Eskimos QB Jared Zabransky Needs to Stay in EdmontonPosted by at 11:25 am
Confidence is a required quality of a starting football quarterback. Although over-exceeding confidence can led to unrealistic expectations for yourself that, unchecked can lead you down a path others may not see you as being ready for. This is the situation that Edmonton Eskimos backup quarterback Jared Zabransky finds himself in.
“I’m 27 years old and I want to be a starter and my goals aren’t to be a backup. I’ve proven I can win up there. I’ve proven that in a number of different ways. So, no, probably. In all honesty, I want to start somewhere,” said Zabransky after being asked about taking a backup role.
Every quarterback playing football wants to be a starter, no one plays to be a backup, but has Zabransky proven to the Eskimos and the rest of the CFL that he is indeed a proven winner? In many ways? Thats the issue. Winning a game or two does not make a quarterback a proven winner. Many quarterbacks have wins under their belt but never became proven winners (Rocky Butler). One can’t be called a proven winner until a few years into their career and they have won more than a couple of games.
“I think they’ve got to do what’s best for their organization. I leave that in the hands of my agent and the front office. As of right now, I’m with the Edmonton Eskimos and I’m working extremely hard to get myself in great physical shape and condition to go out and impress as many people as I can.”
It sounds like Zabransky doesn’t see himself at part of “their” organization. It is understandable why the Eskimos would bring back a proven veteran in Ricky Ray. In 2010 Zabransky threw 104 passes, completing 53, for a 51% completion percentage. Of those 104 attempts, 10 went for interceptions to the other team. So 1 out of every 10 times Zabransky dropped back to pass, it went to the other team.
“No, not this year. I don’t think very many guys out of our league signed with NFL teams. In the past, I’ve seen a lot more names go down south than this year.” said Zabransky after explaining he asked his agent to pursue NFL opportunities for the QB.
It makes sense now that Zabransky sees himself as a starting CFL quarterback right now, as he also sees himself as a NFL caliber quarterback at this time, although no NFL team expressed interest. His 42.9 QB rating last season, the worst in the CFL among all QBs to take snaps in 2010, may be a reason the Eskimos are not ready to name him their starting quarterback and send Ray home.
In week 17 against Saskatchewan, Zabransky made his first full game CFL start and the Eskimos got the win against a arguably better Rider team that may have played their worst game of the season. Zabransky played well but not spectacular by throwing for 188 yards and 2 touchdowns. The next week against Winnipeg, Zabransky had a game to forget throwing for 120 yards and 4 interceptions. That may have made Edmonton start Ricky Ray in their season finale with a playoff berth on the line.
Half the time Zabransky is saying the right things, that he is doing all he can to get ready for the 2011 season and play his best. The other half of him calling himself a proven winner and saying that his plans and the Esks plans may not jibe, while angling for a trade, will not help his cause around the league.
The two quarterback needy teams, Winnipeg and Toronto, are unlikely to show much interest in a trade for a unproven QB and hand him the starting job he requires. Winnipeg has two veterans in Buck Pierce and Steven Jyles, and may be looking to move one of them, as they have two younger QBs in Joey Elliot and Alex Brink they are high on developing. Toronto could be a destination but they have had talks with BCs Jarious Jackson and are looking for a veteran with more experience.
Zabranskys best chance of becoming a starting QB in the CFL lies in Edmonton although he may not see it the same way as we do. Head coach Kavis Reed has already stated his excitement in developing Zabransky and becoming the heir apparent in Edmonton. He will also have a chance to work with new offensive co-ordinator Marcus Crandell, a CFL veteran QB, who had a big part in the development of Darian Durant in Saskatchewan.
Zabransky, in 2011, will be given another season to learn from Ricky Ray and in all likelihood will also receive significant playing time as part of his development. If Zabransky shows staff the progress they want to season during the season, he could very well be the Eskimos starting QB in 2012 taking over from the aging Ricky Ray. He will only be 28 years old at that time and could still have a long career as a starting QB.
If he takes the time to learn and develop from the resources available to him.