Ottawa Rough Riders

Condredge Holloway - Quarterback - 1975-80 - University of Tennessee

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Sports Illustrated Steve Wulf - 23-07-1979

They're either too small, too young, or too stubborn to play quarterback in the NFL, so they enlist in the CFL, which could well stand for the Canadian Foreign Legion. There a man can leave his past behind and plunge into obscurity, no questions asked, as long as he pledges temporary allegiance to the Calgary Stampeders, the Hamilton Ticats, whatever. About the only thing a quarterback in the Canadian Football League can't be is Canadian.

 

The CFL is also a good place to find the answers to trivia questions beginning, "Whatever happened to...?" Condredge Holloway, the Tennessee quarterback several years ago, is an Ottawa Rough Rider.

 

They came to Canada for a variety of reasons, most of which, when elucidated, mean the NFL didn't want them. That's not so much an indictment of the players as it is of the system. "I was drafted in the 12th round by the Patriots, and they let it be known they were going to try to make me a defensive back," says Holloway. "So instead of wasting my time and theirs—I don't want to tackle anyone anyway—I came up here. I played against and best players who were drafted No. 1, but my stature just didn't fit into the NFL computer."

 

Holloway's's current stature is that of the best young quarterback in the CFL. (The best graybeard is 36-year-old Tom Wilkinson of the University of Wyoming, who led Edmonton to victory in The Grey Cup last year.) Holloway's coach, George Brancato, says, with a trace of a sneer, "Connie's sure better than a lot of quarterbacks down there." Last year Holloway and Clements alternated at quarterback, and they finished 1-2 in the voting for the best at the position in the Eastern Conference. Clements, who is anxious to wear the uniform of the Kansas City Chiefs next season, was planning to play out his option, and the Rough Riders traded him to Saskatchewan, one of the worst teams in the league.

 

That left Ottawa with Holloway, but who's complaining? He was more than enough to lead the Rough Riders to a 30-19 victory over Hamilton in the season opener last week. The 5'10" water bug completed 14 of 24 passes—most of them thrown while on the run—for 244 yards and three touchdowns. He scooted five times for another 47 yards and ducked out from under a half dozen heavy pass rushes. And he didn't think he had a particularly good game.

 

Canadian ball was made for Holloway, and indeed most running quarterbacks. The field is 11? yards wider than it is in the NFL, which gives passers more room to scramble and more time to spot receivers, of which they get an extra one because each team has 12 men. There are three downs instead of four, so the ball changes hands more often. Offenses are geared to passing and big plays.

 

Moreover, CFL quarterbacks usually call their own plays, something their NFL counterparts rarely do, because Canadian rules allow only 20, not 30, seconds between plays. The defenses are not nearly as sophisticated as they are in the U.S., which makes a passer's job that much easier. And the end zones are 25 yards deep, offering a larger receiving area when the ball is near the goal line. "It's just a whole lot of fun," says Tony Adams, who is in his first year with the Toronto Argonauts after sitting on the bench for Kansas City for four seasons.

 

1981-86

 

For information on obtaining this historical CFL Image visit:

http://scottgrant.photoshelter.com/

-- statistics --

 

 

Condredge Holloway     Tennessee
    Passing        
Yr Team Att Cmp Yds Pct. TD Int Lg
1975 Ott 148 60 984 40.5 6 9 44
1976 Ott 106 59 973 55.7 9 6 59
1977 Ott 102 62 972 60.8 5 5 75
1978 Ott 214 132 1,970 61.7 12 2 74
1979 Ott 238 128 1,965 53.8 17 8 66
1980 Ott 189 106 1,499 56.1 7 8 62
1981 Tor 343 189 2,578 55.1 12 11 58
1982 Tor 507 299 4,661 59.0 31 12 79
1983 Tor 372 210 3,184 56.5 18 5 80
1984 Tor 254 146 2,231 57.5 16 8 63
1985 Tor 210 139 1,735 66.2 7 4 65
1986 Tor 302 166 2,230 55.0 14 15 62
1987 BC 28 14 211 50.0 1 1 43
Total 13 3013 1710 25,193 56.8 155 94

80

 

    Rushing    
Yr Team C Yds Avg Lg TD
1975 Ott 58 465 8.0 51 1
1976 Ott 43 340 7.9 32 1
1977 Ott 38 235 6.2 16 0
1978 Ott 50 288 5.8 31 1
1979 Ott 40 259 6.5 22 1
1980 Ott 29 106 3.7 23 0
1981 Tor 58 317 5.5 33 1
1982 Tor 62 448 7.2 32 2
1983 Tor 56 271 4.8 19 4
1984 Tor 43 217 5.0 20 0
1985 Tor 33 166 5.0 25 2
1986 Tor 23 53 2.3 12 0
1987 BC 2 2 1.0 1 0
Total 13 535 3,167 5.9 51 13