Why didn’t Mike Sherman make like Trestman and name a starting QB?

On the day he was announced as head coach of the Toronto Argonauts last February, Marc Trestman named Ricky Ray as his starting quarterback. It took June Jones five days to anoint Jeremiah Masoli as the No. 1 in Hamilton after getting the top job in August.

But new Montreal head coach Mike Sherman was unwilling to make any such pronouncement last week as he took the reigns of the Alouettes.

“I don’t think we’re in a position here to determine who the quarterback is going to be,” Sherman said at his press conference. “At this point, that’s up for grabs.”

Much like the Argos when Trestman took over, the Alouettes have a proven veteran quarterback with lots of question marks. Heading into 2017, the then-37-year-old Ray had started just 12 games over the previous two seasons and there were concerns about the health of his shoulder and his durability. The Argos had traded for Drew Willy the previous September and many expected the team to hold a competition in training camp. Instead, Trestman gave Ray a vote of confidence and he led them to a Grey Cup championship.

The situation in Hamilton was different – the team was 0-8 when Jones took over – but his first big move was installing Masoli as his No. 1 pivot. Given previous starter Zach Collaros’ hefty contract and previous performance – he’d led them to the 2014 Grey Cup and was the front-runner for MOP the following season before getting hurt – it was a bold decision.

It too paid off, though less spectacularly. Masoli played some of the best football of his career in leading the team to a 6-4 record that included a surprising playoff push. It certainly helped Jones secure a contract extension that will see him back on the Ticat sidelines this season.

Meanwhile in Montreal, Durant is coming off one of his worst seasons in his 12-year CFL career. He threw for 3,233 yards, 15 touchdowns against 16 interceptions – second-most in the league – and was benched multiple times. He’s 35 years-old.

But Durant does have two Grey Cup rings and was a West Division all-star as recently as 2013.

The Alouettes also have four other quarterbacks on the roster, including the aforementioned Willy, Matthew Shiltz (who started the last game of 2017), Jacory Harris and Antonio Pipkin. Willy and Harris are set to become free agents in February.

There are other factors to consider. According to 3DownNation’s Justin Dunk, Durant is due a $150,000 roster bonus on Jan. 15 – a big salary cap hit for a guy coming off a down year. Sherman said during his press conference that he plans to hire an offensive staff and what the system will look like – Sherman is known for his use of the West Coast offence – remains to be seen. He has connections to Johnny Manziel from his days at Texas A&M and the CFL quarterback carousel still has a number of unanswered questions (including the fate of Collaros.)

In other words, it’s hardly surprising Sherman chose to punt on his starting quarterback at this point.

Still, it’s a stark contrast to the bold and immediate decisions made by Trestman and Jones and means – like Sherman’s hiring in general – there are many big questions still to be answered.

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.
Drew Edwards
Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (1527 Articles)
Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.

16 Comments on Why didn’t Mike Sherman make like Trestman and name a starting QB?

  1. d chandler // December 23, 2017 at 6:58 pm //

    Why in should he name a starting QB? Just to satisfy the media?

    • Why is this even a topic of conversation? Both are honest men of integrity that say what they mean. Trestman likes his old QB’s and Sherman wants to watch more film and evaluate. Trestman knows very well RR strengths and weaknesses. It was Sherman’s first day. Completely ludicrous comparison, at least the bar is high. If from day one he is being compared to Trestman, people must believe he is a damn good offensive mind and coach.

  2. White Horse // December 23, 2017 at 7:51 pm //

    Sherman doesn’t have Ricky Ray on his roster! That’s why!!

  3. the Als will have one of the Ti-Cats QB’s in 2018….Collaros, Masoli or Manziel

    dark horse is Lulay

  4. Eddiefelson // December 23, 2017 at 9:27 pm //

    Alright drew: I have refrained from commenting on yohr pieces for quite some time but it is time to question your repirting AGAIN.

    Please explain how annointing masoli proved to be the right way to go.

    6-4 …thats 5-0 against teams that were under 500 (2 of those wins against montreal)….and 1-4 against teams above 500…not to mention missing the playoffs when hamilton controlled their own destiny afyer masoli took over.

    I will wait patiently for the explanation of the success.

    • 6ft6ofgoodness // December 23, 2017 at 10:15 pm //

      I keep saying this. The Cats should keep Collaros. He is the better QB. Give him a strong offensive line and watch him excel.

      • So the very best O-line athletes are going to accept being paid a pittance to play for a zero-for eight (or 12) QB that demands the lions share of the team payroll. Not gonna happen.

        • Eddiefelson // December 24, 2017 at 9:51 am //

          You do realize that the only person that said collaros wouldnt renegotiate was skimheady right? And the mext day he admitted it was a made up story right?

  5. Tom calder // December 23, 2017 at 9:45 pm //

    Trestman was familiar with Rays high caliber of play while coaching the Als, so appointing him the starter from day one in toronto wasn’t that bold. But what does Mike Sherman know of Durant, other than film?

  6. With a 3 win and 15 loss team that Sherman is getting he should of said EVERY STARTING POSITION on the team is wide open starting with the QB. With the disaster he in taking on that is the ONLY SENSIBLE thing to say and do. May the best man win as they say and that starts with the 24 starters on both sides of the ball. Hopefully Reed and Sherman will recruit and sign the best players they can get to have the most competitive situation possible going into training camp for 2018. The guys from the 2017 edition of the Als did not get the job done. Simple as that.

  7. Drew is an amateur. There are too many unknowns. Sherman will name a starter 3 days before first game. Hamilton is a puritanical protestant city and they hate Manziel,s former party boy persona. Drew is simply writing wishful thinking on his part to dump Manziel on St. Catherines street with its 500 strip bars. Welcome to French Catholic debauchery Johnnie du Football. Be careful what you wish for pilgrims. Sherman won’t make the same mistake and red shirt Mssr. Football like he did at A&M. This could be Cavallo part du. But meanwhile June will put up a catfight over his run and shoot wonderboy. Tune in next week for as the CFL turns. Note..Sherman is studying old Steve Young tape at the 49ers

  8. Montreal should go after Teavis lulay. He’s the best available experienced QB in the CFL…Then try to develop a new QB….They need to, be competitive…..

  9. Seriously???? This is clearly a WTF headline for two reasons:

    1. They haven’t got a decent QB like Trestman had in Ricky Ray (and he got lucky in ensuring the team didn’t get him injured this year).
    2. Durant is due as 3 Down Nation reports a $150K bonus mid January that he doesn’t deserve for his lousy play and guarantees he won’t be back.

  10. habbernack // December 24, 2017 at 5:23 pm //

    Trestman coached against Ricky Ray and knows what kind of QB Ray is and Masoli was already playing when Jones took over. Sherman doesn’tknow anything about the Als qB’s. Dumb article

  11. Roughriders Chris Jones got it right calling out Darian Durant, the guy just never had it. Sask last Grey Cup courtesy MVP Kory Sheets. My 92 year old granny in her army boots could have handed the ball off all day long for that team and the result would be the same, Grey Cup courtesy Kory Sheets. Darian Durant worse than mediocre.

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