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Dunigan: Why go with Reilly at this point?

Matt Dunigan

10/9/2013 10:30:09 PM

Get it straight already...

Last week, six days after sustaining a concussion, franchise quarterback Mike Reilly is rolled out by the Edmonton Eskimos in a must win game against the Montreal Alouettes. The Eskimos muzzled their “Top Dog”, virtually handcuffing the young quarterback by limiting what he does best: his ability to run, improvise, and attack a defence with his unmatched will to do whatever it takes to win.

That plan went south in a hurry and by half time, Reilly was back in his cage. The next quarterback up for the Eskimos wasn't Kerry Joseph, who has 11 years of experience under his belt. Joseph only had two reps all week during practice. I'm scratching my head right now.

The Eskimos had planned all week long to go with Jonathan Crompton, a young and promising quarterback from the University of Tennessee. Problem was, Crompton had only thrown 22 career passes in the CFL heading into that must win game!

Let me recap: you toil with the decision to start your franchise quarterback after he sustained a concussion just six days ago, limit his package – removing what he does best, don't practice or play your experienced gunslinger, and go with a virtual rookie in a must win game!

Wow, I know there's no giving an inch or concessions in football, but on behalf of the dwindling fan base, what is going on?

Now this week, with the playoffs virtually out of reach and the season almost over, you want to remove the muzzle on Reilly and set him free to attack the game – like he should have been last week – and risk further meaningless injury? I don't get it! Now is the time to get Crompton the reps he was given last week. Again, I'm scratching my head here.

I know there is a disconnect between management and coaches with who is second on the depth chart and that's why we saw Crompton last week instead of Joseph in a must win game.

But how about dealing with your No. 1 quarterback properly?

If he was cleared to play last week by third party doctors, then why the muzzle and shackles in a must win game?

Manage play calling to keep him out of harm's way and make certain he was not exposed to protection breakdowns. What? Are we still talking about the same team?

Reilly is an old school quarterback. He's a warrior and he's proven he can compete, win, and lead this franchise.

It's been a long season; rest your star! Now is the time, and for the next four weeks, to see what you have in Crompton. If Joseph is not in the cards for the future, move Jacory Harris onto the active roster and see what he's got to offer too!

Head coach Kavis Reed knows all about the seriousness of injuries in football; he was forced to retire prematurely with a neck injury. Not only that, Reed is as passionate as they come in the coaching ranks. He's uniquely dialed in to his players, both on and off the field. Simply put, he cares!

So do I!

Sometimes you are too close to the trees to see through the forest.

So I ask, why Reilly now?

More head scratching...