Collaros ready to handle pressure of being number one | | Official Site of the Canadian Football League Staff

HAMILTON -- Like anyone else who has moved to a new city, Zach Collaros is trying to scratch a few housekeeping items off his to-do list.

But while he hasn’t actually found a place to live yet (he’s been looking in areas not too far from Hamilton), Collaros’ items are themed more towards the football field.

Item one: Meeting his new teammates.

Since signing on to become Hamilton’s new starting quarterback in late January, Collaros has met and trained with receivers Andy Fantuz, Bakari Grant, Luke Tasker, and Jay Diston.

Though it was only a brief outing, Collaros is pleased with what he saw from his new crop of pass catchers.

“It looks like everybody had a good off-season,” Collaros told

“I know we are still two months out, but I thought the routes were sharp and everyone was in pretty good condition, so that’s exciting knowing we still have about 60 days until camp.”

Item two: Start learning the playbook.

Set to enter his first season as a starting pivot in the CFL, Collaros has admittedly placed an added importance on familiarizing himself with his new playbook.

Kent Austin’s playbooks have a reputation of being complex, but Collaros says it’s all part of the process.

“Yeah, it’s like anywhere new you go because the verbiage is so different. It would be nice in football if everyone said the same thing and make it easy for people, but I know it’s a complex offence,” he said.

“I’m anxious to get in there, I think at the end of April we have an OTA where I’ll sit down with coach Condell and Coach Austin and get it started. But yeah, I’m trying to memorize some verbiage they sent me,” he added.

Item three: Adapting to his new role.

No longer in the shadows of one of the league’s all-time greats in Ricky Ray, Collaros will have an opportunity to instill his own reputation across the league.

Step one of the process, however, is trying to implant himself as one of the leaders of the Ticats’ locker room

“I think there is definitely a sense of urgency and responsibility. I don’t want to show up somewhere and there are cameras and you are a letdown,” he said.

“So there is definitely a sense of urgency to make sure I’m getting the right amount of work in everyday, the right amount of reps when it comes down to throwing or foot work and in knowing the playbook as well.”

Collaros is fully aware that developing into a locker room leader isn’t something that happens overnight.

But as a quarterback, he’s also aware that there might be some extra pressure on him to develop into one a little sooner rather than later.

“I guess the obvious answer is yes, there will be more pressure, but I think the way you deal with pressure is being prepared. That’s my job and on me and I’ll be prepared.”

With files from

Fan Comments
I think this year will be interesting for the Ti-cats, assuming we have a season. I just heard an interview with Scott Flory, the new CFLPA president, and he was drawing a way harder line than the previous administration had done. I think there is real concern for a work stoppage, especially over the issue of revenue sharing.
April 01, 2014 - 9:07am
als rule
@M: I don't see a strike BUT rough/tough negotiations!! I don't believe either side wants to see the goose that laid the golden football killed!!
April 02, 2014 - 8:27am
Ricky Ray and Henry Burris are two of the best QBs in the CFL but once Collaros gets going I think the Argos, RedBlacks and even the Blue Bombers are going to regret not signing him. He will prove to be - more bang for the buck $ wise - than Ray and Burris. I feel the Bombers did well by signing Willy who should also be part of the new generation of very good QBs coming up threw the ranks.
March 31, 2014 - 9:01pm
als rule
@JJ: RR yes BUT burris no!!
April 02, 2014 - 8:32am
You do realize that you're saying Collaros will be better than Ray but not better than Burris! What a SHOCK! As for my reply to H123 - I did not say that the Ticats were the "end all to be all"! He obviously was unfamiliar with the Ticats receivers and I reminded him that they do have a talented group for Collaros to work with!
April 03, 2014 - 10:59am
als rule
@TFmcb: WHAT?!! JJ's 1st sentence that my comment is about reads "RR and HB are 2 of the best QBs in the CFL" and the rest of his sentence doesn't count!! my comment RR best QB and HB far from the best QB is what my comment says and nothing about collaros!!
April 03, 2014 - 3:49pm
This will be a most interesting year for Collaros and the Ti-Cats. I don't think he has great receivers, however, I do believable their capable. Mixing the run and the pass will help him. I think he'll be OK for a first year starter. GC is another question?
March 31, 2014 - 4:38pm
You don't think he has great receivers? Check out the roster with Bakari Grant, Fantuz, Giguere, Onrea Jones, Ellingson (who was on track to be a possible ROY until injury sidelined him for several games) - not to mention the addition of Koch. All of these receivers had a good, solid season last year but some were hampered by injury which does make their stats less impressive-looking. 2-3 were on track to have 1000 yards. Most are already familiar with the offense which should help Zach out too.
March 31, 2014 - 10:02pm
als rule
@TFmcb: well I see I'm not the only one who sees your cats opposite to yourself!!
April 02, 2014 - 3:45pm
als rule
@H123TFmcb: it's good to see I'm not the only one on this site who doesn't see the hamilton tiger cats as you do the end all to be all!!
April 02, 2014 - 7:12pm
Collaros has all the tools to be a very good QB and is willing to work hard to achieve success. Good luck! Fans will be looking for good things this season and in the future from their new #1QB! @ar - EVERY QB has pressure to help his team reach the GC every year - and much of that pressure is often self-applied. No need for him to live up to Burris' results - he'll be trying to achieve his own good results!
March 31, 2014 - 3:13pm
als rule
@TFmcb: as for having all the tools and working hard to achieve success only TIME WILL TELL!! NO sorry not every QB has self applied pressure to reach the GC!! collaros's pressure will come from trying to take his new team back to the GC and unlike last season win it!! as the season goes along collaros will be compared/judged to burris in both positive and negative actions!!
April 01, 2014 - 6:29pm
GC Bound
Under the coaching of Austin, this guy will excel, no doubt about it.
With the receivers and offensive schemes Austin uses, he should be able to match Burris.
Go Riders GO!!
March 31, 2014 - 2:02pm
als rule
@GCB: a new QB coming to a new team is a process that usually takes more then 1 year no matter who the QB or HC is!! the same will apply to willy in winnipeg and reilly in edmonton with new HC jones!!
March 31, 2014 - 4:44pm
Does that also apply to Troy Smith this year?
March 31, 2014 - 7:03pm
als rule
@F: YES both troy smith and tanner marsh!!
April 01, 2014 - 9:02pm
als rule
collaros is now the #1 man in hamilton and along with being #1 comes the pressure of matching former QB burris' GC berth representing the eastern conference!!
March 31, 2014 - 11:35am