While most CFL teams enter the coming season stable at quarterback, a couple come into 2017 with a new look under centre. Darian Durant moved from Regina to Montreal in the off-season, and in the wake of his departure, the Saskatchewan Roughriders are turning to veteran Kevin Glenn to fill the void.
Here’s look at the quarterbacks for the nine CFL teams this season:
B.C. Lions: Jonathan Jennings had a breakthrough year as the starter last season with 5,226 passing yards and 27 touchdowns, as well as 363 rushing yards. Now Travis Lulay, the 2011 CFL and Grey Cup game MVP who has had injury troubles in recent seasons, serves as perhaps the league’s best backup.
Calgary Stampeders: The 27-year-old Bo Levi Mitchell was the CFL’s MVP last season, completing 412 passes for 5,385 yards and 32 TDs. With Drew Tate moving to Ottawa, Canadian Andrew Buckley has a shot at the backup job after playing almost entirely as a short-yardage QB. They also signed Mitchell Gale, who played in Saskatchewan and Toronto last season.
Edmonton Eskimos: Veteran Mike Reilly, entering his fifth season in Edmonton, started all 18 games in 2016, passing for a career-high 5,554 yards and 28 TDs. James Franklin returns as a backup, but the Eskimos also signed former Ottawa third-stringer Danny O’Brien.
Saskatchewan Roughriders: Last year, veteran Glenn was brought in to stabilize Montreal’s quarterback position. Now, with Durant gone, Glenn has the same job with the rebuilding Riders. Canadian Brandon Bridge could be the backup. Ex-NFL pivot Vince Young’s comeback has been compromised by a hamstring injury.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers: Matt Nicholls was eye-catching after taking over as the starter from Drew Willy last season as the Bombers finished the season on a 10-3 run. For the first time in seven seasons, Nichols will begin as a starter. Dominique Davis is considered the backup, but he will be challenged by veteran Dan LeFevour.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats: The Ticats have a proven starter in Zach Collaros, who missed the start of last season with an injury but came back to throw for 2,938 yards in 10 appearances. Jeremiah Masoli went 3-3 as the starter in his absence. They added former Argonaut Logan Kilgore for depth.
Toronto Argonauts: Three-time Grey Cup winner Ricky Ray is expected to flourish under new coach Marc Trestman, but the 37-year-old was limited to nine games last season. Ray is fourth in all-time CFL passing with 54,883 yards but has struggled with injuries in recent years. Willy gives him an experienced backup.
Ottawa Redblacks: Henry Burris retired after leading the Redblacks to a Grey Cup, which left the starting job open for a more than capable replacement in Trevor Harris, who passed for 3,301 yards and 16 TDs in 12 games last season. And they have a top backup in Tate, himself a former CFL starter.
Montreal Alouettes: Durant felt unwanted by Saskatchewan coach Chris Jones and now the two-time Grey Cup winner will try to make the Alouettes into contenders again. The signing of Durant, who has had injury trouble in recent seasons, put Vernon Adams’ ambitions on hold after leading the club to three wins to end the 2016 campaign. Ex-Ticat Jacory Harris is also in the picture.