game against the Bombers.
The Lions are tough at home and the Bombers are a brutal football team again this year.
An angry Lion team at home against a terrible Bomber team potentially led by a guy who has never started in the CFL? I seriously doubt whether presumptive Winnipeg quarterback starter Max Hall will enjoy the success of the aforementioned young guns in this column. His game success will be measured by simple survival, not victory.