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Hewitt Commentary: Fajardo getting huge opportunity as Riders’ starting QB
Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Cody Fajardo throws the ball during CFL pre-season football action against the Calgary Stampeders in Calgary, Friday, May 31, 2019.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Published Wednesday, June 19, 2019 8:44AM CST
Saskatchewan Roughriders’ starting quarterback Zach Collaros is gone for a while, dealing with more concussion issues, the result of a cowardly, malicious hit. But unlike Zach, the CFL games continue.
While the Riders prepare for Thursday’s tilt in Ottawa, Head Coach Craig Dickenson has stated several times that both Cody Fajardo and Isaac Harker will see action at quarterback, with Fajardo starting.
I’m guessing Coach Craig will be very happy if Harker stays on the sideline holding a clipboard.
That would mean Fajardo is playing well, a far better scenario.
Harker has great promise, we all like him, but coming out of Division 2 NCAA football, and immediately playing good football as a CFL quarterback, is a tall order.
Isaac likely needs more time in the meeting rooms, weight room and on the practice field.
Fajardo is in his fourth CFL season, and unlike Harker, has spent a ton of time in meeting rooms and on practice fields.
His time has come. It’s finally his turn.
Fajardo has never started a CFL game until now, so for Cody, it’s GO time.
Thursday’s game in Ottawa will be the biggest of Fajardo’s CFL career by a country mile. Cody wants to prove badly that he can be a starting QB in this league, we all sure hope he can.
Fajardo was certainly a good starting college QB at Nevada. Cody, along with the very, very famous Colin Kaepernick, are the only Nevada pivots all time to pass for over 9,000 yards and rush for over 3,000.
Rider GM Jeremy O’Day likely considered Fajardo’s glittering college career when he signed him on St. Valentine’s Day.
Here’s hoping it’s a rosy outcome.
In media scrums this week, Fajardo said he wants to execute in two main areas: passing accuracy and decision making. I feel he will need to be a bit more patient in the pocket, giving him a better chance to make the right read, and throw to the right spot. He might take the odd hit, but he has a large, stocky frame to withstand it.
Remember how patient Ricky Ray was in the pocket?
Cody played with Ray so was hopefully taking notes.
At 6’2” and 215 pounds, Cody is a bruising runner, but he won’t win this game just by rushing. Fajardo has to pass effectively, and with his height, should have no problem seeing over the line and into the passing lanes.
Once the Ottawa contest concludes Thursday night, hopefully we can all celebrate a Rider win along with the Cody Fajardo “coming out as a starter party.”
Everyone will be invited.
I don’t know if many are expecting that to happen, but if it does?
I’ll buy the root beer.
Don Hewitt started covering the Saskatchewan Roughriders for CKCK-TV in 1979.