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Thursday, January 19, 2017

INTRODUCING ... STACKHOUSE'S SOAPBOX!

By: Mike Stackhouse

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers re-signed Matt Nichols, last year’s starter for them, to a three year contract this week that starts at $400,000 per season and ends up at $440,000 by the end of the term.   

I sure hope we find out what Darian Durant’s asking price was from the Riders, because he has to be worth more than Nichols.  He’s won a lot more and has more experience.

He’s also, frankly, a better quarterback.

People will point to Durant’s injury history but I would also point to Nichols having a fairly lengthy stay in sick bay over his career too.

Zach Collaros, I’m told, is north of $500,000 a year.  He also can’t stay on the field and has never won a Grey Cup.  So, when I hear rumours of Durant wanting $400,000; I don’t feel that is, at all, unreasonable.  It’s peanuts to pay for quarterback stability.  Now, before you go barking at me about injuries; I will point out that anyone can be injured.  You can’t predict injuries.  You just can’t.

Durant’s achilles is a thing of the past.  His six rushing touchdowns last year proves it.  That’s not to say he isn’t going to get injured again because he very well could.  But, so could anyone else the Riders bring in here to play quarterback.  By the way, based on the ‘Anti-Durant as a Rider’ argument that you can’t keep him based on age and injury history, I have compiled a list of the top quarterbacks in the CFL and you may be surprised where Durant ranks:

1-Mike Reilly, Edmonton (He’s won.  He’s a gamer.  He’s tough.  I don’t think you can ask for more)
2-Bo Levi Mitchell, Calgary (You can’t argue with the won-loss record.  I do think Durant has a better ability to elevate the players around him more than Bo Levi, but I’ll concede this in an argument based on wins)
3-Darian Durant, Montreal (Three Grey Cup appearances, 15 games last year, second highest QB rating of his career and 34 is not old.  He’s much tougher than people give him credit for too.)
4-Jonathon Jennings, BC (has the most potential of any QB in the league, but he hasn’t proven a thing as of yet)
5-Zach Collaros, Hamilton (12 games last year, 13 the year before and he’s never won a thing)
6-Trevor Harris, Ottawa (He’s going to get a chance to show us what he’s got and I think he can move up the list quickly)
7-Matt Nichols, Winnipeg (Exactly what the Bombers needed from a QB.  I don’t blame them for swallowing hard and paying him to lock him up.  He’s not flashy or outstanding at anything.  But he gets the job done and the Bombers finally understand that you NEED a relliable QB)
8-Drew Willy, Toronto (I really like Drew, but I’m concerned injuries have resulted in his development hitting a plateau)

By the way, I’m not saying I wouldn’t rather have Jennings, Collaros, or Harris over Durant because I would.  They are young, dynamic and there is a ton of potential in all three.  But, at the moment, I can’t rank them ahead of Durant.   I’ve left Ricky Ray and Henry Burris off the list just because I don’t expect Burris to play and I don’t think Ray goes into the year as the starter.

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The Regina Pat Canadians are, once again, having another outstanding season in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League and I got a chance to watch them last night; although they weren’t at their best.  After jumping out to a 2-0 lead, any sense of urgency disappeared and they ended up losing 3-2 to the Yorkton Maulers, who are an under .500 team.  Nevertheless, don’t forget about the Pat C’s as you are enjoying the WHL Pats.

They are well worth the inexpensive entertainment, and it wouldn’t be a shocker to see them go up against the Moose Jaw Generals in the league final as these two clubs are 1-2 in the standings.   The top line appears to be Lukas Sillinger with Tyler Lees and Preston Brodziak, although they were broken up midway through the game to get something going.  Carson Denomie, Matthew Chekay, and Harrison Blaisdell is a second line that any other club would love to have as a first.  The Maulers got back in the game last Wednesday with goals from two outstanding WHL defense prospects.

Kaeden Korczak (11th overall 2016 to Kelowna) and Kaleb Bulych (2nd round 2015 to Vancouver) will be household names for WHL fans in a year or two.

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There are, approximately, 15 games per team left in the SJHL season and I see the Canalta Cup championship being a two horse race between the Battlefords North Stars and Flin Flon Bombers.

The Stars are a tremendous team, but I wonder if they’ll be a little easier for an opponent to match up against when you are facing them, up to, seven times in a row as opposed to just one and done.  I’ve seen a lot of great teams fall by the way side because they are a great tournament team, but not as great a team when it’s a series against the same team for ten days straight.  That’s my only concern with the Stars.  Nipawin and Estevan would rank 3-4 in my book, while Humboldt has been making some noise and the two-time defending champions from Melfort are much better than their .500 record indicates.  They’ve made a couple of big strides since December 1st.

The biggest January 10th deadline acquisition, though, goes to Yorkton.  They received Dakota Odgers back from the WHL; but so far it hasn’t paid off.  They’ve played a couple of tough games against Flin Flon and Nipawin and lost both.  

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I want to thank Rod Pedersen for giving me a chance to spout some of my hot air.  I don’t expect fans to agree with it all the time.  But, in the end, I am hopeful you have something additional to think about when you are following your favorite sports teams.

*EDITOR'S NOTE: Mike Stackhouse is a Yorkton-based freelance reporter and former Voice of the SJHL on Access.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

What have you done for us lately Darian? Not much over the last three years to expect $400K in salary! You best perform well in Montreal or the local media will eat you and spit you out like a bad rink burger!

Pat Strain said...

Turfing Durant when you don't have any other proven QB to take over is a giant mistake which may ultimately cost Jones his job . Even if his strategy is to land Franklin out of Edmonton it is gonna cost the Riders huge in trade bait and really , he is unproven also.

Anonymous said...

Any idea what the grapevine is saying as to what Darian got in his signing?? Just interested.

Anonymous said...

Can this replace scruff full time? Actual sentences without the need to go "!!!!!!!" or another favorite "??????????"

pass.

Anonymous said...

Mike, I totally agree with everything you said about CFL quarterbacks, so naturally I'm not that thrilled with Jones & Company and I assume you're scratching your head wondering what is going to come of this.

SWC

Larry said...

Terms of Durant's deal w/ Als, per #CFL sources: 3-year deal worth $1.25 million. Year 1 $400,000 guaranteed, 225k of it in a signing bonus.

Anonymous said...

I pretty much agree with the QB assessment. I would maybe rank Darian Durant and Jonathan Jennings as equals. The Bombers most certainly are overpaying for Matt Nichols. He's done nothing that warrants that kind of money. Evan

Anonymous said...

I am surprised where Durant ranks because people should only be concerned with the 2017 season. With that Durant would be way lower ranked.

What are these rankings even based on?

Horrible list. Makes no sense.

Evan Wiome said...

There were 10 QBs in the CFL with higher efficiency rating than Durant in 2016. Funny how that little tidbit of info wasn't mentioned.

Anonymous said...

That silly tidbit from Evan's post makes no sense given the gong show that the 2016 Riders were. Bo Levi would have struggled here... Durant was not responsible for the gong show, it was the Chris Jones rebuild strategy -often set back by an slew of injuries.

Frank Lee

Anonymous said...

Darian Durant a top CFL qb???? Huh???? Stick to your day job Mick, Mack, Mike whatever your name is. Darian bottom feeder leech.

John Knight said...

Durant will be lucky to finish the year with Montreal's poor offensive line. Montreal gave up 64 sacks to Riders 57 and Riders are getting their 2 all star linemen back

Evan Wiome said...

Frank,
If you had bothered to actually read the posts above you would see that the original article has Durant ranked third on a list of CFL QBs. The author uses Durant's career best 2016 as part of the justification for this ranking. Somebody else responded that the list was horrible and I supported that post by pointing out that Durant's career best QB rating still wasn't even in the top 10 in the CFL.

But hey, its all Jones fault right?

Anonymous said...

Hey awesome, more Yorkton people on here is never a bad thing. Should also get some thoughts from our buddy Craig Stein, he's living the dream but still very plugged into the sports scene. Go Terriers!


Gunderson's Yorkton

George Porge said...

"I have compiled a list of the top quarterbacks in the CFL and you may be surprised where Durant ranks:"

Durant's best full season of his career (10 games or more) was in 2013 when he had a QB efficiency rating of 95.7.

In 2016, the following QBs with at least 10 games on the season and at least 300 pass attempts had a higher efficiency rating than Durant had in the best year of his career:

Jonathon Jennings (18) - 102.2
Mike Reilly (17) - 104.5
Bo Levi Mitchell (17) - 107.9
Trevor Harris (12) - 116.0
Matt Nichols (15) - 97.1
Zach Collaros (10) - 100.8

The kicker with these guys - none of them have reached their full potential yet. Reilly, Harris, and Nichols are all close to their athletic peak, while Jennings, Mitchell, and Collaros are still under 30 and have a *lot* of time yet to develop their skills and experience.

Durant *may* have one or two *good* years left in him if he manages to get a stellar supporting cast like he had in 2013. He will *never* put up numbers like the real elite quarterbacks in the league do today.

Anonymous said...

Montreal will be a cakewalk for him compared to the, mostly undeserved, flak he too in Sask for so long.

Anonymous said...

You are *wrong*.

George Porge said...

Wrong about what? The stats (which came directly from CFL.ca), or the opinion that Durant will never do much better than he did in 2013 (when he was quarterbacking one of the most talented teams in the league)?

Math doesn't lie. People are blaming Durant's poor play last season on the team of rookies he was playing on. And I won't dispute that - the entire Rider team was a dumpster fire. But that doesn't change the fact that his absolute best year as a quarterback, on one of the best teams in the league that year, was still pretty average when you're trying to compare Durant to the elite quarterbacks of his generation (Burris, Lulay, Ray - all of whom have had full seasons where their QB efficiency rating was over 100).

Anonymous said...

The Montreal Canadiens guide to ranking QB's. Look to the past, see how great they were and pay based on that. Thanks, but I'll pass on that philosophy.