Ferguson: A case study of Taylor Cornelius

When the Edmonton Elks entered training camp their quarterback depth chart seemed more chaotic than any other team in the CFL. Status quo for Chris Jones’ rosters as the head coach looks for the smallest of advantages, even at the most important position in the game.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.cfl.ca/2022/09/30/ferguson-a-case-study-of-taylor-cornelius/

I think the big reason Jones likes him is his size. Although I was one of the detractors when Arbuckle was traded, all I can say right now is "come next season is Arbuckle in anyone's plans as a #1?" On that front I can't argue with the Elk coach.

As for his development, he hasn't had the benefit of developing behind a veteran QB so we'll see. McAdoo, I have to give him some credit which is rare, has had success with young QB's. Did anyone have more success with Franklin, including Maas? With Bridge? With Fajardo? Reilly in his 2nd year became the QB he is with him. So, reluctantly, I have to give the Elks some leeway with Cornelius. If they continue to be patient with him & Ford over the next 2 years under contract, it may reap some big rewards. The physical tools are there. If I were the coach, I probably would try to bring a veteran in to help out.

Really honestly, look at last years throwing stats. It shows the childlike simplicity of our former coaches offence. Throw to a spot.

Because of total inexperience and lack of any real meaningful coaching any progress Cornelius made last year was on his own......

It showed the start of this year and I will disagree with Ferguson vigorously in his assessment of this year so far.

  • changes in personnel nearly every week means KISS offence. (Keep It Simple Stupid.)
    -those same changes in personnel mean mistakes and lots of them.
    -although the Elks have run the ball more consistently than any other team we never had a serious run game until Brown showed up.
    -that means extra pressure on the QB on throwing downs playing behind what is basically a first year O-line.
    -injuries have taken away his best receiving weapons at some point this season.

So what is happening is they are now adding complexity to the offence game by game. They have a meaningful run game which takes away pressure and changes what defences have to do to try to stop the Elks.
I see improvement in Cornelius game to game and I see him building confidence as well. I like how he is turning into the leader of the offence.
I would bet he will spend off season time working out with some of his key receivers this off season and the Elks will be far more competitive next year.

He’s fun to watch. I like him. Except tomorrow.