Hate to say "I told you so..."

Well, under very difficult circumstances, hats off to Chris Leak. He managed to keep some crucial drives alive when AC went down, and helped engineer two TDs and manage the clock. Also, kudos to Wittaker - welcome to the CFL, young man! While the Als were still "pass happy" in the 1st half, the running game got on track, due to circumstances, in the 2nd. One piece of advice to Chris - careful about premature "Gator" celebrations! That one came back to bite you - take a lesson from that!

Well I have been saying for the last two years that the Als' coaching staff needs to groom the heir apparent to AC, whose career is coming to an end (at some point!). Let's face it, and in spite of the article on AC in the Gazette yesterday, he is one injury away from the end of that glorious career. Even AC committed the errors all young QBs do when they he was breaking in. Fortunately for him, he had Hall of Famer Tracy Ham on the sidelines to mentor him. Well, Adrian, Chris, and Ricky can learn valuable lessons from AC!

Some could argue that this is the best way - make or break! However, I would say that the QB position is arguably the most difficult to master in team sports. There must be obvious talent, but the QB is called upon to react in split-second situations, make quick (including secondary and tertiary) reads, run a balanced attack, come up with alternate O schemes, run at opportune moments, execute, keep the opposing D guessing, be a leader of men, motivate his team... A tall order for some young new guy breaking in. All of this, I would argue, takes time to develop. Well, the coaching staff has no choice now - they have to develop their young QBs, unless, or course, the injury to AC is not that serious and he can be expected to return soon. Even in the best scenario, i.e. bruised ribs, this takes time to heal. Anything worse and he could be out for many games. Let's hope for some good news today.

Silver lining. . . at least it happened now, as opposed to happening at the end of the season, when we'd have to go into the playoffs with an untested QB. Winnipeg found out how that turns out when they had to use Dinwiddie in a Grey Cup game, and of course all Als' fans remember (even if we all try our level best not to) Ted White in a playoff game.

So now Leak and Santos (and McPherson if he gets back before AC does) will have a chance to show us what they're capable of doing running our offence. . . and the experience they gain should be invaluable.

While AC is our leader and a for-sure hall of famer, and while I do not like to see him injured, it will be interesting to see how Leak and Santos perform; at this point I am not overly concerned, I am reasonably confident that we are in pretty good shape at the QB position even with AC on the shelf.

I like what we have in Leak, Santos, and (if healthy) McPherson. Obviously having AC out of the lineup is a huge blow, but unlike during the Ted White years, we actually have viable backup options (not just one but multiple capable backups!). I'm sure the coaches will tell Leak to put a lid on embarrassing celebrations going forward, and I like this young man's skill set.

One thing Leak will have to learn is how to throw intermediate or deep balls from the pocket. Like any young QB with mobility, he got happy feet a bit too often last night and took off instead of progressing through his reads. But he will have the benefit of two full weeks as the starter. Trestman and Milanovich will also be able to spend time devising the optimal set of play packages for Chris Leak, not Anthony Calvillo.

Good point about Ted White. MadJack.

I would say that all of the backup QBs we have now are better than him. They will all have to get meaningful reps with the 1st team. We have certainly seen over the last two seasons some flashes of brilliance from both Adrian and Chris, but the true value of a QB can only be measured over time; consistency is the key.

As Discipline has pointed out, the Als' O has essentially been an "AC" offence. The O coaches will have to devise new schemes that will better suit the talents and abilities of Adrian and Chris - that is a tall order. The good news here is that the Als have seasoned veterans at virtually every position. I'm sure they will be able to adapt.

One final thought. Jim Popp, to me, is the football equivalent to Sam Pollock. I don't know how he does it, but Jim seems to have a "nose" for talent. Professionial sports (especially a contact sport like football) is a young man's game and recruitment of good players is key to fielding a competitive team each year. So, Jim Popp, congrats on your ability to find talented roster players - keep up your good work!