Reilly vs. Nichols - And the winner is...?
One of the biggest question marks going into camp is at the position of Quarterback. It is somewhat similar to last year where fans of the Edmonton Eskimos weren't sure who would be the starter, but whereas last year there was a lot of negativity surrounding the position, this year it is the exact opposite. Most fans are rather optimistic about the two young guys vying for the coveted role and the excitement is building. Let's take a closer look.
Reilly is 28 years old while Nichols is 26. Both are about the same size as Reilly is an inch taller and a few pounds lighter.
Unfortunately the sample size on these two guys is rather small. But it's all we have so let's dig into the numbers. Note that I am going to ignore everything prior to the CFL because Matt played at Eastern Washington (Div I) while Mike played at Central Washington (Div II) and I just don't see it as being applicable to this discussion.
So let's look at the limited stats we have in their CFL Careers:
Interestingly enough, they are very similar. Both have about the same amount of attempts, completions and the rating difference is marginal. Nichols appears to be able to throw further downfield compiling almost 200 more yards with fewer completions. Reilly has better accuracy with a completion percentage of almost 69% (Nichols 58%).
Reilly has 122 career rushing yards while Nichols has 76. It is difficult to guage this stat as Reilly has a significant number of rushing attempts on 3rd and short.
Unfortunately for Matt Nichols, this is where he is at a distinct disadvantage. For one, he is coming off a severe ankle injury and while he should be fully healthy for camp, you just don't know how this will affect his performance. The second and more important factor, is that Ed Hervey went out and got "his guy". He gave up assets to bring in Reilly and signed him to a contract that will pay Mike what amounts to legitimate starting Quarterback money in this league. I don't think anyone can argue that they do not expect Reilly to become the starting QB for this team in 2013 and he will be given every opportunity to do so.
I realize I am not going out a limb here, but Mike Reilly will be your starting QB in week 1. While I fully expect a great battle at this position during training camp, I just don't see how Reilly cannot be the starter based on the intangibles discussed above. Provided he is healthy, Mike Reilly is Ed Hervey's solution to the problem created by Eric Tillman when he traded Ricky Ray.