REGINA – The Roughriders got back to work on Tuesday with a closed practice at Mosaic Stadium. The club is coming off back-to-back wins in Ottawa and Toronto and now prepares to host the Ottawa RedBlacks Friday night in Week 17 action.
The Riders are particularly buoyed by the play of quarterbacks Kevin Glenn and Brandon Bridge who both led Saskatchewan to road victories the past two weeks. The team knows they’ll need a solid 1-2 punch at that position if they plan to make some noise the rest of the way.
“Yeah you know what, a lot of teams aren’t necessarily in the same situation and we are,” said Riders Head Coach & GM Chris Jones. “Those are two very good quarterbacks and Vernon Adams is a very good 3rd who can do multiple things. We’re in a good situation.”
Glenn started, and finished, the Riders’ 18-17 victory at Ottawa in Week 15 while Bridge came off the bench in the second quarter at Toronto in Week 16. Saskatchewan was trailing the Argos 13-3 at the time, but Bridge threw a pair of touchdowns and piloted his team to victory.
“I think you always just have to be ready to go,” Bridge said Tuesday. “It’s just like in baseball, sometimes you warm up in the bullpen but the guy pitches the whole nine innings. I just go out there and prepare like I’m going to play, and if I don’t play, I’m not. At least whenever I go out, I’m going to be prepared.”
For his part, Kevin Glenn wasn’t miffed about being lifted against Toronto. He was happy to see Bridge get the job done.
“It’s always good to have two quarterbacks that can go in and win games for you,” Glenn said Tuesday. “Over the years, this league has presented that. I’ve been in those situations before. The good thing is we have two different styles. He can go in, move around, extend plays and make passes downfield. I guess I’m more of a technician guy. It’s good for a team because you never know when you’re going to need it.”
Rider QBs coach Jarious Jackson said a combo like this can make the Riders very dangerous.
“Hands down it’s valuable to have that,” Jackson asserted. “To me, that’s just one more element of the game that defenses have to focus on. They may have have certain schemes that they want to throw against Kevin but if we throw one of the other guys in the game, now you have to defend the whole field.”
Kevin Glenn will start Friday’s home game against Ottawa. In the meantime, Jackson said Bridge can make the most of his practice reps.
“I’d like to see that same level of intensity from him in practice as well,” Jackson advised. “I think it’s a coach’s nightmare when you see one thing in practice and then another thing in the game. But when the lights come on, he’s one of the most competitive guys we have. At the end of the day he can spin the football, he gets us in the right plays, and that’s all that matters.”
A Roughriders victory over the RedBlacks Friday night – coupled with a BC loss at Winnipeg – would clinch a playoff berth for the Riders for the first time since 2014 but Jones said that isn’t being discussed.
“We can’t worry about all that,” Jones advised. “You win games, it takes care of itself. We just have to go out and get back to playing good football.”
Meanwhile the CFL Trade Deadline is on Wednesday but Jones said the team hasn’t been too active yet.
“We’ll see,” Jones offered. “It’s been kind of quiet so far. We’ll see if people start calling.”