Saskatchewan Roughriders general manager Jeremy O’Day wants to see the evolution of quarterback Cody Fajardo.
Fajardo is coming off a CFL all-star season in 2019 after taking over the starting job in Week 2. He led the Riders to a first place finish in the West Division as the No. 1 QB following three years as a backup in the league.
“It’s a great story where he’s had to earn his keep and grind it out for a number of years to get his opportunity. He gets his opportunity and looking for him to seize that opportunity but also there’s so much value in being the guy when you’re in training camp,” O’Day said on The SportsCage.
“Knowing that you’re the starter going in to camp, you can feel more comfortable and also get the majority of the reps so you can get in a flow and be prepared for the season.”
Fajardo led the Riders to a 12-4 record, throwing for a CFL-leading 4,302 yards while completing over 71 percent of his passes with 18 touchdowns against eight interceptions. The dual-threat pivot used his legs for 611 yards and 10 touchdowns on 107 rushing attempts, averaging 5.7 yards per carry.
“When you’re coming in as a backup, I don’t want to speak for Cody, you don’t have the same thought process. You prepare as the starter, but you always know that when the game starts you’re not going to be the guy in there. This is different, now you’re the guy,” O’Day said.
“The big one with Cody just to see and give him the opportunity after he’s had a full year under his belt as a starter, and he’s also had an opportunity to come to camp as a starter. I’m anxious for him, excited for him to be able to have that opportunity.”
If a 2021 season happens, O’Day Rider Nation, and the rest of the CFL will find out if Fajardo can put together another all-star calibre season.