Cato vs. The QBs

In three starts, he has outperformed each of the other QBs under center: last year's Grey Cup champion (BLM), Drew Willy, and the QB of the Grey Cup finalists (Collaros).

All of the above quarterbacks are years older than Cato, in their late '20s having spent several seasons as backups in the CFL before taking the reins of their respective teams. Cato is 23, just three games into his CFL career, and hasn't had the benefit of working with top football minds like Austin, Milanovich, and Hufnagel. And he is just methodically getting it done.

Amazing. :thup: :thup:

There is no ceiling for Cato. Just needs to stay out of harms way. He dodged a bullet going up the middle for that first down. He can't do that. It is to his advantage not to take any contact and for the most part he excells at it. Last night our Oline was getting punked especially in the first half and Hamilton ended the night with ZERO sack.

Dear Rakeem. There is no shame to going down before danger arrives. Your team and your daughters need you more than any first down and it only takes ONE dirty player to end your career. The CFLPA and the Commish may tell you they protect QB but your worth half a game's pay to them

Cato nous montre qu'il est un quart de haut niveau. Si on pouvait en douter avant la partie d'hier, 3 parties solides, ce n'est pas du hasard. C'est du talent, de l'intelligence et du travail. Cato a tout ça.

À son gabarit, Cato doit faire attention à ne pas prendre de coups. Il en subira assez dans sa carrière sans s'y exposer en plus. Je crois qu'on a vu à plusieurs occasions qu'il en est conscient. Déjà, il n'hésite pas à se débarrasser du ballon s'il n'a pas d'autre issue. Un jeune quart qui force peu le jeu, c'est beaucoup de maturité pour un athlète de 23 ans.

Pour ma part, je n'ai pas vu de quart recrue jouer avec cet aplomb depuis Ricky Ray. Je suis donc très optimiste que si Cato demeure en santé, il va avoir une brillante carrière. Espérons que ce sera à Montréal, et pour longtemps.

Yeah, I agree, LeStaf. The last QB I saw come into the CFL and be immediately productive at such a young age was Ricky Ray. Let's hope the resemblance continues. :thup:

If S.J. and Lewis don't drop those balls, he's probably over 300 yards passing last night. :cowboy:

Even for those of us who followed Cato to the Als, the story that has unfolded from the passport fiasco that kept him out of rookie camp to the amazing injury string for three QBs with CFL experience (obviously done in by the WV Mafia) to his taking over as Generalissimo of the Montreal offense in six weeks , give or take, is simply mind-blowing.

Today I admit that I really had no idea just how talented Rakeem is, and I regularly traveled to West Virginia to watch he and his Herd mates move from a ho-hum offense to a point scoring monster. The Gray Cup is attainable here if the coaches do just a couple of things - install a better protection scheme to keep the rush ends off Cato - and coach the Als players to avoid the 20 or so stupid penalties that disrupt continuity on both sides of the ball.

And Higgins needs to loosen up, let down what hair he has, and do the unexpected every know and again. Cato has established that he can be effective in the league, so Popp owes him a Shuler - because Cato wants to keep the fun in the game.

I already said I was already all-in on Cato before this game.. he is the one we've been looking for.
Reading the play, accuracy, poise.. it was clear he had it.

That said, vs. WIN I was quite disappointed with his running.. he often failed to make the first rusher miss, he fell multiple times on his own (not even a conscious decision to go down to protect himself), and didn't show a lot of speed either failing to run for a 1st down late in the game when it looked like he should have had the time to get there.

Well he did a much better job vs. HAM. He did shed the first rusher on a consistent basis, once on his own goal line, and made a nice run with some nice dekes and then a slide feet first before taking contact that was beautiful (although it was called back on holding penalty).
He also saw a wide open field on the right side at one point and just took the 20 free yards until forced out of bounds.

That was the aspect of his game I was hoping to see an improvement in, and he delivered.. against a solid D as well.

He scared me though when he took that big hit in the middle of the field on one of those runs, was very relieved he got back up. I'm sure that left a mark, glad he has the extra week for that.. and to eager to see how much the offensive playbook can grow in the those 2 weeks in preparation for the next game.
I haven't looked forward to games like this in the few years now, fun times.

Let's hope he extends instead of ending up like Printers.

Last time I got this excited watching a CFL QB, was when AC tore apart the poor Ti-Cats 42-8 in Hamilton.

Trestman was the coach and it was in 2009.

The excitement is back! :rockin:

Let's hope, but he strikes me as very different from Printers, more mature.

I'd be ok with losing him to the NFL if he enters by the front door like Moon, Flutie or Garcia but I just hope we don't lose him for a practice roster , scout team QB job. I'm sure if he continues to play this well, later in the season or late fall. Popp is going to offer him a big raise/nice contract. Then he has to choose between 300k plus and an 90k practice roster spot.

Agreed. I hope he understands that he's probably better off creating a consistent and elite profile in the CFL before testing the NFL waters than hanging on to a PR spot on an NFL team with no real hope of moving up.

Let's assume that Cato is and will be the #1 QB for years to come. Everything we've seen so far indicates that this is a possible scenario - and an exciting one too.

I'd like to shift the focus to the decisions that lay ahead regarding the team's other quarterbacks and their positions on the depth chart. While I am thrilled with Cato's play thus far, he is a 170 lb. toothpick - and you just know that the rest of the league's headhunters (DE's, LB's and Blitzing backs) are going to try to knock Cato out of a game. As great as he can be, his smallish stature dictates the need for a game-ready backup.

Here's how I see it playing out as the season unfolds, and as injured players come off the reserve lists:

#1 Cato
#2 Lefevour (Capable to run a CFL offense, but will he want to stay and be #2 to someone 5 years younger than him?)
#3 Marsh (Best short yardage QB on the roster)
#4 Bridge (Move to Practice Roster - he needs further development to ever reach #2)
Crompton and Manley - released.

Your thoughts?

I agree with that future depth chart, except that Marsh may not want to languish behind LeFevour. In the offseason, assuming Cato gets his raise and commits to us for at least another year, I try re-sign both LeFevour and Marsh and tell them that the no. 2 job is wide open, a fair competition. Whoever performs best in training camp will win the spot and the other will be the no. 3. If both stay, great. If only one stays, then Jim will have to go looking for some good QB depth, because Bridge is not ready and I want no part of Crompton or Manley...

I really don’t see him getting a legit shot in the NFL… already holding our breath that he doesn’t get hurt taking hits in the CFL, can’t imagine an NFL behemoth getting a good shot on him and Cato getting up. That kind of thinking will keep most NFL teams away no matter what he does here IMO.

If he does get a shot, it would likely be a team willing to take a gamble… and he’d likely never get much of an opportunity unless lightning strikes as it did here and all his competition goes down at the same time.
Indeed, I would hate to lose him only to go hold a clipboard in the NFL. Go there and start, else much better to stay here.

In the end this is a kid who never really had a home, he has a real shot to make one here… I hope that is how it plays out.
Would be another great story after the Calvillo era, which was another unlikely path to a great QB career in MTL. We should be so lucky.

As for future depth chart…
LeFevour’s style will only lead to more injuries as he gets older, not someone I think we could count on for a long stretch if Cato were to go down to a season-ending injury like in SASK. I’m fine with Marsh and Bridge. Crompton and Manley can go. If you want a 4th QB in the mix (whether #2,3,4), bring in someone new.

Presently, Rakeem Cato is the number 1 QB and,unless injured, he should remain the number 1.

With regards to Dan LeFevour, his season is done due to injury; I definitely don't expect him with the Als in 2016.

For the upcoming games and taking into account Tanner Marsh coming off the 6 game injured list after game 6 and Jonathan Crompton after game seven, the QB's should be,after game six:

Marsh- could always come off 6 game injured list before,since no big impact on SMS. Definitely a much better short yardage QB than Bridge,at least now.

After game 7, Crompton could replace Bridge,who could be added to injured list/

The QB's would then be:

Crompton. I will be surprised if he returns with the Als,after the 2015 season.


LeFevour elected to have his shoulder surgery done in Montreal rather than the U.S. and to remain with the team for the rest of the season.

I don`t think he would have done this without some sort of assurance from Popp that he figures in future plans.

I expect Marsh to be activated when his 6 games are up. As for Crompton I`m not so sure.

I love what Cato is doing but his slight build makes me very, very, nervous.

I think LeFevour will be back with us. Where else is he going to go? After two seasons in which he had season-ending surgery, his stock is pretty low. He’ll likely sign another one-year deal at backup money to prove he can stay healthy an entire season. Would be a good fit for both him and us.

What will come into play in the off season is money. Marsh is on his second contract. Crompton is on his first and likely about half the price Marsh is. Extending Cato will require quite a bit of CAP money probably between 250 and 300k, that's not going to be easy for Jim to find. Likely will mean the end of Hebert, Choosing between Elsworth and Wood and another 3 or 4 tough decisions. All that is assuming of course Cato wants to extend and continues to grow.

My thinking is, that both GMan and Richard suggest good options. Hopefuly the management will entice Cato to a good futures contract. Meanwhile,I am hoping that Cato will repeat the course of action that Calvillo took. He should be an occasional runner who will run when a playing situation dictates such. For example in the 2002 Grey Cup Alouette win, Calvillo ran only once and did this to make a very needed first down. I would give the 1-2yard efforts to Marsh. Bridge would likely be on the practice roster although there has to be some way for him to get playing reps. Where Crompton fits in this package will be decided by the management team. AS for LeFevour, his place in the QB system will be decided for the 2016 season.

I would move on from Bear Woods next year if Elsworth continues to play at a high level. I like Woods, but he just can't stay healthy...