The pros and cons of resting QB Collaros



Saturday’s regular season finale at McMahon Stadium between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Calgary Stampeders is meaningless.

Win, lose, or draw, the Blue and Gold (11-2) are hosting the West Division Final at IG Field on Dec. 5.

Win, lose, or draw, the Stamps (7-6) are heading to Mosaic Stadium on Nov. 28 to play the West semi-final against the Saskatchewan Roughriders (9-4) .

As long as quarterback Zach Collaros — and the rest of the team’s core — return to Winnipeg in one piece, Saturday will feel like a victory for those in Bomberland.

The obvious solution to make that happen, other than wrapping Collaros in bubble wrap for the next few weeks, is to rest the starting pivot for a second straight week and let backup Sean McGuire run the offence, or at least attempt to, as he struggled mightily in last week’s 28-14 road loss to Montreal.

If Collaros doesn’t get a single rep on Saturday, he will head into the West final without an in-game snap in three weeks as the Bombers have earned a bye next week.

Something about that doesn’t exactly seem ideal.

“Zach’s a little busy right now. I mean, besides football, he’s got his family to look after,” said Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea, as Collaros and his wife Nicole recently had a baby girl. Collaros missed Tuesday’s practice to attend to his family but was back at IG Field on Wednesday.

“We’re not at that point yet where we’ve had a good conversation about what we want this to look like for him and what he needs. I think either way, Zach’s gonna be good. The way he practises, like most of these guys, like most quarterbacks that get to this level, they got to treat practice and every rep in practice like it’s a game. So, I do believe Zach would be fine if he did not play.”

Collaros didn’t make the trip to Montreal, which was O’Shea’s decision as the head coach wanted the quarterback to be there for his family. Collaros said he was pacing back and forth in his living room while watching the game. He was asked if he wants to, or feels he needs to, play this weekend.

“Yeah, we’re gonna see how that goes. Today was my first day back in the building. Felt good to practice and whatever Osh and Buck (Pierce) decide for us to do offensively, I’ll be ready for it,” Collaros said.

“Calgary’s a great football team and it’s always good to go to McMahon and play a game.”

Is there some importance in winning this game? Heading into the post-season with two straight losses, with or without your starters, also wouldn’t feel right for a group that had won nine straight prior to that. While O’Shea is set on getting the win, he downplayed what it would mean to lose back-to-back contests ahead of the showdown on Dec. 5.

“I really have a hard time believing that you’re going to carry momentum over a two week span,” said O’Shea.

“I think you can use the film to look at the reasons why the outcome is the way it is and you can make corrections and grow and get one play better or two or three plays better by the next game you play. So, it’s important we go out there and play well.”

taylor.allen@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @TaylorAllen31

Taylor Allen

Taylor Allen
Reporter

Eighteen years old and still in high school, Taylor got his start with the Free Press on June 1, 2011. Well, sort of.

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