In a somewhat surprising move, the Calgary Stampeders have named Jake Maier the starting quarterback for Friday’s game against Montreal.
The announcement came Thursday morning when the Calgary Stampeders’ Twitter page released the position chart for their game against the Alouettes. Maier was listed number one at quarterback with Canadian quarterback Michael O’Connor as the backup.
Throughout the week, news came that starting quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell was dealing with a broken fibula after a hit in week one. Mitchell struggled in week two against BC recording four interceptions in the 15-9 loss. He was placed on the six-game injured list.
Originally, the speculation seemed to have been that O’Connor was going to make the start due to his experience at quarterback in the CFL. He’s appeared in two games in his career throwing for 173 yards and one touchdown in those games. Despite the lack of experience, Maier appears to be confident heading into his first career professional football start.
“Everybody assumes because it’s your first start in pro football, you’re a rookie, you’ve got all these extra nerves. I’m actually the opposite.”Calgary Stampeders quarterback Jake Maier
In three seasons playing at UC Davis, Maier threw for over 11,000 yards and 88 touchdowns. He’ll become just the second rookie quarterback to make his first career start this season. BC Lions quarterback Nathan Rourke started week one of the regular season. While speaking to the media Thursday, Calgary head coach Dave Dickenson gave his vote of confidence in the young quarterback.
“He’s a good solid quarterback, he does have a lot of confidence, he enjoys the game, he loves to learn. He’s never played in the CFL so we’ll have to do a great job around him.”Calgary Stampeders head coach Dave Dickenson
Even though Maier will be making the start, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see O’Connor take a few snaps at quarterback Friday night. Stampeder fans have already seen O’Connor in short-yardage situations this season. He could be used in similar packages and might be used as a decor as well.
The Montreal game is a critical one for Calgary as they try to avoid an 0-3 start to the season despite being home for all three games. There will be a lot of pressure on Maier to perform and get off to a fast start. The confidence in the rookie quarterback should relieve some of the stress from fans. He appears to be ready for the big stage under the Friday night lights.