Durant in Montreal, Glenn in Regina; a look at CFL quarterbacks for 2017

Bill Beacon, Canadian Press

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.

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11 Comments on Durant in Montreal, Glenn in Regina; a look at CFL quarterbacks for 2017

  1. mrnehnehincognito // June 15, 2017 at 2:29 pm //

    All teams on fairly solid ground

  2. The Iceman // June 15, 2017 at 4:09 pm //

    I disagree. This is the weakest the CFL has been in starting QBs for as long as i can remember. Glenn, Durant, Ray and Nichols are not good enough to be starters at this stage of their careers.

    • GoCats! // June 15, 2017 at 6:23 pm //

      Injuries/age would be the concerns I’d have for Glenn, Durant and Ray.

      From a “good enough to start” – Glenn is the only one I’d be concerned about. Though even there – my concern is about his playoff performance, not starting capabilities for the regular season.

      Either way, the team’s have made their decisions so it won’t really matter until the season results/injuries start rolling in.

    • Totally disagree with you disagreeing. The Quarterback in this league are as strong as they’ve ever been from 1-9. Injuries as always are the great equalizer, but as GoCats says here too, only Glenn would give pause. Since he left the Tiger-Cats, he’s down to being a game-manager with a penchant of throwing an interception at the worst possible time (actually, he did that in Hamilton, too).

      Otherwise, including Durant, you have eight other starting pivots who have a habit of completing 65% of their passes. That’s not anything to sneeze at.

  3. mrnehnehincognito // June 15, 2017 at 4:25 pm //

    Glenn yeah. But I honk he could be adequate. Durant is better than Mtl has had and Ray could surprise if healthy. Nichols who knows knows!! But the is undeniable strength in all other markets.

  4. Here’s hoping we can have a year not marred by QB injuries! Good luck to all QB’s in that regard.

  5. If Ray stays healthy (or even plays 14 games) the Argos will make the playoffs.

  6. White Horse // June 16, 2017 at 12:07 pm //

    incognito…i wish you would proof read your blogs before you hit the send button so we don’t have to guess at what your saying. You are a knowledgeable football fan.

  7. Maybe Incognito is like me: posting at work and rushing to get his comments in before his boss sees him on-line.

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