In the triumph, Bridge became the first Canadian quarterback in over 30 years to throw for three touchdowns in a game.
“Physically I feel pretty fine,” the Mississauga, ON product told 620 CKRM’s SportsCage on Monday. “To finally get hit in a game felt pretty good. Mentally I’m perfectly fine. I opened up some doors and some eyes of people around the league that Canada can produce quarterbacks.”
The Riders suffered a rash of injuries in the win over the Ticats, and starting quarterback Kevin Glenn never saw the field at all due to a hand injury. That led to Bridge’s second career start, but now he’s not sure what to expect when the club hits the field for Day 1 of their work week. Sunday the Riders host the CFL-leading Calgary Stampeders (2:00 pm, TSN, 620 CKRM Rider Radio Network).
“Honestly, it’s going out to grind,” Bridge said of Wednesday’s practice. “Obviously this is a big game. It would be a good win to have. I’ll approach this week like every other week; like I’m a starter. I’m ready to go if my number gets called again but I saw Kevin Glenn throwing today and he was throwing better. We got a week so I’m sure K.G. will go in there and light it up and get us a W.”
Bridge is clearly proud of his Canadian passport, even if CFL rules stipulate that quarterbacks don’t affect the ratio. Teams are mandated to start a minimum of seven Canadians in each game, but that doesn’t extend to the quarterback position.
“I truly think that should be addressed,” Bridge said thoughtfully. “That should be talked about this off-season. They should only call me a Canadian QB if I count against the ratio. Otherwise I should just be called a quarterback. At the end of the day I don’t get to represent my own flag. I’m already seen as an American on the roster sheet and I actually think it would open up a lot of doors and would be great for teams if a starting Canadian QB could open up another roster spot for an American somewhere else. But as it is now, I’m not considered a Canadian.”
Bridge realizes the current CFL rules are a conundrum. Starting-calibre Canadian quarterbacks have been a rarity in the league for decades.
“I don’t want a team to put me out there just because I’d help the ratio,” Bridge scoffed. “It’s a double-edged sword. I want to be put out there because I’m the best guy for that job. But I really want to raise awareness for Canadians at that position. This would add a lot of value for us.”
Bridge has quickly become the poster boy for Canadian quarterbacks which is an opportunity he relishes. And the more he’s in the national spotlight, the more he’ll be called upon to address questions like whether he’d encourage young Canadian quarterbacks to play NCAA football like he did with much success.
“I’d tell someone to go somewhere that you’re going to be happy, number one,” said the South Alabama product. “In your college days you really want to be able to enjoy waking up each day to the grind, no matter if it’s on the Stateside or in Canada. For me, I would highly recommend to go down south. That’s 100%. The coaching and the competition helped me out so much.”
NOTES: The Roughriders practice Wednesday at 11:00 am … No updates on the nine players injured in Hamilton – nor on QB Kevin Glenn – will be issued until after the workout … There are still tickets left for Friday’s Plaza of Honor induction ceremoney at Mosaic Stadium. You can buy your tickets at Riderville.com, 1-888-4-RIDERS or the Mosaic Stadium box office … This year’s inductees are Wes Cates and Roger Brandvold.