Zach Collaros felt like it was the first day of camp but with snow in Winnipeg

Newly acquired quarterback Zach Collaros practised with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for the first time on Tuesday.

“I haven’t taken any full speed reps for quite some time. I feel like it’s day one of camp only it’s snowing outside,” Collaros said.

The Bombers sent their third round choice in the 2020 CFL draft to the Argos for Collaros and fifth round selection at the CFL trade deadline on October 9. If Winnipeg re-signs Collaros, Toronto receives an additional first round pick.

“I had an indication that there was some talks, but I didn’t know how serious it was. Besides my wife being upset that I had to leave home for a couple weeks, I was really excited,” Collaros said.

“Watching this organization from afar the last four or five years you can tell they do things the right way and that’s been confirmed for me since I’ve been here.”

Collaros was on the sidelines in street clothes at IG Field for Winnipeg’s Week 18 victory over the Montreal Alouettes. He’s been learning Paul LaPolice’s playbook as quickly as possible and been cleared to play by the medical staff.

“If you’ve been in multiple systems one of the things you really learn is how to learn. He can translate it into concepts that he’s already thrown or learned from other systems and it’s just a matter of getting the terminology down,” head coach Mike O’Shea said.

“If I had to, I could play any time,” Collaros said.

The 31-year-old quarterback was placed on the six-game injured list by Saskatchewan following a head shot he sustained from Tiger-Cats’ linebacker Simoni Lawrence in Week 1. Collaros failed concussion protocol and has been sidelined ever since. He’s impressed with current starting quarterback Chris Streveler.

“Tough kind, man. Really fun to watch him play football. His growth from last year to this year is impressive,” Collaros said.

Collaros 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.

“The type of guy he is allows him to fit in,” O’Shea said. “He’s an easygoing guy, fun-loving guy — that type of character.”

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