Zabransky draws rave reviews

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:14 AM ET

EDMONTON - It didn’t signify the passing of the torch.

Ricky Ray is still the Edmonton Eskimos’ starting quarterback despite getting pulled in favour of Jared Zabransky Saturday against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

However, due to his success, Zabransky may be seeing more playing time in the future.

“It was a change of pace,” said Eskimos head coach Richie Hall.

“Jared came in and did some good things. Then the situation changed where we went back to Ricky and he did a solid job.

“You always look for the situation that’ll give you the best opportunity to win.

“It worked for us on Saturday.

“Jared came in and made some big plays, but it was also a learning experience for him. He’s only going to get better with the more he plays.

“We want to be able to utilize all our offensive weapons and he creates an offensive weapon because he does something different than the other two quarterbacks.”

The most mobile quarterback on the roster, Zabransky entered the game in the second quarter and hit running back Arkee Whitlock with a shovel pass that resulted in Edmonton’s only touchdown.

He then helped the team drive the ball effectively, due in large part to his effectiveness running the naked bootleg.

“That’s some of the stuff that I do well, so I think I just try to roll with those things,” Zabransky said.

“It was very good to get that experience. It forces defences to prepare for different looks, which is a good thing for us.

“The more experience you can get, especially with getting a win at the end of the day, is definitely beneficial for our team.”

Zabransky finished the game completing eight of 17 passes with a touchdown and a pair of interceptions. He also ran for 40 yards.

In the fourth quarter, the second-year quarterback was replaced by Ray, who engineered the winning drive that put the team in field-goal position.

“It felt good to get in there,” Zabransky said.

“The win felt the best. I was happy for the guys, they deserved to get a win.”

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca


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