Barker on Evans' dazzling CFL debut: 'He was unbelievable'
Ottawa Redblacks head coach Paul LaPolice was very happy with rookie quarterback Caleb Evans after his first CFL start in Week 9.
“He played with composure; he really didn’t get flustered too much.” LaPolice said of Caleb Evans Monday morning during his weekly interview with TSN 1200, “I thought he made some good decisions.
“It’s one thing when your primary receiver is open, but I thought he progressed and found the next people in a progression a number of times. So, that was good and led us to a win.”
When asked what led to Evans getting the start over fellow rookie Taryn Christion, LaPolice traced his decision to before the regular season even started.
“We just felt that Caleb had a better training camp,” he said. “You get a lot of opportunities to evaluate guys at training camp, and once the season starts, they get chances but it’s far less. We just felt throughout that process that Caleb was more accurate and overall merited the start.
“When he gets opportunities to compete, he does a good job, and the players respond to him, and he gets fired up when he makes a good play. You can see that in practice from him. He was certainly excited but there is a lot of room for growth.”
With Ottawa set to take on the Toronto Argos on Wednesday, LaPolice was asked about the playbook and how it might look different in Evans’ second start.
“Some gameplan things we’ll try to do different for Toronto,” he said. “You want to limit how many new things you have for a young quarterback.
“First of all, what is he comfortable with? Then you try to call the plays that you’ve seen him be successful with in practice.”
Ottawa will look win back-to-back games this season for the first time on Wednesday when they travel to BMO Field to take on Toronto.
“The defence of the Argos the last two games has been physical.” LaPolice said, “They’re going to pressure you at times, drop in zone at times. But they’re not afraid to put eight guys around the line of scrimmage and pressure you. Especially with a young quarterback, we have to make sure we don’t get confused by the looks they give us defensively.
“Offensively, we have to prepare for two quarterbacks. McLeod Bethel-Thompson did an outstanding job last week pushing the ball downfield and throwing ball into tight windows. Our zones have to be tight to make sure don’t give him easy completions. It’s a good football team, we have to go play our best game.”