Not every game can be as easy as the first start of Caleb Evans’ career in week nine against the Edmonton Elks was, something that was proven in his week 10 start against the Toronto Argonauts. Despite throwing three interceptions (two of them going for touchdowns the other way), Redblacks head coach Paul LaPolice has no questions about who his starter will be in the team’s second week 10 game on Monday in Montreal.
“Oh yes, and certainly with a short week,” he said when asked if Evans would be the starter in Montreal. “There are other things that we can do to be more consistent to help. I think we can run the ball better, and we certainly want to give him some more opportunities.”
Despite what some social media reactions would tell you, Evans wasn’t all that bad on the night. His first half of the game looked much like a continuation of what was seen against Edmonton, but in the second half, the entire team collapsed. Expecting Evans to stand tall among the crushing avalanche that took out the entire Redblacks offence, special teams, and to some extent, defence is simply unrealistic.
“You know, it’s hard when the defence did a really good job holding them to not a lot of points,” said LaPolice. “We gave critical mistakes, gave 14 points without the defence even stepping on the field. Those are very difficult things to overcome. Our special teams had a mistake early and they responded with their own blocked punt, but we weren’t consistent enough offensively and then the turnovers kinda plagued us.”
Even with all of the bad things that happened on the night, there were moments where Evans looked really good. The stat line shows that he threw for 334 yards, although that was partially aided by a deep 47-yard completion to Kenny Stafford at the end of the game that only benefits fantasy football players. He ran for an additional 54 yards, and before he threw his unfortunate interception, he looked poised.
“One of the interceptions, he didn’t grab the ball quickly,” said LaPolice. “Let’s put it this way, he didn’t throw the ball to the wrong person. The second one, it’s hard to flip your eyes and if you don’t see the picture clean, you can’t throw it. And he just didn’t see the last one in the blitz period.”
“We’ve just gotta keep coaching him and putting him in different pictures,” continued LaPolice. “But he moved the ball well at times. As we tell the quarterbacks, you get measured on two or three difficult plays, and that’s unfortunately what happened to him tonight.”
Of course, not everything was good for Evans on the night. There were more than a couple of instances where he looked rattled, and that really isn’t too surprising given the way the Argos got up in his face after every single play. Those mind games, and of course, the interceptions had him reeling and making more mistakes.
“I felt like I made too many mistakes for us to win, plain and simple,” said Evans. “Just a mix of everything. Not really things that we didn’t see [from the Argos defence], it’s just football. Like I said, I made mistakes where I should have just held some and took the sack or something like that, but I made the throw so I gotta get better.”
After a performance that isn’t up to snuff from what Evans expects from himself, there’s only one thing he can do.
“You just gotta learn from it,” he said. “Like I’ve always said before, never get too high, and never get too low. Stuff like this happens in football and it’s all about how you come back. Learn from it and get better, so that’s what I plan on doing to make games like this never happen again.”