Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea is sticking with Chris Streveler as the No. 1 quarterback despite acquiring Zach Collaros.
“Chris Streveler’s the starter, he’s the guy that’s going to get it going for us,” O’Shea said, definitively.
The Bombers sent their third round choice in the 2020 CFL draft to the Argos for Collaros and a fifth round selection. If Winnipeg re-signs Collaros, Toronto receives an additional first round pick. The deal was done right at the strike of trade deadline.
“It didn’t happen until the 11th hour, but now we’ve got a seasoned veteran who comes in and will have a role. Fire, leadership, competitive, able to get the job done — loves to play football,” O’Shea said.
“That’s the reason why we talked about a veteran guy because it comes that much quicker and understanding CFL defences is something these guys do, no matter what the play call is they have to look at the defences and understand what they’re trying to do to you — that’s important.”
The 31-year-old has a 34-31 win-loss record while completing 65 percent of his passes for 16,758 yards and 92 touchdowns against 51 interceptions in 73 games over nine seasons. Collaros led the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to a Grey Cup appearance in 2014, narrowly losing to the Calgary Stampeders.
“Knowing Zach he’s a smart guy, he’s a competitive guy, he’s going to pick things up very quickly. I’m sure the concepts are very familiar to him, the terminology will be probably different,” O’Shea said
The Bombers were searching for a veteran quarterback for quite a while with Matt Nichols out due to a season-ending shoulder injury and Streveler struggling. Streveler has a 2-4 win-loss record since Nichols was sidelined, including a three-game losing streak which has dropped Winnipeg to 9-6 and out of first place in the West Division.
“Chris is a pro. When I talked to Strev after the trade went down, he said this doesn’t change anything,” O’Shea said.
“You gotta understand, guys at those positions, most pros anyway, but guys at those positions they’ll always put more pressure on themselves than anybody else can possibly. Not the coaches, not the fans, not the media, nobody — nobody — will put more pressure on a pro quarterback than they do on themselves.”