CFL QBs in 2021

It's been a tough year for quarterbacks so far.

Falling stars:

  • Trevor Harris loses his starting job in EDM, now there is talk of them trading him.
  • Bo Levi having his worst year ever in CAL.
  • Masoli has not regained his previous form yet in HAM, and both he and D.Evans have missed time due to injury.
  • Adams in MTL just got 6-gamed.
  • Nichols in OTT has somehow both lost his starting job and gotten injured. D.Davis also injured.
  • Arbuckle in TOR has been uneven, then hurt, then lost his starting role and now potentially on the trading block.
  • Fajardo in SSK seems to be going through a bit of a sophomore jinx, and has taken to lashing out at both teammates and fans.

That would be seven of the nine presumed starters, all struggling in various ways.

Still on top: Michael Reilly has been having a good year after ending 2019 injured and out of the playoffs.

Comeback of the year: Collaros is playing some of the best football of his career, 12 months out from most people believing he was done. May finally get the MOP to go along with last year's Grey Cup ring.

That's just two of nine, meeting or exceeding expectations.

The Replacements
Is anyone really excited if the next generation turns out to be: Cornelius Taylor, Jake Maier, David Watford, Matthew Schiltz, MacBeth and Caleb Evans? You never know. There could be a gem or two in that crowd. In fairness, Dane Evans should also be in this group and many are excited about him.


Good analysis.

Some of this no doubt is contributing to the lower scoring games we have seen across the CFL this year. Most of the Falling Star QBs have dealt with injuries and this has definitely affected the quality and excitement level of the games this year.

I have to be honest here.
This season has been nothing byt crap football.
There are a number of reasons, QB ineptitude and injuries are just one of them.
Teams had to essentially build two completely new rosters with the missed season, opt-outs, one-year deals, retirements, etc.
Players who haven't played in 18 months being beyond "rusty" and well into "extremely corroded".
A swath of soft-tissue injuries (6 Achilles tears in one day) as a result of players not being in "game shape" for training camp.
National rookies who haven't played since 2019 (if they were in USports).
Ageing veterans.
The complete lack of pre-season games.
The complete lack of pretty much ANY physical play (blocking, one-on-one OL/DL, blocking sleds, practicing in actual pads, etc) during practice.
The complete lunacy of League officiating.

I used to watch every CFL game I could, but this year the football has been close to un-watchable. It's not only up here, there have been quite a few stinkers in the NFL too.


I agree. Somehow though I still end up needing to watch. Like a cheesy soap opera. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


Don't get me wrong, I still watch the games, but I'm not nearly invested in them as I used to be. Maybe because of the dismal play of the Ticats, maybe because of pandemic fatigue.
I'm not gonna lie, the lack of transparancy by the League and their bush-league fining of Davis for a completely legal hit kinda grates on my nerves.


You are spot on. Just watched the Bombers / Elks and it was terrible. One descent throw from Cornelius to Ellingson was the only highlight for Edmonton. Crap game and a waste of time.

The QBs kind of look on a downward spiral after future HOFers Calvilo, Ray and Burris retired.
BLM has been mostly consistent(except early this year)
Reilly's team has, Lions have been a bust.
Zach has not played a complete season in 4 years.
Nichols was always subpar, just on a good team, the peg...RBs showed his lack of talent.
VA Masolli & Harris inconsistent.
The others are not established long enough.

This year is boring because games are mostly predictable. Underdog rarely shows up.
NFL much better, more scoring, more story lines etc.
A lot of the qualities CFL fans used to brag about CFL having and NFL NFL appears to have and CFL is missing.
Got to get offenses on track.

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This is number one. The other points are valid too, but this above all else. No contact, no pads practice all year.

This has got to go. Unfortunately it will probably be the opposite as the years go by. There will be less and less practice. Practicing costs money and doesn't make any money. Practicing will be phased out eventually and replaced with more games. I can see a day when there is a 3-4 day cycle: 1 or 2 days off, 1 day film and walkthrough, 1 day game, repeat twice a week.

The football will drop in quality, but most fans don't care about that. They just want more football. When your number 1 revenue source becomes television, your sport becomes a TV show first and a game second. You can't have a successful TV show watched only by the diehard fans. You have to have the casuals, the casuals have to outnumber the diehards 5 or 10 to 1 to generate enough numbers to bring in the millions. This is true for any sport, and the casuals don't know and never will know good football from bad so proper practice becomes redundant.

Merch aside, ANY league only makes money when it plays games. From a financial standpoint, practicing is a non-productive endeavor.

Auto racing is already ruined by this phenomenon. It was the first TV sport to go that way since testing (auto racings form of padded practice) is so ridiculously expensive, they banned it almost completely and added 5 or 6 races to the calendar. So the teams show up to the race not really knowing the best ways to set up their cars. It doesn't matter that the casual TV fans don't have the slightest clue to tell good racing from bad. As long as the pretty cars go round and round and pass each other a lot it's a TV show. There hasn't been a really proper good F1 race since 2009 but the 'sport' is more popular than ever.

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Back in the day , NFL cuts would have flooded into the CFL . With Covid , NFL teams are hanging on to more players as insurance for breakouts . CFL teams are doing the same .
In 1960 the Cats weren't a very good team (4 - 10) under Jim Trimble . The NFL pipeline brought us Henley, Kelly . and Sutherin to start the re-build to the Grey Cup appearances in 1961 , 62 , 63 , 64 , 65 , and 1967 .

Pat Lynch (the old dude)


Current free agent Zach Evans seems to agree with you.

“I played in that time where you had [Anthony] Calvillo, you had Ricky Ray, you had guys that were franchise quarterbacks that, you know what, they’ll never leave. That’s just who they are. They want to live and die in their uniforms. Right now, I don’t feel like we’re seeing that,” Evans bemoaned in an appearance on The Sportscage in Regina.

“In the end, there’s only two quarterbacks that have done anything in this league: Mike Reilly and Bo Levi [Mitchell]. They’re the only ones that have taken it to that next step to win a Grey Cup and do the things that they need to do.”

Other quarterbacks, like Zach Collaros, Cody Fajardo and Vernon Adams Jr, just aren’t at the same level in the eyes of the eight-year CFL veteran ...

Funny that he didn't include his ex-teammate Burris in that elite club from the time he played. He then goes on to criticize Bo.

‘I don’t know if I want to call him a choker’: former all-star Zack Evans doesn’t believe Bo Levi Mitchell would ‘die for the team’

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Seems like there's a LOT of "former players" weighing-in on things this year...

2022 Quarterback Carousel: Preview

These CFL quarterbacks are set to become free agents in February 2022

Highlights: Collaros, Macbeth, and the entire HAM QB room.

I would add either one of Harris or VAJ to that list

Things are definitely off this year with offences. I agree the new rules on practices and cap on coaches are part of the problem.

Disagree on casual fans watching regardless...mainly because there aren't many casual CFL fans. Either you're a fan or your not.

In my experience, when there's a good exciting game, I'll hear people comment on it to me. At the same time, when there's a bunch of stinkers, I'll have people ask me why I bother watching the CFL.

If the CFL is to sustain and grow, the product has to be quality. After enough bad games, I even find myself asking if I feel like coming to the next game or renewing ST.

Every year Ottawa would be sub-par and George Brancato used to air lift a bunch of new players in and be successful.

I painfully remember being at the 1982 Ottawa @ Hamilton playoff game. Ottawa was 5-11 that year and came into Hamilton for the Eastern semi and took the win.
Skip Walker left, Skip Walker right. Ticats could not stop him.

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I was there too. That was truly brutal.

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253 yards rushing in that game!

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Not me Steve. I still get all giddy like a little kid on gameday. I don't care if the final score was 6-3. My eyes can't look away from the Black & Gold.


Is this you, K?


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