Zach Collaros and Jonathon Jennings enter 2018 with much to prove after a turbulent 2017 season. Other players may be looking to improve their ranking on the TSN Top 50 List. However, for Jennings and Collaros a little more is on the line than media rankings. So who has more to prove in 2018? Zach Collaros or Jonathon Jennings? This season may be the best opportunity each starting pivot has at redeeming their careers and asserting themselves as stars in the CFL once again.
Collaros won the starting job in what appeared to be a legitimate competition with Canadian Brandon Bridge. Behind a shaky offensive line, both Collaros and Bridge did little to assert themselves as the number one quarterback in the Riders second pre-season game. Collaros finished 6/16 and 41 yards passing while Bridge went 2/5 and a mere 21 yards passing. Bridge often relieved Kevin Glenn of his duties last season after the offence sputtered under Glenn’s watch. Rider fans are hoping they won’t see much of the same under Collaros but one must wonder how soon he can regain his confidence behind a problematic offensive line.
It is evident that Collaros has not been the same since his devastating ACL injury in 2015. His rushing totals since that injury have plummeted as he now chooses to be more of a pocket passer. He has not rushed for a touchdown since 2015 and has a combined 91 yards rushing over the last two seasons. This pales in comparison to the 328 rushing yards he put up in 2014, the year the Tiger-Cats appeared in the Grey Cup. While Collaros seems to be in a favourable situation in Saskatchewan, he will need to regain his confidence quickly as Bridge will be breathing down his neck waiting for his next opportunity to shine.
Last Word On Sports Writer Ned Edgewalker did a phenomenal job breaking down Jennings’ tumultuous 2017 season in his article Can BC Lions’ Jonathon Jennings Regain His Form? In his piece, Ned breaks down the steep cliff Jennings and the Lions fell off of after a 5-2 start. Similar to Collaros, Jennings faced injury issues as well. Suffering a shoulder injury that hindered his production for the remainder of the season. After setting the league on fire in 2015 & 2016, Lions fans are hoping 2017 was just an anomaly.
Jennings posted a 4.1 interception percentage, worst in the league for any quarterback with a similar amount of games played (15) or more. As mentioned in Ned’s article, Jennings still has a chance at rebounding with a new offensive coordinator and improved protection. Now the responsibility falls on Jennings to lead his team back to the playoffs after a disappointing 2017 season.
The Last Word
No matter how you slice it up, Zach Collaros and Jonathon Jennings enter 2018 with much to prove. However, one could argue that Jennings has more to prove this season than Collaros. It’s important to note that Collaros has more experience under his belt including a Grey Cup appearance. Jennings, on the other hand, is looking to prove he still belongs as a starter and will need to do more to prove that 2017 was the fluke season, not his tremendous 2015 & 2016 campaigns. With a smaller track record than Collaros, 2018 will determine where Jennings stands among CFL quarterbacks. Come season’s end, the picture will be a little clearer if Zach Collaros or Jonathon Jennings did what they had to do to prove they still belong in this league.
Zach Collaros kicks-off his redemption campaign tonight at 9:00 pm EST against his former mentor Ricky Ray. While Jonathon Jennings has a chance to re-assert himself at home Saturday against the Montreal Alouettes at 10:00 pm EST.
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