Drew Willy has no problem being in the spotlight
Drew Willy's time in Saskatchewan has been anything but ordinary, but none of it seems to be bothering him.
When Willy came to the Riders, he was seen as the fifth out of five quarterbacks in camp, and had a good chance at being the odd man out when all is said and done. Slowly but surely he became more confident in during training camp, before being the teams best quarterback in their first pre-season game against the Lions, even if the game was out of reach. The next week, he looked solid again this time against Calgary. Eventually winning the back up quarterback job when all is said and done.
Fast forward a few weeks in the regular season, Willy would get another chance to show his stuff, when he came in during garbage time against the Lions again. It was the last two weeks that Willy has really been thrust into the spotlight, having to play in both the Labour Day Classic and the Banjo Bowl, something he's just fine with.
"I've played in front of 80, 100-thousand people in college," said Willy. "The atmosphere is not really the big deal."
Willy did admit to reporters after practice on Wednesday that he was thrown off a little bit by some of the changes that had to be made on offense during the Banjo Bowl, especially when receiver Weston Dressler left the game. He was able to re-gain his composure when it mattered most, orchestrating the games final drive ending with Sandro DeAngelis' game winning field goal.
"Being able to be around guys like Peyton Manning, Phillip Rivers," said Willy when asked how he's able to keep his cool under such pressure. "Getting to see a guy Darian and J.T., just had some really good teachers."
Willy's calmness certainly isn't lost on head coach Corey Chamblin either, who told reporters on Monday that Willy is so level headed you can't even tell when he's happy or not.
"He's one of those quarterbacks, that I think he's meant to play quarterback, not a lot bugs him," said Chamblin. "He threw an interception, he came off, and some of the guys said let's go, and he said hey, I got it"
Chamblin marvels at Willy's mental abilities too, especially when it comes to practice. As until recently, he wasn't seeing may reps with the first team offense during the week, yet he was able to come in every time he was asked and get the job done.
"Shows you that sometimes it's really more so the mental then the physical," said Chamblin. "Some guys have to have plenty of physical reps, some guys just need more mental reps."