Kenny Lawler says pundits are sleeping on Zach Collaros: ‘He’s the MOP, the man of the damn year’

Photo courtesy: Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ quarterback Zach Collaros currently sits atop 3DownNation‘s MOP Watch rankings, but that’s not enough for Kenny Lawler. The receiver thinks more people should wake up and pay attention to the excellent season his quarterback is having.

“They’re asleep, man. My dog gonna wake them up,” said Lawler via videoconference on Thursday. “Wake ’em up, Zach! Yes, sir. They’re asleep, but they’re going to know he’s the MOP — the man of the damn year.”

Collaros has started all six games for Winnipeg this season, leading the team to a 5-1 record atop the West Division. He has completed 69.1 percent of his passes for 1,479 yards, nine touchdowns, and three interceptions and sits second league-wide among starting passers with a 104.9 quarterback rating.

Winnipeg has had a number of award-winners in recent seasons with players like Stanley Bryant, Willie Jefferson, Adam Bighill, and Justin Medlock taking home hardware at the league level. It’s been 19 years since the Blue Bombers had a player win Most Outstanding Player, however, with Milt Stegall capturing the award in 2002.

Only four Winnipeg quarterbacks have ever been named the CFL’s MOP — Don Jonas (1971), Dieter Brock (1980, 1981), Tom Clements (1987), and Khari Jones (2001).

Lawler has emerged as Collaros’ favourite target, providing the team with a much-needed No. 1 option in the receiving corps.

“We got a good relationship on and off the field. Zach’s a great guy, I love him to death,” said Lawler. “He gives me so many chances to be great and I just want to capitalize on those chances. It goes to show the relationship we have and it shows on the field.”

The six-foot-three, 200-pound receiver currently sits third in the CFL with 32 receptions and second in receiving yards with 468. He also leads the Blue Bombers with three receiving touchdowns and is the team’s only receiver with more than three catches of 30 yards or more.

“I want to be one of the tops, if not the top,” he said. “That’s what I pride myself on, that’s what I worked so hard for and I’m reaping the benefits of the work I put in during this off-season.”