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From the sideline to the huddle

by admin November 8, 2010

From the sideline to the huddle

by admin November 8, 2010

Imagine for a second that you’re a backup quarterback. It’s your second year and you have perhaps the best quarterback in the province ahead of you. You don’t expect to be the starter anytime soon. Your goals for the season are to learn from him and take those lessons into future years.

All of a sudden, the starter suffers a devastating concussion and winds up being out for the season. Now your team needs you to be the guy in command of the offence.

This is what happened to Terrance Morsink.

“I felt terrible for Rob,” said Morsink of Robert Mackay, whose injury in game one wound up ending his season. “It was hard to see that happen to him, but for me, it was a great opportunity. I hate sitting on the bench and I was excited to step into action and help my team win.”

Usually, with a backup quarterback in charge, the team’s playoff hopes are essentially gone. But although his inexperience eventually got the best of him, he did what few second-year backups could do: he brought the Concordia Stingers within one game of the playoffs.

Morsink went 3-4 in his seven starts. There was a lot of pressure on him, as the Stingers had trouble running the football all season. Morsink led the conference in pass attempts with 302 and throwing that many passes is tough for a young quarterback. He wound up with 2,037 yards on the season with eight touchdowns. Morsink’s undoing was his 18 interceptions, a weakness he would be the first to acknowledge.

“I just didn’t make the right decisions,” said Morsink. “There were times when I could’ve just taken a sack or thrown it away, but I forced way too many throws.”

Of course, making mistakes is all part of the growing pains for a young quarterback. Perhaps Morsink is emulating two of his biggest idols of football. John Elway and Peyton Manning threw their fair share of picks early on. Elway threw 14 in his first 10 starts while Manning threw 28 in his rookie season. Not to make any comparisons, but maybe the Quebec conference should stay alert in the future.

If you talked to Morsink, though, you’d know he doesn’t care about stats. Well, except for one: the “w’s.

“Your goal for any season should be to win the Vanier Cup,” said Morsink. “As long as we keep winning, I don’t care about my own stats.”

There is no guarantee that Morsink will be the starter next year, but he showed some good signs this year. When he learns to make better decisions and becomes more comfortable with his offence, he will have great potential. Morsink showed that he could win this season and with more experience, more wins should come.

The business student credits a lot of his success to his coach, Gerry McGrath.

“Watching game film with him is amazing,” said Morsink. “He’s so good at breaking down defences and he’s so passionate about football. That really rubs off on us as a team.”

Morsink has known McGrath for a while. In his mid-teens, he attended several mini-Stingers camps and got to know his future coach. While he attended John Abbott and played for the Islanders, Concordia recruited him. Morsink ultimately chose Concordia for its business program and the coach he had grown familiar with.

“I made the most progress as a quarterback from those camps I spent with Coach McGrath,” said Morsink. “I loved his coaching style and I knew he could help me most.”

Morsink started his football career as a running back and a linebacker, but his father/coach knew he had more potential as a pivot. Morsink’s father coached him through peewee and bantam and knew where his son’s potential lay.

“I wasn’t that fast and my dad told me if I wanted to play at the next level, my best chance was to be a quarterback,” said Morsink.

While Morsink has made much progress as a quarterback, he doesn’t see himself going to the next level. In the CFL, the last Canadian to start at quarterback was Giulio Caravatta in 1996. Morsink would love to break that drought, but he doesn’t see that as an option.

“I’m realistic,” said Morsink. “I think what I’d really love to do is coach. If coaching could be my job, I’d love nothing more than that.”

Morsink’s passion is still football first, and he has his reasons. While he said he might wind up with a “regular job,” as he puts it, his dreams will always have to do with football.

“I enjoy all the competition, aggressiveness and strategy that goes into it,” says Morsink. “Other sports you play so many games in a season, but in football, every game requires so much work and it builds discipline.”

Sounds like something a coach would say.

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Imagine for a second that you’re a backup quarterback. It’s your second year and you have perhaps the best quarterback in the province ahead of you. You don’t expect to be the starter anytime soon. Your goals for the season are to learn from him and take those lessons into future years.

All of a sudden, the starter suffers a devastating concussion and winds up being out for the season. Now your team needs you to be the guy in command of the offence.

This is what happened to Terrance Morsink.

“I felt terrible for Rob,” said Morsink of Robert Mackay, whose injury in game one wound up ending his season. “It was hard to see that happen to him, but for me, it was a great opportunity. I hate sitting on the bench and I was excited to step into action and help my team win.”

Usually, with a backup quarterback in charge, the team’s playoff hopes are essentially gone. But although his inexperience eventually got the best of him, he did what few second-year backups could do: he brought the Concordia Stingers within one game of the playoffs.

Morsink went 3-4 in his seven starts. There was a lot of pressure on him, as the Stingers had trouble running the football all season. Morsink led the conference in pass attempts with 302 and throwing that many passes is tough for a young quarterback. He wound up with 2,037 yards on the season with eight touchdowns. Morsink’s undoing was his 18 interceptions, a weakness he would be the first to acknowledge.

“I just didn’t make the right decisions,” said Morsink. “There were times when I could’ve just taken a sack or thrown it away, but I forced way too many throws.”

Of course, making mistakes is all part of the growing pains for a young quarterback. Perhaps Morsink is emulating two of his biggest idols of football. John Elway and Peyton Manning threw their fair share of picks early on. Elway threw 14 in his first 10 starts while Manning threw 28 in his rookie season. Not to make any comparisons, but maybe the Quebec conference should stay alert in the future.

If you talked to Morsink, though, you’d know he doesn’t care about stats. Well, except for one: the “w’s.

“Your goal for any season should be to win the Vanier Cup,” said Morsink. “As long as we keep winning, I don’t care about my own stats.”

There is no guarantee that Morsink will be the starter next year, but he showed some good signs this year. When he learns to make better decisions and becomes more comfortable with his offence, he will have great potential. Morsink showed that he could win this season and with more experience, more wins should come.

The business student credits a lot of his success to his coach, Gerry McGrath.

“Watching game film with him is amazing,” said Morsink. “He’s so good at breaking down defences and he’s so passionate about football. That really rubs off on us as a team.”

Morsink has known McGrath for a while. In his mid-teens, he attended several mini-Stingers camps and got to know his future coach. While he attended John Abbott and played for the Islanders, Concordia recruited him. Morsink ultimately chose Concordia for its business program and the coach he had grown familiar with.

“I made the most progress as a quarterback from those camps I spent with Coach McGrath,” said Morsink. “I loved his coaching style and I knew he could help me most.”

Morsink started his football career as a running back and a linebacker, but his father/coach knew he had more potential as a pivot. Morsink’s father coached him through peewee and bantam and knew where his son’s potential lay.

“I wasn’t that fast and my dad told me if I wanted to play at the next level, my best chance was to be a quarterback,” said Morsink.

While Morsink has made much progress as a quarterback, he doesn’t see himself going to the next level. In the CFL, the last Canadian to start at quarterback was Giulio Caravatta in 1996. Morsink would love to break that drought, but he doesn’t see that as an option.

“I’m realistic,” said Morsink. “I think what I’d really love to do is coach. If coaching could be my job, I’d love nothing more than that.”

Morsink’s passion is still football first, and he has his reasons. While he said he might wind up with a “regular job,” as he puts it, his dreams will always have to do with football.

“I enjoy all the competition, aggressiveness and strategy that goes into it,” says Morsink. “Other sports you play so many games in a season, but in football, every game requires so much work and it builds discipline.”

Sounds like something a coach would say.

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