Yesterday when Bo Levi Mitchell was asked to talk about what it’s like to be back he immediately took a minute to praise Taylor Powell for the job he did while both QBs were injured. I took a second to reflect on what Bo said because I think we have basically dismissed the job he did while both Bo and Matt were injured.
After the Ottawa game when Bo was injured we followed that up with losses to Montreal and Edmonton (at home) and both were rather embarrassing. At 3-5 with BC and Toronto next it was definitely the low point of the season with 3-7 on the horizon and no reason to believe anything was going to change.
The combination of change in OC and improvement from Taylor Powell kept this season from becoming an absolute dumpster fire. Powell played like a rookie, made rookie mistakes and wasn’t spectacular. No fancy nicknames from TSN and no “is this kid the future of the league” from the panel but he did just enough to keep this season afloat.
The 3 wins against BC, Winnipeg and even Ottawa saved this season. We aren’t even talking about Bo returning and going to the playoffs if we were 4-11. We’d be 2 game behind Sask and 1 game behind Ottawa. Even if we beat Ottawa but lost those other 2 upsets we’d be playing a must win At Sask this week for our playoff lives. Instead with a win this week this team will be .500. If you include the Calgary game, we went 4-4 with Powell starting. That’s pretty good all things considered.
187/273 - 68%
10TD / 7 INT / 93.9 EFF
His stats aren’t remarkable but they’re not terrible. They’re better than Jake Maier. (You know the guy that Dickenson and Huff picked to succeed Bo Levi Mitchell so they must know what they’re doing.) They’re pretty good for a rookie and while I don’t see any argument to play him over Matt Shiltz or Bo Levi Mitchell at this time, without him we wouldnt even have the chance to have the discussion.
Let’s not over value what he gave to the team. He was good not great, he was tentative, slow through his reads, reluctant to run… and also a rookie in a league not kind to rookies. We were (are) never winning the 2023 GC with Taylor Powell as our starting QB, but without his rather solid 8 starts we wouldn’t even have the chance to compete for one.
I can’t disagree with much there.
My next question is “Would we have been any better with Shiltz?” when it comes to our record. I tend to think not.
Maybe we would have had different outcomes in a few of those games, but I still believe our overall record would be the same. But who really knows? We could have won two more games and be in second place too.
It’s also worth pointing out that in his 8 games started, Powell threw two FEWER interceptions than BLM did in THREE games.
For somebody who was brought in last minute to camp and wasn’t expected to take a snap this year , Powell has done an extraordinary job under the circumstances.
He was literally learning on the fly game in and game out and filled in admirably beyond expectations . One would think that he should be at the very least our team nominee for ROY . Kudos to the young man for the remarkable job he has done this year .
I also agree with @Crash’s assessment & the comments provided by Bo Levi Mitchell.
But with all due respect to Taylor Powell, I believe there is a large dropoff when comparing Matthew Shiltz’s capabilities to Powell’s. And if you dissect Coach O’s postgame comments when assessing Powell’s performances, everything started with “ball security”, even when Powell held onto the ball a bit too long and took a sack, you would hear Coach O say something like, “Taylor did a good job taking that sack & not throwing an interception.”
I think Coach Milanovich was very careful in terms of not asking Taylor Powell to do too much, and Coach O was very careful in terms of protecting his confidence. But the difference between Shiltz & Powell was very evident in that Calgary game. I don’t even think Milanovich calls either one of those plays that lead to long TD passes if Powell was still at QB, unless the Tiger-Cats are trailing by >10 points late in the game.
And in terms of keeping slim playoff hopes alive when things looked very grim, I think we need to recognize the phenomenal job the players & coaches did in defeating a fully rested RedBlacks team on the road, on 3 days rest, after a tough game on Labour Day. That seemingly insignificant (& unlikely) victory kept our fading hopes alive. The rookie QB played well with very little time to prepare. So I agree, full kudos to him.
Nonsense. Powell is better than that. The mediocre one had one of the best Hamilton teams in 20 years and was the starter out of camp . Powell was thrust in to the fire and did just fine. He’s got a future.
Thanks for the original post Crash, very accurate, balanced and fair.
Solid work by Powell this year especially when you consider the team as a whole surrounding him. I would hope Bo and Shiltz can carry the load from this point on, but if we do need to call on him again, those 8 games experience will serve Powell well. Not to mention answering whether we’d want him back next year.
At this point it would appear Powell is the only one certain to be here next year as he’s under contract. Bo is aswell but who knows what that will look like and Shiltz is likely on a one year deal and a free agent.
Wouldn’t shock me to see Shiltz be the odd man out.
I for one hope not . I’m a huge Shiltz guy . Hopefully he is back along with the other two . Just my opinion but I would think that Locksley will be the odd man out . Either that or they switch him permanently to a gadget type player akin to a Tayson Hill in New Orleans .
I don’t even consider Locksley part of the QB room. If all are healthy I don’t think he even gets a roster spot.
If the team believes Powell is a true backup with the potential for more he needs to go into camp as the #2. I don’t think they’re giving up on Bo (unless something happens down the stretch) so that makes Shiltz and his $100K+ possibly the outlier.
Yup . I agree on Locksley . If as Stein says that Mitchell will dress on Saturday then we all know who the obvious choice out the four not dressing will be Locksley . My guess is that he will get one of those last second mysterious injuries that always seem to occur just before setting the roster and be jettisoned to the IL or if not there then the PR .