Whither Jonathon Jennings?

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B.C.FAN
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Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:41 am

Lulay has had surgery. It was scheduled for the end of September but I don't know when it actually happened. I found this Sept. 30 tweet from Rick Dhaliwal of News1130 sports:
Rick Dhaliwal‏ @DhaliwalSports Sep 30

Travis Lulay had successful surgery on his knee recently. Should be healthy around training camp barring no setbacks. #BCLions
"I think [Fred Fateri] was like a lot of people who watch football, hockey or any professional sport on television. They sit there and think they could coach better than the professional. Some people really think that." - Bob Ackles, The Water Boy

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The_Pauser
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Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:35 am

First thing's first: you can't go into the season with Jennings as your unquestioned number 1. Nor can you pay him $300k after what he did this past season.

I would personally take a run at James Franklin in the off-season. I think he's shown very well as the backup in Edmonton, he's been around the league a few years and understands the league. He's been mentored by a great QB in Reilly, and has played under a former solid QB in Jason Maas. He's ready to take the reigns as a starter with some team. I would rather that be us than Montreal.

If he's unavailable, then I would look into the availability of Brandon Bridge. If it's the same story, then I look to restructure Jennings contract, and may concede to a Lulay-Jennings combo. But not until after exploring other options first.
THINK about it

B.C.FAN
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Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:32 pm

James Franklin threw 19 passes this year, completing 13. Twenty quarterbacks saw more action. Franklin may want to get out from under the shadow of Mike Reilly but his body of work is too small to justify a big contract.
"I think [Fred Fateri] was like a lot of people who watch football, hockey or any professional sport on television. They sit there and think they could coach better than the professional. Some people really think that." - Bob Ackles, The Water Boy

B.C.FAN
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Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:40 pm

Some statistical analysis, as promised:

Jonathon Jennings had a bad year. That much can't be denied. The reasons may be varied, including his early-season shoulder injury, substandard play from the offensive line, predictable play-calling and defensive adjustments to his style of play and tendencies. But there was a night-and-day difference in the Lions' offence in the games that Travis Lulay played with generally the same offensive talent.

On the season, the B.C. offence ranked fourth in the league, averaging 371.1 net yards per game. That ranked ahead of Calgary (5th), Saskatchewan (6th) and Winnipeg (7th). But the Lions led the league with Lulay at the controls, averaging 447 yards in 5 games where he took at least half the snaps, compared to 342 yards in the 13 games led by Jennings, which would be 8th overall if projected for a full season. Admittedly, Lulay had a relatively small body of work but 4 of his 5 games were against playoff teams (Winnipeg, Edmonton, Saskatchewan and Ottawa), and his record as a starter was 3-1.

Opposing coaches spoke openly about how Jennings was not seeing the field well. They know they could blitz him and focus on defending against Manny Arceneaux and Bryan Burnham, who were Jennings' favourite targets. Arceneaux and Burnham were targeted on 42% of the Lions' 644 pass attempts this year, and the figure was often closer to 50% in games with Jennings at QB. The two receivers were targeted on 16 of 31 Jennings passes in the season-ending loss to the Argos and 21 of 40 Jennings passes in the previous week's victory over Winnipeg. The Lions were criticized for not using Chris Williams well, but the fact was that Jennings seldom looked at anyone other than his two inside slots and his running back. Half of Marco Iannuzzi's 425 yards receiving came in 4 games with Lulay at QB. More than half of Nick Moore's 547 yards receiving, including his best game of 220 yards, came with Lulay at QB.

Going into 2017 after an otherwise strong 2016 season, Jennings said he was focused on cutting down on his interceptions. The result was that he often appeared indecisive, holding the ball longer in the pocket, taking pressures and sacks, and yet he still threw a league-high 19 interceptions in 2017 despite missing 4 games.

Jennings ranked last among 9 regular CFL starters in most statistical categories and 11th of 12 quarterbacks who threw at least 100 passes or led at least 50 drives this year. Only Hamilton's Zach Collaros had a worse year overall. Here are the comparative numbers and league rankings for Jennings and Lulay:

Completion percentage:
Jennings 65.7% (T-6th among 9 regular starters)
Lulay 73.3% (1st among all 12 QBs with 100 pass attempts)

Pass efficiency rating:
Jennings 83.8 (9th among 9 regular starters, 11th among all 12 QBs with 100 pass attempts)
Lulay 108.5 (1st among all 12 QBs with 100 pass attempts)

CFL quarterback rating (max. 100):
Jennings 58.9 (9th among 9 regular starters, 11th among 12 quarterbacks who led at least 50 drives)
Lulay 94.8 (1st among 12 quarterbacks who led at least 50 drives, and all 17 quarterbacks who led at least 20 drives)

TD percentage:
Jennings 3.4 (9th among 9 regular starters, 11th among all 12 QBs with 100 pass attempts)
Lulay 6.1 (2nd among all 12 QBs with 100 pass attempts, behind Brandon Bridge)

Interception percentage:
Jennings 4.1 (9th among 9 regular starters, 11th among all 12 QBs with 100 pass attempts)
Lulay 4.2 (12th among all 12 QBs with 100 pass attempts)

Times pressured:
Jennings 26% (highest among 9 regular starters, 2nd highest among all 12 QBs who led at least 50 drives)
Lulay 22% (T-5th highest among all 12 QBs who led at least 50 drives. League average: 23%)

Completions on passes of 20 yards or more:
Jennings 34.2% (8th among 9 regular starters, 10th among all 12 QBs who led at least 50 drives. Nichols was 11th.)
Lulay 56.7% (1st among all 12 QBs who led at least 50 drives)
"I think [Fred Fateri] was like a lot of people who watch football, hockey or any professional sport on television. They sit there and think they could coach better than the professional. Some people really think that." - Bob Ackles, The Water Boy

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The_Pauser
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Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:22 pm

B.C.FAN wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:32 pm
James Franklin threw 19 passes this year, completing 13. Twenty quarterbacks saw more action. Franklin may want to get out from under the shadow of Mike Reilly but his body of work is too small to justify a big contract.
I wouldn't ignore his 2015 season. His career numbers, as a backup, are very good.
THINK about it

maxlion
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Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:29 pm

The_Pauser wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:22 pm
B.C.FAN wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:32 pm
James Franklin threw 19 passes this year, completing 13. Twenty quarterbacks saw more action. Franklin may want to get out from under the shadow of Mike Reilly but his body of work is too small to justify a big contract.
I wouldn't ignore his 2015 season. His career numbers, as a backup, are very good.
I agree with Pauser. He's earned a shot at being starter and someone is going to give it to him. I wouldn't mind if it was us.

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Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:59 pm

I think Wally is expecting Lulay to be back. I think Wally still believes in Jennings. I think Wally sees them as #1/#2.

I think we see both Lulay and Jennings back with us next year.

Does Wally see potential in Ross as backup? Dunno about that. Last game was an opportunity to put Ross out there with real bullets flying. 2:36 time was nothing. I think if they thought Ross was very promising, Wally would have given him a lot of time vs Toronto. This fan has not seen enough of Ross to have an opinion. His credentials look good from college. He has good size and, I think, athleticism.

Trade Jennings? I doubt Wally would do that. For whom? Collaros? I doubt it. Gawd forbid. Jennings has the contract of a starter. What other trade would be out there? Does Collaros have a bit of an attitude?

Would Wally release Jennings? Not in this reality. In an alternate reality? Possibly.
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Jimmy Johnson's Game Keys: Protect the ball. Make plays.

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maxlion
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Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:38 pm

B.C.FAN wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:40 pm
Some statistical analysis, as promised:

Jonathon Jennings had a bad year. That much can't be denied. The reasons may be varied, including his early-season shoulder injury, substandard play from the offensive line, predictable play-calling and defensive adjustments to his style of play and tendencies. But there was a night-and-day difference in the Lions' offence in the games that Travis Lulay played with generally the same offensive talent.

On the season, the B.C. offence ranked fourth in the league, averaging 371.1 net yards per game. That ranked ahead of Calgary (5th), Saskatchewan (6th) and Winnipeg (7th). But the Lions led the league with Lulay at the controls, averaging 447 yards in 5 games where he took at least half the snaps, compared to 342 yards in the 13 games led by Jennings, which would be 8th overall if projected for a full season. Admittedly, Lulay had a relatively small body of work but 4 of his 5 games were against playoff teams (Winnipeg, Edmonton, Saskatchewan and Ottawa), and his record as a starter was 3-1.

Opposing coaches spoke openly about how Jennings was not seeing the field well. They know they could blitz him and focus on defending against Manny Arceneaux and Bryan Burnham, who were Jennings' favourite targets. Arceneaux and Burnham were targeted on 42% of the Lions' 644 pass attempts this year, and the figure was often closer to 50% in games with Jennings at QB. The two receivers were targeted on 16 of 31 Jennings passes in the season-ending loss to the Argos and 21 of 40 Jennings passes in the previous week's victory over Winnipeg. The Lions were criticized for not using Chris Williams well, but the fact was that Jennings seldom looked at anyone other than his two inside slots and his running back. Half of Marco Iannuzzi's 425 yards receiving came in 4 games with Lulay at QB. More than half of Nick Moore's 547 yards receiving, including his best game of 220 yards, came with Lulay at QB.

Going into 2017 after an otherwise strong 2016 season, Jennings said he was focused on cutting down on his interceptions. The result was that he often appeared indecisive, holding the ball longer in the pocket, taking pressures and sacks, and yet he still threw a league-high 19 interceptions in 2017 despite missing 4 games.

Jennings ranked last among 9 regular CFL starters in most statistical categories and 11th of 12 quarterbacks who threw at least 100 passes or led at least 50 drives this year. Only Hamilton's Zach Collaros had a worse year overall. Here are the comparative numbers and league rankings for Jennings and Lulay:

Completion percentage:
Jennings 65.7% (T-6th among 9 regular starters)
Lulay 73.3% (1st among all 12 QBs with 100 pass attempts)

Pass efficiency rating:
Jennings 83.8 (9th among 9 regular starters, 11th among all 12 QBs with 100 pass attempts)
Lulay 108.5 (1st among all 12 QBs with 100 pass attempts)

CFL quarterback rating (max. 100):
Jennings 58.9 (9th among 9 regular starters, 11th among 12 quarterbacks who led at least 50 drives)
Lulay 94.8 (1st among 12 quarterbacks who led at least 50 drives, and all 17 quarterbacks who led at least 20 drives)

TD percentage:
Jennings 3.4 (9th among 9 regular starters, 11th among all 12 QBs with 100 pass attempts)
Lulay 6.1 (2nd among all 12 QBs with 100 pass attempts, behind Brandon Bridge)

Interception percentage:
Jennings 4.1 (9th among 9 regular starters, 11th among all 12 QBs with 100 pass attempts)
Lulay 4.2 (12th among all 12 QBs with 100 pass attempts)

Times pressured:
Jennings 26% (highest among 9 regular starters, 2nd highest among all 12 QBs who led at least 50 drives)
Lulay 22% (T-5th highest among all 12 QBs who led at least 50 drives. League average: 23%)

Completions on passes of 20 yards or more:
Jennings 34.2% (8th among 9 regular starters, 10th among all 12 QBs who led at least 50 drives. Nichols was 11th.)
Lulay 56.7% (1st among all 12 QBs who led at least 50 drives)
Thanks for taking the time to compile and share these stats. They support what my eyes were telling me all year long.

I would ask the fans of this site to consider what these stats point to as the main problem with the offense this year.

A. Play calling and schemes.
B. Offensive Line.
C. Sub par play by Jennings.

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Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:12 pm

Trade for Collaros ? That guy didn't win a game this year.

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WestCoastJoe
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Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:34 pm

https://www.cfl.ca/2017/11/06/jennings- ... t-control/

CFL writer Jim Morris, with some quotes and comments. Excerpts ...
Jennings on Lions’ season: ‘We just lost control’
“I’m going to take away a feeling of being embarrassed and just disappointed in what we accomplished,” said Jennings.

“We knew we had the talent. We had more talent than we displayed on the field. We just lost grip of it. We just lost control.”
“It’s been extremely difficult,” said the 25-year-old who missed four games with injury. “It’s been one of the most trying things I have been through in my life.

“I’ve never played to a standard like that. I was disappointed in myself. It’s pure motivation. I know it’s part of my growth. It’s something that is going to encourage me and motivate me to be even better going forward.”
When the Lions turned to Travis Lulay in September to steady the ship the former league Most Valuable Player suffered a season-ending knee injury.

Lulay, 34, is a pending free agent and his playing future remains in limbo.

“I’m preparing like I’m going to play next year,” he said. “That gives me the intensity of rehab I want.

“I will make decisions from there. My contract is up. I’ve been injured a few times. There is a lot of things to think about.”
We hope he comes back. He has improved even over his 2011 MOP, Grey Cup MVP, season, it seems to me. Also seems to be a coach in the making, and a mentor to our young quarterbacks.
Quarterback was only one position where the Lions struggled.

The Lions scored the least points in the West (469) and allowed the most (501). The offensive line gave up a league high 49 sacks.

The defence had just 28 sacks (third worst in the league). BC’s 95 quarterback pressures and the 42 turnovers created were second worst in the league. The secondary was burned for 32 passes of 30 yards or more.
The defence was porous. Not enough pressure on the quarterback. The soft zone gave up huge gaps to receivers in open space.
“When I came back I told everybody my commitment was for two years,” said Buono. “I believe I have fulfilled that commitment.

“Now it’s time for me to sit down with David, get David’s vision for the club at least in 2018, and see how and what the next best step is.”
No sure thing that Wally comes back. My guess: He retains the GM position. He could step aside for Neil McAvoy, his long time assistant. Will he? I kind of doubt it.
...........

The malaise that infected this team, I think, will not go away if the coaching staff returns largely intact.

Internationals on the D Line were inadequate IMO. No breaking down the pocket. No rush ends terrorizing QBs.

Internationals on the O Line were inadequate. We could not block anybody in pass protection. We gave up the most sacks in the league.

Teams seemed to sit on our offensive plays, with defenders all over our receivers, with defences all over our quarterbacks.

Teams seemed to pick apart our zone pass defence at will.

Teams ran "trick" plays on our STs all year, with success. We never ran "trick" plays. In other words, we ran pablum, easy to plan for, easy to set up. Teams studied the film, saw our tendencies and vulnerabilities and exploited them. Our kick coverage was ordinary, if not poor. Our blocking was ordinary, if not poor. We did not create gaps for Rainey. Rainey's fault? Then sit him down. I think our return game was pedestrian, facing modern-age planning.

Will a cast of a largely returning coaching staff be able to solve these issues?

There were huge issues on all of the units: offence, defence and special teams.
................

Braley is staying.

I expect Wally to stay in some capacity, at least GM, and possibly also Head Coach.

He could conceivably recommend that his long time assistant Neil McAvoy take over as GM. This fan, and some others, as noted, would gladly support that move. :thup:

Wally could stay as GM, and promote Mark Washington to Head Coach. Many fans would be unhappy with that move.

My hunch: Wally stays as GM. Who is Wally's choice to be Head Coach? Methinks Mark Washington. If not Mark, then would Wally go outside the organization for a Head Coach? Dunno about that ...
John Madden's Team Policies: Be on time. Pay attention. Play like hell on game day.

Jimmy Johnson's Game Keys: Protect the ball. Make plays.

Walter Payton's Advice to Kids: Play hard. Play fair. Have fun.

Blitz
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Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:44 am

First of all, thanks to B.C. Fan for providing the comparison of Jennings stats and Lulay's stats for this season.

However, its like comparing an apple and and orange when you compare the stats of a quarterback (Lulay) who started four games to a quarterback who started 14 games. Lulay looked very good in his four starts but its a small body of quarterback play.

First of all, I think most Leos fans like both quarterbacks and for good reasons. Jennings and Lulay are both character guys. They are good buddies, even though they are also competitors for the starting quarterback position.

Lulay is the experienced quarterback, cerebral, passionate, and a former MOP in 2011.

Jennings is the young gunslinger with elite tools who threw for the third most passing yards in Leos history, in his first full season as our starting quarterback in 2016.

Of course, most Leo fans would like to see them both back in 2018, no matter which quarterback they favor as the starter.

The big question is who should be our starting quarterback for 2018? The question becomes even more important if we can only keep one of them?

I wrote a lengthy post recently which looked at the history of young starting quarterbacks during the Buono era and their deteriorating play after a season or two. We saw those scenarios with Casey Printers, Buck Pierce, Jarious Jackson, Travis Lulay, and now Jonathan Jennings this season.

With that background and that context, lets take a closer look at Travis Lulay and Jonathan Jennings.

Travis Lulay, in his full season as a Leo starter won the MOP. Casey Printers did the same in 2004. Lulay started all 18 games for us in 2011. He only completed 58,7% of his passes that season but he threw for 4, 815 yds, with a quarterback efficiency of 95.8. Anthony Cavillo had better passing stats than Lulay that season but Lulay's leading our Leos to such an exciting comeback that season earned him MOP honors.

Lulay had a better season in 2012. Lulay had a 66.5% completion average, threw for 4, 231 yds. and had a quarterback efficiency average of 100.7.

But Lulay's performance dropped after that 2012 season. In 2013, he completed 64.6% of his passes for 2,841 yds and a 95.0 quarterback efficiency average. In 2014, Lulay was mostly hurt, only played in four games, had one start against Ottawa and was injured in that game. With very limited playing time, Lulay completed 62.9% of his passes and had a quarterback efficiency average of 77.6%

Lulay returned as our starting quarterback in 2015. He started 10 games before being injured again. Lulay completed 62.9% of his passes for 1,953 yds. and had a quarterback efficiency average of 84.4.

Jennings was named our starting quarterback for 2016. Lulay, during spot duty in 2016 completed 68.8% of his passes but only had a quarterback efficiency average of 77.6%.

So, overall, we can see Lulay’s play deteriorating prior to this season. Of course quarterbacking is not done in isolation. His offensive line, receivers, scheme, running attack, and the play calling that he is given are all factors, as is his amount of playing time. But, with those factors in mind, Lulay’s play over time, prior to this season is a pattern of Leo starting quarterbacks in the Buono era before him. Quarterback efficiency average drops over time and quarterback touchdown to interception ratio also gets worse.

Travis Lulay threw 32 touchdown passes to 11 interceptions in 2011. He threw 27 touchdown passes to 10 interceptions in 2012. But in 2013 Lulay threw 19 touchdowns to 11 interceptions. Skipping the 2014 season, in 2015 Lulay threw 12 touchdown to 10 interceptions. In 2016, in very limited playing time Lulay threw 2 touchdowns to 2 interceptions. Even with his excellent play for the relatively short time Lulay was our quarterback this season, he threw 10 touchdown passes but had 7 interceptions during that time, the worst passing attempts to interception ratio in the CFL this season (4.2) and Jennings was second worst in the CFL in passes attempted to interceptions at 4.1%.

So, prior to this season, Lulay’s stats adhere to the pattern of Leo starting quarterbacks. They generally get worse with time. Their quarterback efficiency average plummets and their interception to touchdown ratio gets worse. It’s not the way it should be. Experience at the quarterback position should lead to improved quarterback efficiency averages and reduced interception ratios to touchdown passes thrown.

Jonathan Jennings stats also adhere to the historic pattern of our quarterback play during the Buono era. Jennings, a rookie and our 3rd string quarterback for most of 2015, got his chance to start in the last 6 games of 2015. Jennings completed 66% of his passes for 2,004 yds. and a 99.8% completion average. In 2016, in his first full season as our starter, Jennings completed 67% of his passes for 5,226 yds. and a 102.1 quarterback efficiency rating. It was the most passing yards thrown in a single season since Dave Dickenson’s 2003 season and Doug Flutie’s 1991 season.

The optimism about Jennings going into this season was justified but one thing was not taken into account. The trend is your friend and the trend is that the longer you play quarterback for Buono in a B.C. uniform, the chances are that your play will get worse.

Jennings quarterback ratio plummeted this season. His quarterback touchdown to interception ratio, which was supposed to be a focus this season got much worse. Yet Jennings threw underneath more often. In 2015, Jennings averaged 9.3 yds per pass, 9.4 yds. per pass in 2016, and he only averaged 7.8 yds. per pass this season.

Those stats mirror Travis Lulay’s historic pattern prior to this season. Lulay averaged 8.3 yds. per pass in 2011 and 8.1 yd. per pass attempt in 2012. But Lulay only averaged 7.3 yds per completion in 2015 and 6.4 yds. per pass in 2016.

So, the pattern of our quarterback’s is that, after a season or two, their pass percentage gets worse, they throw for less yards per completion, yet they throw more interceptions per passing attempts, and their quarterback efficiency gets worse.

Of course. they also get hurt more often too. Jennings follows the historic pattern of quarterback injuries during the Buono era. There is Dickenson (concussions), Printers (turf toe, rotator cuff), Pierce, (everywhere from head to toe), Jackson (hand), Printers (knee reconstruction surgery), Lulay (four shoulder injuries, ACL) and Jennings (three shoulder injuries). One can say that all quarterbacks get hurt but we have had more than our share of them.

Inuries are a factor in quarterback play. But from my observations of our Leo quarterbacks since 2003, I also have seen something else happen. They lose their confidence. When they lose their confidence, they start playing differently. One of those differences is they stop seeing the field the same way as they did.

If you watch game tape of Travis Lulay playing in 2015 or 2013, you will see a different quarterback than the way he played in 2011 and 2012. Forget about the accuracy of his arm and just look at him in the pocket. Often, if his first read is not open, you will either see him bail out of the pocket or he will hesitate and hold onto the football and get sacked.

Go back and look at the swashbuckling Buck Pierce of 2007 and then have another look at him in 2009. Buck often doesn’t even look downfield. He is hesitant. He also throws shorter and shorter patterns. His confidence is shot.

Have a look at Casey Printers in 2004. He is magical at times. Watch Jarious Jackson lead a come from behind victory in 2007 or Buck Pierce slice up a defense in 2008. Look at Travis Lulay in the second half of 2011 play the game or 2012 and you are seeing a quarterback playing with confidence and poise. Watch Jonathan Jennings stand in the pocket in 2016, with players in his face and grabbing at him and his eyes are looking downfield and he is a poised gunslinger with all the confidence in the world, as were our quarterbacks in the years mentioned.

The contrasts between the play of our quarterbacks early in their career as our starter and later on and the differences are stark.

So why did Jonathan Jennings stop seeing the field this season. The same reason why Casey Printers, Buck Pierce, Jarious Jackson, and Travis Lulay stopped seeing the field at some point.

Why did those quarterbacks hold onto the football a half second too long at times? Dickenson didn’t do that in 2003 but as time went on he did it more and more often.

The reason is that our quarterbacks begin seeing the pass rush more than they are looking downfield because the pass rush is there too quickly. The vicious hits and pressures and sacks also begin to take their toll. And its certainly not because our quarterbacks are not mobile or smart.

Dickenson was sneaky smart in the pocket. Printers had an excellent ability to escape. Buck Pierce was a natural runner. Jarious Jackson was very athletic and hard to bring down. Travis Lulay was probably the best running quarterback of them all. Jonathan Jennings is also a very mobile quarterback and one only needs to look at his escape and touchdown run in last year’s West Semi-Final against Winnipeg to see his natural running talent.

But inadequate pass protection, questionable play calling at times, a predictable a very undynamic plug and play scheme, a lack of game planning for opposing defensive styles and vulnerabilities, easy to scout pass pattern combinations, formation tip-offs, plus the constant quarterback pressure, hits, sacks, and accumulated injuries all add up to PTSD symptoms for our quarterbacks.

So, what will we have at quarterback for 2018. Will we have the Jonathan Jennings of 2015 and 2016 or the Jonathan Jennings of 2017? It’s difficult to know. Is he ruined and ready for the scrap heap or can his confidence return? One can only guess? Will Jennings shoulder be fully healed for 2018? It was still not 100% at the end of 2017 but close.

But if we go with Lulay, will we have the Travis Lulay of 2011 and 2012, as well as his impressive short stint of 2017 or will we have the Travis Lulay of 2013 and 2015? Lulay will also be coming off ACL surgery and he has had numerous shoulder injuries since 2012 (and also had one while playing in NFL Europe). Can he stay healthy? Lulay has not started more than 11 games for us since 2013.

Another question is “Could Lulay sustain his high level of play (except for interceptions thrown) in 2017 for a much longer stretch of games, with the knowledge that Lulay was fresh and full of confidence playing this season but like so many quarterbacks before him, that freshness can go away and that confidence can erode playing quarterback for our Leos in fairly short order? Who can tell but the historical pattern plus his own pattern is not his friend.

The reality is that we are only likely to get one or two seasons, at best, of fine play out of a talented quarterback before his confidence is shot. Their physical injuries can heal but they also need a good deal of time off, as Lulay did, to begin to build his confidence up again at practices and then go out and perform well initially to have that confidence reinstalled.

Four excellent games does not make Travis Lulay a good bet as our longer term starting quarterback of our future, nor does an outstanding season and a half of Jonathan Jennings mean that he can rebound in 2018 either. And for those who are considering going with a completely different quarterback the answer either. Franklin would likely face the same issues that all of our starting quarterbacks during the Buono era here should this coaching staff return.

This regime identifies talented quarterbacks very well, they shine initially, and then we destroy them.

Jonathan Jennings is just another very talented Leo quarterback who now appears ready for the scrap heap after this season. But the same things that are being said about Jennings right now are the same things that were said about Travis Lulay in 2015, Casey Printers in 2010, Buck Pierce in 2009, when his quarterback efficiency average plummeted to 78.5, and Dave Dickenson when he couldn’t lead us to victory in the 2007 WDF. In all those cases, there was a notion that it was time to move on to a different starter.

But Jonathan Jennings is young, has proven that he has all the tools to be successful. Travis Lulay, in spite of his many injuries, is still young enough to play starting quarterback and be successful, especially with his experience.

But experience is often viewed as a positive word. Experience is actually a neutral word. Experinece is only a positive word if one learns from experience. Some people never do learn from experience. Therefore, 10 years of bad experience is worse than 5 years of bad experience for that situation.

Which brings me to this point. Experience doesn’t help our Leo quarterbacks play better. The stats and our observation both reinforce that concept. But the problem is not that our quarterbacks don’t have the ability to learn and get better with experience. Its just that the ‘experience’ that we surround our starting quarterbacks with (scheme, lack of protection, predictability, inability to adapt etc) causes them to develop bad habits as well as lose their confidence.

Its all very well to see Travis Lulay playing with poise in his four games that he started, distributing the football, seeing the field well, finding the open man, cool and poised in the pocket. But would he have been doing the same after 14 games this season, with the accumulated pressure, hits, sacks, and growing interceptions? That same Travis Lulay, in 2015, was hesitant, held onto the football too long, didn’t see the field well, or bailed out of the pocket early, running to his right, giving up ground, and throwing the football away time after time.

I don’t blame Lulay for that as I don’t blame Jennings this season for his play. It’s a syndrome that has impacted all of our quarterbacks. Perhaps I will call it the “You know, you know, you know what, our quarterbacks stop executing syndrome”. It seems to happen just out of mid-air or like an unexpected virus when things were going so well.

But it doesn’t happen out of mid-air and it isn’t a virus that quickly plaques our quarterback play. It’s a result of the environment in which our quarterbacks play in. They have to ‘make plays’ to overcome our scheme, our predictability, the constant pass rush in their face, the stationary pocket they are given, and the predictability of the plays they are asked to execute at a very high level while overcoming cringe worthy hits and constant pressure in their face.

They can only do it for so long, no matter how talented they are, before they begin to break down.

The answer to the question of who should be quarterbacking next year is not important question. The answer to the question of quarterbacking is who should be coaching our quarterback, be that Jennings, Lulay, or someone else.

Because without change in this area, it’s a short shelf life for success as a Leo quarterback.
"When I went to Catholic high school in Philadelphia, we just had one coach for football and basketball. He took all of us who turned out and had us run through a forest. The ones who ran into the trees were on the football team". (George Raveling)

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WestCoastJoe
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Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:11 pm

Thank you, Blitz, for the excellent review of our QBs, of statistics and for your interpretation of it all.

There is a pattern. Top level efficiency slicing up defences. Then injuries. And performance issues.

Jonathon Jennings? I think some fans, understandably disgusted with our futility, wanted him gone, one way or another. Trade. Release. Fans react strongly. Fair enough.

I think Wally definitely wants Jennings back. Wally does not tend to give away high value assets.

If Lulay returns in good health, and is the #1 QB, I could see a scenario whereby Wally trades Jennings. Two high QB salaries are hard to justify. Montreal could be a destination. Regina? If Chris Jones likes JJ10, and I expect a lot of coaches see Jennings in a very positive light. If a top QB such as Ray or Reilly gets injured. There are scenarios under which a trade might happen. This CFL fan thinks Jennings would quickly show extended top form again, with the right coaching environment.

This fan would not like to see Jennings traded. When he is on his game, with a suitable game plan, Jennings can slice a defence up all over the field, deep or short. He is resilient in his character. He makes no excuses. He takes responsibility. He does not sulk. He is mobile. He has an arm to compare with anybody, a slingshot for any distance. He is young.

The future of Travis Lulay? We don't know. Even Travis, from what we hear, is not sure.

Without Travis, I fully expect Wally to retain Jennings as a top level quarterback talent. With Travis, I think we need to see how things play out. One of them might be traded.

As noted numerous times, this fan has strongly supported all of our quarterbacks over the years. Printers, Pierce, Lulay and Jennings have been particular favourites.

Just IMO ...
John Madden's Team Policies: Be on time. Pay attention. Play like hell on game day.

Jimmy Johnson's Game Keys: Protect the ball. Make plays.

Walter Payton's Advice to Kids: Play hard. Play fair. Have fun.

B.C.FAN
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Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:20 pm

According to Matt Baker, Lulay and Jennings are both talking about making comebacks in 2018 but the timing of Lulay's recovery is still uncertain.
“I could potentially be ready as early as June. It could be longer than that, it just depends how recovery goes,” Lulay explained.

It is a different type of injury all together, but the fact Lulay faced similar long odds when getting his shoulder fixed before 2015 indicates you simply can’t rule out the chances of seeing him suit up next season.

“In a strange way it’s familiar territory for me mentally, knowing what’s up ahead, what I’m up against and the mental ups and downs that will come with the whole rehab and recovery process,” he said.

“I know what I’m heading into so there is no fear of the unknown as far as that goes. Having been through it, it gives me the proper mindset to recover the right way.”
As for Jennings, he proved as recently as game 17 in Winnipeg he can still get back to the form he had in 2016, when he became just the fourth quarterback in franchise history to pass for more than 5,000 yards in a single season. The 25-year old has a window to explore NFL options, but remains under contract for one more season. The quiet leader will spend a long time dissecting what went on, and how he can get back on the fast track to stardom.

“I’m not worried about that (the NFL) at all,” Jennings stated.

“I’m honestly just ready to be a better version of myself and get back to being a successful quarterback up here in the CFL.”
Having his friend and mentor Lulay in the fold, no matter what capacity they may be, could play a large role in how he bounces back. The veteran brought up a pretty decent example of a current star QB who hit a couple bumps in the road once he became the leader of a franchise.

“Everyone who has ever played the game has been through it. Mike Reilly will probably win the MOP this year. He was 4-14 in his first year as a starter in Edmonton,” Lulay reminded.

“I’ve been there. We started the ‘11 season 0-5. I lost my first three starts in 2010 as a Lion. There is a lot that goes into the quarterback spot. Battling through the tough moments is one of those things that can define you as a person and a player moving forward.”

“There is plenty of quarterbacks that have been through it, “Jennings added.

“Anytime that you’re in a situation like I am, when you’re young and you experience early success, sometimes you have setbacks. I’m not discouraged about anything; I know I have the talent to play. I just have to figure out how to get back to playing successful football.”

“We’re going to use this as motivation to be better and sometimes you just need to take a step back to grow. It’s something I am going to take and use to my advantage,” Jennings said.
NEED TO READ | “I COULD POTENTIALLY BE READY BY EARLY JUNE.”
"I think [Fred Fateri] was like a lot of people who watch football, hockey or any professional sport on television. They sit there and think they could coach better than the professional. Some people really think that." - Bob Ackles, The Water Boy

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Toppy Vann
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Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:38 pm

Wally says that the only CFL QB he knows in his years in this league that didn't run into issues at the same point as Jennings is Bo Levi Mitchell and he even mentioned Warren Moon in that same interview.

When Dickenson was still OC in Calgary and they headed into the off season at the end of 2013-14 not knowing who of Drew Tate and Bo Levi Mitchell were to be the next year's starter, DD told BLM to take the 1 month Jeff Garcia development camp route. Later Dave noted that BLM paid his own way.

This might be a good route for Jonathan Jennings for a number of reasons including a future in the NFL if that is what he wants. Right now - that ain't likely but Garcia knows the CFL and the NFL where's he been successful at both.

If he comes back having just done the regular off season stuff he may be stuck as he was in missing the throws and not being consistent.

http://www.calgaryherald.com/sports/sta ... story.html

This just might be a good thing for Jonathan Jennings irrespective of who paid for it if Garcia is running it.
“We worked out at 5 a.m.,” says Mitchell, who won the starting job over Drew Tate in training camp. “Got some classroom in. Went to throw at 8:30, whether it was on the field or in the sand. Got some receivers and running backs and got some conditioning in. Then went back to the classroom.

“It was a good long day.”
“You know what it showed me? Commitment, because I know Jeff’s thing isn’t cheap,” says Stamps assistant head coach Dave Dickenson, who backed up Garcia in Calgary at the beginning of his playing career. “I know when Jeff is down there, he’s working hard. I was able to speak with Jeff three or four times this off-season

“I was very impressed with Bo’s work ethic. I mean, he did it on his own. He took money out of his own pocket to go down there and get around some big-time quarterbacks.

“We think he’s a big-time quarterback, so I’m glad he went down there.”
“Jeff and I talked every day when I was down in San Diego,” Mitchell says. “Jeff is such a great guy. He’s so welcoming, so open. I got to meet his family, meet his wife. Came over to the house and had dinner with them one night.

“It was a really fun experience to not just see how he attacks the football field but how he attacks every single day.”
Another take on the Stamps website:
https://www.stampeders.com/2016/11/10/t ... tar-pupil/

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The_Pauser
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Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:51 pm

Jennings is reportedly talking to the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings.
THINK about it

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