The Most Important Position

Although every position is important for team success, there is one in football where if you don’t have a good one at the controls, it doesn’t matter how good the rest of team plays, you will not win football games. That position is of course the quarterback. If you have a good one, consider yourself lucky and pray that the football gods keep him standing upright and in good working order. If you don’t have one, you should be looking under every rock and in every crevice to find him, as is the case of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.  Which leads to a very important question.

Should Ricky Ray still be the Edmonton Eskimos starting quarterback this year?

This train of thought goes back to last summer, when it seemed like callers were inundating local radio talk shows stating that the Green & Gold should be inserting Jason Maas, or even Jared Zabransky, into the starting lineup. Granted the team finished with a 9-9 record in 2009, suggesting there was ample room for improvement going into the 2010 season, however, the Eskimos seem to be satisfied with Ray’s efforts and aside from perhaps adding a new prospect at camp, will enter the season with the quarterbacks they finished with in 2009.

Let’s take a look at Ray’s stats for 2009 and see what they have to say. Total passing yards? Ray led the league with 4,916 yards. Completion percentage? Only a solid 67.3%,  good for second in the league behind Anthony Calvillo. Touchdowns? Tied for third in the CFL with 22. And let’s not forget interceptions, with only 12 thrown all year.  As a complete body of work, Ray posted a 96.4 quarterback rating, good for second in the league once again behind Mr. Calvillo. In the NFL, there was a guy that posted a similar rating last year of 96.2. His name? Tom Brady.

Now before people start going off about how there is no comparison between Brady and Ray, let me be clear about something. I’m not saying that Ray is close to the player that Brady is, however, when you look at their numbers for their respective regular seasons and the results of their teams, they did have some similarities. Both led their teams to the post-season but failed to win championships, both posted touchdown figures in the twenties while keeping their interceptions in the low teens, and both maintained fairly high completion percentages.

The point of course it to illustrate that before Eskimo fans start anticipating the arrival of the next great quarterback to wear the Green & Gold, make sure that the greatness being shown on the field currently is being appreciated. No one is looking for Tom Brady’s replacement in New England, and frankly, it shouldn’t be happening in Edmonton either. Appreciate what you have today, because one day it will be gone.


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