One guy’s door closes for a while, and another’s window gets easier to open.
When Jacory Harris was transferred to the six-game injured list Wednesday morning, the youngest quarterback on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats roster immediately moved up to No. 3 on the depth chart.
Jake Waters, less than three months into his 25th year, lurks behind presumptive starter Jeremiah Masoli and sophomore Jeff Mathews, as the Ticats wait for Zach Collaros’s full recovery from knee surgery. Waters has been getting more action in practice this week and will potentially see a little more time under centre in Friday’s final pre-season game against the Ottawa Redblacks at Tim Hortons Field.
“It’s unfortunate that (Harris’s injury) had to happen, obviously,? Waters says. “But in the game of football things happen and the next one in has to step up. I’ve been getting more reps and I’m just trying to take advantage of it.
Waters got only a smidgen of time against the Argos last week in Toronto, running a successful quarterback draw on his first play and throwing just a handful of passes.
While he’s the third man on paper, the gap in experience, and certain skills, between him and Nos. 1 and 2 didn’t automatically narrow with Harris’ injury.
But it should shrink with more familiarity with the playbook, the extra snaps he’s taking in practice, some more field time Friday, and detailed attention to some technique shortcomings Kent Austin has been coaching up.
“We’ll see how the game goes, but he’ll probably play a bit more,? Austin said Wednesday. “But Jeremiah and Jeff need to play a bit more as well to get ready for the season.?
Fortunately, Waters has experience in waiting for his chances and using the interim profitably. He didn’t have “a single offer? from a major college coming out of high school in Council Bluffs, Iowa. So he played at Iowa Western Community College in his hometown for two years. He led them to the national title in 2012, was voted an All-American and completed 73.3 per cent of his passes to break the national record held by …. oh, just Cam Newton.
That led to a starter’s role at Kansas State, where over two years he passed for nearly 6,000 yards, tossed 40 touchdowns against 16 interceptions, and rushed for 16 majors of his own.
Another way of saying all that is that he is a “CFL type.?
“I always knew that the style of game here would fit what I like to do,? says Waters, who had tryouts with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars and Seattle Seahawks last year. “I just want to play football. Hamilton gave me a great opportunity to play and what a great organization. What better place to play than here??
Waters acknowledges that the extra man on defence, and the speed of the Canadian pro game are taking some adjustment time. And he does say that Austin, a noted stickler for basic technique, has been working with him on some footwork issues.
“He’s got a couple of fundamental flaws that we pointed out early in camp that he needs to correct — and one of them is a difficult thing to correct,? says Austin, who likes Waters’ dual-threat ability, his effect on teammates, and his quick release in option and “read? situations.
“But it can be corrected. It will take a lot of work, and he’s working at it. He still has a lot to learn and still has to grow a lot.?
Waters says he plans to do both and is studying feverishly, with the help of the other quarterbacks, to master the playbook.
“I just want to be a guy who’s going to work as hard as possible and I want to be known as the guy who will do the extra things for the team,? he said.
Austin couldn’t have written that response better himself.
Source: [url=http://3downnation.com/2016/06/16/waters-moves-ticats-qb-depth-chart/]http://3downnation.com/2016/06/16/water ... pth-chart/[/url]