The Concordia Stingers have given quarterback Reid Quest the keys to the 2011 season. Terrance Morsink, who started in all but one of the Stingers’ games last season and started for the first three games of the 2011 season, is now on the sidelines watching Quest run the offence.
Quest saw some playing time in the first three games, getting reps against Laval, and playing in relief of Morsink versus St. Francis Xavier after Morsink threw six straight incompletions to open the game.
Quest’s first start came against Sherbrooke in week four, where he showed some encouraging signs. Despite falling short in the 33-26 loss to Sherbrooke, Quest completed 34 of 51 passes for 434 yards, two touchdowns and an interception against one of the top teams in the province.
Coach Gerry McGrath said the switch at quarterback was best for the team: “Terrance has been a little inconsistent and we felt Reid was coming along well. The team responded well to Reid. Terrance is capable but he’s struggled at times.”
A switch at quarterback is a tough decision to make, with not knowing how players will respond. McGrath said that Morsink was upset but accepting of the decision.
“He’s a competitive young man and I’d be upset if he wasn’t upset,” said McGrath. “He wants to play, he wants to be the guy, but everybody has to earn their position on this team, and you have to play at a high level to keep your position. We’re certainly not writing him off though, we still believe in him.”
Morsink declined to comment for this story.
Quest is in his first season and still learning the offence, but the coaches showed confidence in him. He said that the conversation in which he was given the starting job was short: “Coach McGrath just pulled me aside and told me I’d be getting the start against Sherbrooke. It was as simple as that.”
The good news for the Stingers is that there are no hard feelings between Morsink and Quest. In fact, Quest says that Morsink has helped him tremendously since he joined the team.
“Terrance is one of my best friends on the team,” said Quest. “He’s helped me out with the playbook and reading defences, so I’m really grateful for how he helped me.”
The Stingers are trying to get back to the playoffs after missing them last season, finishing with a 4-5 record. They’ve shown so far this year that they can compete with most teams in their conference, but being competitive and winning are two different things. If the Stingers expect to win, they’ll need strong play at quarterback whether it’s from Quest or Morsink.
Neither man played well against Laval on Sunday, though.
Quest was 9-for-22 for just 51 yards passing while Morsink was 0-for-4 in his limited action.
Starting jobs at quarterback are never completely safe. Any coach will put in the quarterback who he feels gives his team the best chance to win. Quest is the man for now, but he realizes that he must keep his play at a high level to keep his starting job.
“I have to stay calm and collected in the pocket,” said Quest. “We have a lot of playmakers on this team, so I just have to make the right reads, get our receivers the ball and make the proper decisions.”
The Stingers still have a chance at the playoffs. They have two games remaining against McGill and have already got their games (though they were losses) against top-ranked Laval out of the way. The Stingers will likely be in the playoff hunt with Laval, Sherbrooke and MontrÃ©al, but who will be steering the ship into the postseason remains a question mark.
The Stingers face the McGill Redmen on Oct. 8 at 1 p.m.