The Ottawa Redblacks snag another NFL level quarterback. This time tapping the Kansas City Chiefs organization for their most recent addition. Dustin Crum has decided to head to the CFL for the remainder of the 2022 season.
QB Depth Chart
Starter Jeremiah Masoli is still on the 6 game injured list. With only two healthy quarterbacks on the active roster, the Redblacks brought in Crum to an already crowded quarterback room. With Tyrie Adams, and Breylin Smith also on the practice squad, suddenly Ottawa has six quarterbacks.
With Masoli expected to resume his starting duties when healthy that leaves Caleb Evans and Nick Arbuckle as the two healthy Quarterbacks on the roster. As mentioned before there are three quarterbacks on the practice squad as well.
With the perceived pecking order being Dustin Crum as option 3, Tyrie Adams is option 4, and Breylin Smith is the 5th option currently. With Crum’s NFL experience it is hard to lean any other way for the first QB to call up off the practice roster.
Where Do They Stand
While it may look like Adams would in theory have the upper hand in any quarterback elevation, that may not be as clear cut as we think. Crum might actually have an advantage given the influences I the building. Crum is coming straight from the NFL, and working under one of the best offensive minds of the modern era.
During the preseason, Crum completed 10 of 15 attempts, 56 yards for the Chiefs. This coming after a college career that saw him complete just under 67% of his passes. He racked up 7,401 passing yards for an average of 8.6 yards per attempt. He also managed 55 touchdowns to 12 interceptions at Kent State.
Meanwhile Breylin Smith is a rookie, and Tyrie Adams, most recent experience came in the Champions Indoor Football League on the Salina Liberty. This experience, while valuable simply isn’t the same as the time spent in an NFL locker room. Especially when you’re looking at the CFL, which is arguably one step below on the football tier list.
What Does Crum Bring to the Table
In order for Crum to make an impact for the Redblacks he will have to first learn the offense, and style of play the CFL offers. It is quite the stretch from the NFL version of American Football. Whether it’s the 3 down setup, the high motion that is allowed, or various other tweaks there is always an adaption period when a player lands in the CFL for the first time. Given that Crum has really only been asked to learn two playbooks since he started in college, we have no real context clues to go on for how long it will take to get up to speed.
Crum is a winner. Given his first opportunity to be the starter in his junior season, he went from little known back-up to the first quarterback to lead Kent State to a bowl game…ever. During this season he showed just how good he could be. Completing over 69% of his passes for over 2,000 yards. The insane thing about his junior year is the 10 to 1 touchdown to interception ratio for Crum. No that isn’t a typo. Crum threw 20 touchdowns to just 2 interceptions as a junior. Protecting the ball is his best trait he can offer as a backup quarterback.
His weaknesses lie in his middle of the pack arm strength, and slow release as pointed out by Lance Zierlein prior to the draft. He is somewhat mobile, but is no Tre Ford, or even Caleb Evans for that matter. He has above average pocket awareness which has been key to his success given his fairly average height at 6’1 210 lbs.
How Soon Will He Play?
This is quite literally the million dollar question. Or rather the question that separates Crum from his future million dollar contracts. If he is able to learn the playbook fairly quickly, and the Redblacks season continue to trend in the wrong direction, we could see the team turn to a younger option at Quarterback.
Bringing in Crum would do two things for this offense; First of all there is a liklihood he creates a spark for the team. This offense hasn’t looked the same since Masoli left the lineup and the Redblacks were likely hoping that he would be really hitting his stride by now, having knocked off any rust, or chemistry issues by now. Instead Masoli has been rehabbing all season long, and the Redblacks have been swinging for the fences at the quarterback situation since.
The second and most likely reason we find him on the roster for Ottawa is his extremely high touchdown to interception ratio. Currently the Ottawa passing attack has accounted for 7 touchdowns to 8 interceptions so far this season, while sporting just a 66% catch rate as a team. This needs to change, and quickly if the Redblacks hope to find a rythym the rest of the season.
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