Jarious Jackson will be the B.C. Lions' new quarterback coach.
On many levels, Friday's announcement that Jarious Jackson will be the B.C. Lions' new quarterbacks coach makes plenty of sense. Jackson was a valuable backup for the Toronto Argonauts last season, filling in successfully at times when Ricky Ray was injured, but he didn't dazzle, and his offseason release wasn't entirely unexpected. Jackson may still be able to play, but there aren't a lot of quarterbacking jobs in the CFL, and most teams would probably rather develop young talent in the backup role instead of acquiring a guy who's turning 36 in May. He's often been viewed seen as an insightful guy and a solid mentor for younger quarterbacks, though, so a job as a quarterbacks' coach is a logical one, and B.C.'s a reasonable destination considering his past history with the organization; general manager Wally Buono and head coach Mike Benevides both know Jackson well and can anticipate what he'll bring to the table. (It's notable that the Lions didn't have a dedicated quarterbacks coach before this: going to one is a smart move, and Jackson could be a good fit in this role.) However, what's interesting about this move is that the main player Jackson will have to work with, newly-extended starter Travis Lulay, was starting ahead of him just two seasons ago. Will Jackson be able to make the change from former backup to coach?
The roles of backup quarterback and quarterbacks coach carry some similarities, of course, but there are substantial differences as well. Backups, especially veterans like Jackson, are often called upon for advice, mentoring and support, and those are obviously elements of the quarterbacks coach's role as well. However, a coach has more authority and has to tell his players when they're doing something wrong, not just sit there and encourage the way you'd often expect a backup to do. Essentially, Jackson's gone from being Lulay's former backup to being his direct boss. That isn't necessarily the easiest transition to make.
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