Canadian quarterback Brandon Bridge will be the first Roughrider to throw a football at new Mosaic Stadium Saturday.
After much speculation, Chris Jones made the announcement after practice in Saskatoon on Friday morning.
“I’ve given it a lot of thought and that’s what I just decided I wanted to do is to go with Brandon,” Jones said. “It’s nothing that’s happened on the field or statistics or anything else.”
Jones said Bennett will play after Bridge and the rotation will likely go by quarters.
Whether or not quarterback Marquise Williams will play will be an in-game decision, the coach said.
The quarterback rotation got a little more complicated earlier this week when Vince Young went down with a suspected hamstring injury. He will not play in Saturday’s game.
Bridge didn’t want to get too ahead of himself after getting the nod to start, but he said he is excited for the opportunity.
“We have a great group of quarterbacks and for him to call my number first is definitely an honour,” Bridge said.
“I put in a lot of work in this offseason and definitely throughout mini-camp and training camp.”
However, Bridge knows there’s still a lot for him to prove to his coaching staff. He wants to limit turnovers and show that he can be consistent.
“It’s still an evaluation so you just got to go out there and just do your job and not try to be a hero,” Bridge said.
Bridge came over to the Roughriders in August of 2016 after starting the season with the Montreal Alouettes. He said at the time he fielded multiple offers, but the Riders offered him a chance to play right away giving him ownership of the wildcat package.
Bridge played in 12 games with the Riders last season, completed 11 of 13 pass attempts (84.6%) for 163 yards and had four carries for 23 yards and a touchdown.
In that time, Bridge became known as a gamer: not always showing his best stuff in practice, but impressing when the lights came on. However, this season, Bridge said he’s been getting more and more comfortable throughout camp and he wants the coaches to know he’s learned the playbook and he’s comfortable making his reads.
“While I’m out there I just need to make sure that I’m going to the right guy and I’m not forcing any passes and making sure I just read the defence and make the right reads,” he said.
But you still may see some of his signature razzle dazzle if the situation calls for it.
“If there’s a lane to run or step up and make a throw I’ll definitely do it. If there’s a chance for me to extend a play and do some Houdini stuff then I’ll definitely do that.”