Dare to comparePrinters among Wally Buono's best pupils ever -- a list that includes Doug Flutie
Wally Buono knows quarterbacks, having cranked out a few good ones while still in control of the Calgary Stampeders. Jeff Garcia, Dave Dickenson, Henry Burris and Danny Barrett all displayed their own gifts but Casey Printers, the latest pivot to develop under Buono's guidance now in Vancouver, does things that remind him of the best to ever wear Stamps colours -- Doug Flutie.
"The thing I'm most pleased with Casey is that he stays within the discipline of the offence," Buono said.
"A lot of teams aren't hard enough on their quarterbacks. The offence has a play, the defence gives you reads and if you stay within them most of the time, you'll be successful. Casey's done a great job of that and because he's a student of the game and he's very hard on himself, he does what he's told. A lot of quarterbacks won't listen to you. They have their own preconceived things and they won't take the simple disciplines and just do them.
"The greatest quarterbacks we've coached, the greatest perhaps was Doug Flutie. Doug did what you told him to do and if he didn't do it, he had a good reason and he'd tell you."
After seeing action in just a couple of games in his rookie season, Printers has been thrust into the spotlight this year, replacing the injured Dickenson, entrenched as the No. 1 QB with a salary to match. He's expected back on the roster within a couple of weeks leaving Buono and the 5-3 Lions with a rather pleasant quandary for the playoff run in light of Printers' development.
Printers has gained notoriety with league-leading numbers for completion percentage and touchdown tosses but it's his mental approach that most impresses Buono.
Buono admits his backup quarterback's development has been a pleasant surprise this summer but off-season workouts have helped Printers exceed the Lions' wildest expectations.
"You have to say yes, we're surprised but the thing about Casey last year was that he had very good vision, tremendous composure about himself," Buono said.
"The thing last year that gave us a little doubt was his accuracy, his throwing motion and probably those two things might have prevented him from getting a shot in the NFL coming out of college.
"He's good football player, he's smart, he has all the intangibles you want in a quarterback. He's got that ability to bring everybody up and does. Not everybody has that and he does."
Buono said Printers came into camp this spring with improved throwing consistency and accuracy, the result of hard work.
"I worked my tail off," said Printers of his off-season regimen. "I threw the football three times a day for about three months. If you want to get better at something, you have to just work on it and work on it and work on it constantly and that's what I did."
The Florida A&M product said the off-season workouts weren't enough to impress Buono but Printers' results on the field have earned respect from his coach and boosted the QB's potential to earn the starting role with the Lions, elsewhere in the CFL or get an NFL shot.
"Wally wants production on the field and it doesn't matter what you did in the off-season or whatever, as long as you come in prepared to play," said Printers, 23.
"That's his philosophy and he puts all his trust in his players and lets his guys go out and make plays and that's what he is."