If you listened closely on Tuesday morning when it was announced that the Winnipeg Blue Bombers had signed quarterback Zach Collaros to a three year extension keeping him through 2025, you could hear a variety of guttural reactions across the country.
Very similar trajectory for Cavillo. Terrible season with Hamilton in 1997,injuries also. Not much to look forward to. Went to Montreal, worked behind Tracy Ham for a couple years, then became starter. And the rest is history.
I don't think it was just WHERE Collaros landed but also WHEN he landed there. WPG started out 7-2 with Nichols starting and Streveler providing a very effective change of pace now and then. When Nichols went down, they went with Streveler who could be very effective but inconsistent. Over eight games they went 3-5 for a combined 10-7 record and had fallen from first to third in the West. During that time, I'm sure all players and coaches were doing whatever they could keep going with Streveler as their starter. All that time WPG was looking for a veteran starter and lucked out in getting Collaros. When he had to replace Streveler in week 20 against CGY, everyone was ready to whoop someone and played that way. That game could have gone either way. But when Collaros threw a TD pass to Darvin Adams after a Fran Tarkenton-like scramble I think the WPG team had their "yes we can!" moment and a (two-headed) monster was born. After the run to the Grey Cup. they were ready to do it again without Streveler.
If it had happened at another time, it may have not turned out that way.
MnBlueBomberFan, great comment.
You got that down. I remember thinking the same thing. Streveler was a beast on the run, somewhat inconsistent on passing. I chalked that up to jitters and the coaches working him into the system. I thought Collaros was a cheap insurance policy.
But, I'm glad I'm wrong, because he has been amazing to watch and a good guy.
He's seems really great with teammates and fans.
Just goes to show, maybe the system and chemistry around him allowed him to flourish. Kent Austin and Mike O'Shea are completely different coaches. Maybe that's what Zach needed.
I'm glad for him and the Bombers doing well. It's good for the league too.
Not to brag (ok actually I want to brag a little), but I quite thrilled when Zach joined. I wasn't a Nichols fan, but at least he won more consistently than Drew Willy or any of those before him. But when Nichols went down, and Streveler was thrust in the starting position, our team just went down, down. When we got Zach, all I remembered was the strong years he had early on and I didn't really know all his injury history, I just couldn't understand how we could get someone of his calibre. The rest of 2019 is history and he quickly became my favourite QB since Tom Clements. After 2021 - I now like him more than Clements. I'm not old enough to remember Kenny Ploen and Alex? Van Pelt.
Yeah, you're right. He was on the verge of greatness before. I think a lot of people thought he was damaged goods because of the seriousness of his injuries.
I know in my mind, when I said cheap insurance, I was thinking we really hadn't seen him put together a string of solid games after the injuries. I personally was wondering is he done, or will he be good again. I too thought he was better than Nichols, but just didn't know what would happen from the injuries he suffered.
He's been spectacular!
I don't know if you could choose any other player that benifited more from the lost season.
Myself, I had little expectation of Zach when he joined, but as the poster mentioned above he's moved into one of the best to play as a Bomber during my fan years - also Going back to Tommy.