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TORONTO – We are now officially three weeks into Zach Collaros’ starting stint as the Argonauts man under centre.
Beginning with a 20-9 loss at home to Montreal in week 10, Collaros has now strung together two straight wins on the road. First, the comeback win in Montreal in week 11, and then this past week in Saskatchewan. Collaros also lead the team to a victory over BC in week 5, giving the young QB a 3-1 record as a CFL starter.
Argos Head Coach Scott Milanovich however, still believes the young pivot can be better.
“I want Zach to play better. I think he’s done a great job for a young quarterback. I want him to raise his level of expectation too. Even though he’s a young QB and we’re going to have his back through tough times, I expect him to play excellent every week and I think he expects the same.”
Through his past three starts in Ray’s absence Collaros is 69 of 104 passing for a completion percentage of 66.3% to go along with 4 passing touchdowns. He has also added 71 yards on the ground and a rushing TD in each of the three starts.
That said, there have been some bumps along the road as Collaros has also thrown an interception in each of the past three starts and the coaching staff also stressed concern over his ball security.
“I think he just needs to work on securing the ball better, it’s the number one thing that all of us do offensively I told him and he knows it” said Milanovich following walkthrough on Monday.
“He was loose with the ball really in the pocket, the interception was not a great decision. I don’t even worry about that one as much as the ball security in the pocket because I know he’ll learn form that and won’t do it again.”
With ball security the main concern for Milanovich, the coach also recognizes the slow starts the team has had the last few weeks. Falling down 16-5 to Montreal and 20-12 against Saskatchewan at the halves, and has stressed making sure both Collaros and the team get off to better starts. Milanovich notes it is all part of the growing process.
“We got to find a way to get him off early in the game a little bit better. His poise I think is excellent. His mental toughness and the way he’s able to put a bad play, or a bad quarter, or a bad half speaks a lot to what type of players he’s going to be. We think he’s going to be a very good one, just going though some bumps in the road.”
Finally, with Ray still out a few more weeks (based on the 6 week diagnosis the coach presented on August 29th) there is still time for Collaros to build on his performances and continue to show he deserves to be a CFL starting QB. His coach agrees, the time is now for Zach Collaros.
“I think he’s got all the talent in the world and clearly the poise and the leadership. I don’t want him to wait for year 3 or year 4 to say that he’s arrived, I want him to take control of it now.”