The Rouge: Eskimos have work to do, but they have their QB

Ben Fisher,

9/19/2013 2:18:52 PM

It hasn't all been bad in Edmonton this year. Lost in the bedlam of the Eskimos' 2-9 start to the season is quarterback Mike Reilly's encouraging first year as a fulltime starter in the CFL.

Through the first 11 games of the season, Reilly's stats rank amongst the league leaders. His 19 touchdown passes are tied for third behind only Darian Durant and Henry Burris, and his 2,667 passing yards are fourth with Durant, Burris, and Travis Lulay ahead of him.

Adding in rushing numbers and Reilly has accounted for 3,197 total yards on offence, second behind only Burris' astounding 3,774.

Injuries have sapped the numbers of some other usual suspect league leaders this year but the point is Reilly is right with those guys statistically in just his first year as a starter.

The one stat he falls well behind in however is team wins. No other position is evaluated by victories more than the quarterback, so you could make the argument Reilly is woefully underperforming based on the most significant stat affixed to him this year: two, the number of wins he's led the Eskimos to through 12 weeks.

But while there are no moral victories in professional sports, Reilly and the Esks have been close on at least a couple occasions.

And, the tumult being well documented with the Eskimos this year, the 28-year-old Central Washington alum should get a pass for not being able to singlehandedly turn the team into a contender. After all he's a first-year starter still perfecting his three-down game and not a grizzled vet brought in to lead a culture change in Edmonton.

That Reilly continues to compete and deliver, upholding his end of the bargain while not everyone around him does the same, is impressive in its own right.

The Eskimos have a long list of things to do before they're once again a contender in the West Division, but finding a franchise quarterback isn't one of them.

The Rouge asks: Is Mike Reilly a franchise quarterback? You've heard what we've had to say, now it's your turn.

As always, it's Your! Call.