No Posts About Zabransky?

Do you guys think Zabransky will take over?

If so what does that mean for the highest paid player in the league Ricky Ray?

Don't quote me on this but I think here is where it gets interesting. Both Ray's and Zabransky's contracts are due up at the end of next season. One is going to ask for more money and one of them may be offered less. Ray and Maas are still the one two punch or are they? Maas I think sooner or later will go into a coaching spot, but when? or for who? Getting back to Zabransky; by watching him I see a lot of enthusiasm and determination and he wants to play/start. This is going to be a decision for the next GM/bench boss down the road. Like I said don't quote me on this info. Other than that I would like to see more of Zabransky. On the otherhand, perhaps Ray could go via trade? Comments anyone?

Ricky Ray has been one of the league's top QBs since he first broke into the CFL eight seasons ago, with two Grey Cup rings to show for his efforts. Making Ray the scapegoat for a poor O-line and questionable playcalling is both unfair to Ray and detrimental to the team. You let Ray walk this offseason and it will be a decision the organization will regret for years to come.

I like Zabransky's enthusiasm, but he has proven absolutely nothing. I think the reason fans are so into him is because his mobility makes the failures of Edmonton's offensive line less apparent: he's more capable of extending plays with his legs when the pocket collapses (which is pretty much every other play with this offensive unit). That's all well and good, but I'd hardly be pinning my hopes for the future on a QB who threw 0 TDs and 3 interceptions last night. Ray is still relatively young and has years of good football left in him.

Probably the best thing would be for Maas to retire, Zabransky to become the official no. 2, and Strasser to make an effort to use Zabransky during games on more than just short-yardage conversions (sort of like what the Eagles did and are doing with Michael Vick).

Discipline is spot on yet again Backer and all. :thup:

Also it would be prudent for the Eskies to recruit a third guy, talented yet young, to push BOTH Zabransky and Ray to keep them sharpening and sharp respectively and groom him. The search should start right NOW.

From what I have seen in the thin NFL ranks including the quarterbacks in this fine article by Vic Carucci:

[url=http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d819d35ed/article/cassel-heads-crop-of-qbs-who-must-perform-this-season]http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d8 ... his-season[/url]

I say stay away from any of these guys ending up cut too taking out the better ones on this list whom I think will remain in the NFL for the rest of their careers for years to come anyway as backups should they fail as current starters (i.e. Cassell, Cutler, Edwards, or Orton IMHO).

Otherwise I can't think of any names off-hand worth pursuing to find the next Lemon for example, but it's riskier to go back to the amateur ranks IMHO.

PaoloX; I always like to hear/read disciplineandpunish comments. :thup: Great football person for sure.

My thanks, gentlemen. I like the Eskimo forum because you have passionate fans who are knowledgeable about the game, but no unpleasant trolls or members who are so sensitive that they can't take any criticism of their team. Thank you for letting me discuss the Eskimos with you during what is undoubtedly a difficult year for Edmonton fans.

Couldn't have said it better myself :thup:

Zabransky is not ready to be a #1 QB at this point. He needs a stronger arm, he needs to tune his timing when it comes to throwing the ball (he was the one at fault for the INT in the endzone) right now he does a lot of running and shuck and jive, but what happens when a team learns to contain the guy? then you have to rely on his throwing abilities.

Ray is struggling because the OC and Ray are not on the same page. he needs an offense that works best for him and I think Strasser is not utilizing him the most.

Very well said. With most new or rusty QB's the passing takes time to get down.
With Strasser calling a pass play for Zabransky on 3rd and goal from the 2, I don't believe he can see what works best for any QB.

um... sort of.

Z isn't ready to be a #1, you're right, but it's not because he doesn't have a strong arm... his issues are a) understanding 'where to throw the ball' (often when trying put 'touch' on the ball - altering speed, arc and direction - a young qb ends up underthrowing it; and b) experience with respect to receiver preferences, route running and defensive reads. Until he gets up to speed in those aspects his passing game will suffer. As for containing him... Everyone knew that Damon Allen could and would run... and even so they couldn't always contain him. So if Z does his homework on the passing side, then his running will be even more dangerous.

Ray has been struggling because of pi$$ poor OLine work. I've said it before and I'll say it again that you can't judge RR or the OC when the OLine wasn't doing it's job. A new OLine coach comes in and there was already improvement in blocking. give Ray time and he's as precise as any qb in the league. RR probably shouldn't have even started this game. His bruised sternum was assessed as 60% healed. However, I do think that a couple of things are missing from the Esks O arsenal of plays... we rarely see a proper screen, we rarely see RR take a snap from under center then either drop back or hand off, we don't see RR go long enough. But are those things rare because of the OC not calling them? or RR not being comfortable with them?

On the issue of the deep ball, you can't tell me it's Ray choosing not to test defenses over the top. He throws one of the best deep balls in the game, particularly on those corner routes which became a staple when Jason Tucker was still terrorizing CFL defenses. Strasser has to call more 20+ yard passes. As long as he tries to make Ray a dink-and-dunk West Coast QB, he's taking away one of Ray's strengths.

I fully agree that the O-line is making Ray look bad, I however disagree that you can't judge Strasser because of it. Seriously, 3rd and goal on the 2, you agree with his calling a pass play for Zabransky? How about 2nd and 18, is this the time to throw a swing pass? 2nd and 10, let's go 4 a 5 yard curl. Or this genius play where the O-line lines up 15 yards left of the center and QB, didn't work in high school, but maybe facing the pro's is a great time to dig that one up.

I can, and I will.
Note that I didn't say that RR "Can't" throw the deep ball. The point is we don't see him making enough attempts. (BTW I'm talking about what we're seeing with the O now, not a few years ago when we had one of the best Recs ever to suit up.)

Ray has been shying away from the deep ball. The plays get called but RR doesn't necessarily execute them. It's fairly well known that RR has gotten into the habit of going to check down receivers. A 15-20+ yd play may be called, but RR won't like what he sees (or doesn't think he has time) so he check's down to a closer man. It's like he's become more 'over-cautious' in recent years. Defences may crow about a missed deep ball... but if the DB was beaten, then they're more likely to be saying 'phew' and looking to make adjustments.

So why isn't RR testing the opposing D deep more? ... maybe it's because he needs time for the deep routes to set up, and that time only comes when the OLine is on its game.

Also, without a dedicated ground game it's too easy to defend against the pass. The ground game succeeds when, you guessed it, the OLine is working.

Individual plays designed as tendency breakers on O are no different than going for the block or trying a reverse or pulling a fake on STs. After the weird alignment one nearly ended up in a pick I'd be surprised to see that used ever again. If the Esks were looking to the odd plays as their bread and butter, then yeah, I'd be concerned. Still, I'm for an offense that is notoriously vanilla to at least try to do something different.

On the 3rd and goal from the 2 you can bet the Rider D was expecting either Whitlock run or Zabransky run/bootleg with maybe a dump to Bertrand as an option. What they weren't expecting was a pass. The problem I saw on that one wasn't the play call, it was poor execution - and the onus there is on the player.
2 & 18 swing pass... with McCarty in we've seen it go for 30 yards. So criticize Strasser for thinking another player could do the same.
2 & 10 curl... The question you should be asking on that one is why RR didn't go further. I'd wager the play was called to get close to the 1st down marker but RR got hurried and/or went for the safer check down.

Strasser can have an awesome Offensive scheme worked out, but it's all for naught if the OLine fails thereby forcing the QB to go away from the play as it was called. Even the 78-82 or even the 89 Esks would have struggled behind the OLine the way it was playing at the start of this season. And then tell me this... why did Strasser have so much success with the Als?

PR, that's a very nifty point about Ray's tendency to check down. The past two years, he's become more conservative, definitely, but to me that speaks to the poor O-line in front of him. When a QB is afraid of taking a hit, or worse, expects to get hit any time he has to wait longer than a second to get rid of the ball, he's going to become gun-shy and stop hanging in the pocket to let deep routes develop. If the line plays better in front of him, he'll go deep. Remember game 2 this season against the Als? Ray came out throwing bombs left, right, and center, with Stamps and Campbell running double seam routes and shredding my Als' defense. In subsequent games he took such a pounding that he doesn't look for the deep ball anymore. If you fix the O-line, you also fix Ricky Ray. :slight_smile:

As for Strasser, he never really had individual success as a coordinator with the Als. Our peak offensive years under Don Matthews came first with Barker as OC (2002), then with Berry and Strasser splitting OC duties (2003-2005). The one year Strasser flew solo (2006), our offense was nothing to write home about, and Popp fired him at the end of the season.

Yup, it's not that he can't, it's that he isn't getting the chance to.

  1. Establish the run and make them respect it.
  2. Use misdirection to throw them off.
  3. Stretch the D vertically.
    once that gets going...
  4. Hit 'Random' on the above three (within reason).
    but like you say, without an OLine it's all just wishful thinking.

Great stuff about Strasser. I didn't realize Berry's involvement, interesting. There aren't many Esk fans looking to oust him, but there aren't many putting him on a pedestal either.

So I guess the bottom line is, if the OLine improves and the O still falters, then our new GM will add 'look for a new OC' to his to-do list.

I wonder at the end of the season, the new GM coming in to make his given changes; perhaps Jason Maas will be appointed/hired into a Quarterbacks coach position, like Dickenson in Calgary? If he decides to retire. Food for thought.

Maas has already stated his desire to coach for the Esks. The only question has been 'when?'

Z needs more grooming for sure. But how comfortable would the Esks be with Ray at #1, Z at #2 and some raw rookie at #3? I like having the option of drawing on Maas as an experienced back up QB.

The other thing to think about when talking about Ray is that he's young. Calvillio went through some tough times on shaky teams and he's turned out "not bad". I think it would be terribly unwise of the Esks to give up on Ray. If, however, Z improves to the point that the Esks have to make a decision, then it's not like they haven't done that before. Dunigan didn't like Allen nipping at his heels, so the Esks traded MD and strengthened the team. Allen didn't like Ham nipping at his heels so the Esks traded DA and strengthened the team. Alternately, the Esks do as the Als have and go with RR for the long term and use JZ as trade bait. (And since RR became the undisputed starter there have been many highly touted back ups who haven't cut it, though many did net the team talent in other areas via trade.)

It's the fine line of 'what have you done for me lately' and 'who will do more for me over the long run'.

Wow can we get PR Jack and Discipline to have their own CFL Forum categories as regular analysts? :o

Kick-butt hard core football stuff guys!!! :thup: :thup: :thup:

To add to my previous comment copied below as well as the last and excellent comment by PR Jack, for sake of a 3rd quarterback to push Ray and Z with some experience instead of a raw rookie, wanting to avoid a situation as bad as they have in BC (see also this historical post first if you are Lions fan and question that point just because I cheer for the Eskies -- plus this is the Eskies room anyway :stuck_out_tongue:

[url=http://forums.cfl.ca/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=46063#p996505]viewtopic.php?f=10&t=46063#p996505[/url] )

all the same should the best QB be injured, consider these locally incendiary comments today coming from San Francisco:

[url=http://gridironfans.com/forums/latest-nfl-headlines/138648-49ers-mike-singletary-not-comfortable-backup-qbs.html]http://gridironfans.com/forums/latest-n ... p-qbs.html[/url]

I'd say all two of the three QBs in SF are ripe for the plucking with Alex Smith and David Carr plenty of core spread offencive success not saying that is even close to what it takes to succeed in the NFL.

This is just food for thought for those who advocate a raw rookie as the 3rd quarterback so don't get crazy on me, for let's remember all the knocks and jokes on Lemon before the season started as "another failed NFL quarterback" and now look how Barker has in my opinion uncharacteristically developed a successful scheme around Lemon's strengths instead of the other way around to spend years grooming the quarterback.