The Vince Young experiment with the Saskatchewan Roughriders is more or less over, the question now is how will it play out?
On Monday, the Riders announced that the former NCAA and NFL quarterback will be out four to six weeks with a torn hamstring. If Young was still, well, young then maybe you stash him on the injured list, add him to the practice roster once healthy and give him another chance late in the season or next season at training camp. At 34-years-old, there’s little to no point in giving Young that chance. It’s not like Young was clearly the best quarterback through the first two weeks of training camp, so it’s basically nothing gained but nothing lost.
The only question left to be answered is do the Riders cut ties soon or give Young some time on the injured list once the season begins and quietly let him go at some point during the season or once the season is over?
The news on Monday created plenty of discussion whether the Riders should have signed Young in the first place. In retrospect, the team would have been better off going in another direction. That’s the easy answer. At the same time, when you have room to take a chance on someone like Young, there’s no harm in giving it a go either. At worst, it doesn’t work out and you’re onto the next guy, at best, you find someone who can play quarterback in the CFL, which isn’t always the easiest thing to do. In this case, it didn’t work out.
The Young experiment not working is suddenly not a big deal after the play of Brandon Bridge against the Blue Bombers. The Toronto native is the clear favourite to back up Kevin Glenn when the season begins. The attention now turns to Bryan Bennett and Marquise Williams. In all likelihood, one guy will find himself on the 46-man roster to open the season and the other (if they accept) will be on the practice roster. Bennett had a rough game against Winnipeg but has looked good in practice. Will he have a better go at it with the jitters of his first game out of the way? We’ll find out. Williams was strong during the game but was facing a defence that was sitting back. He should see time earlier in the game to see just what he’s capable of this week against B.C.
The Riders now have three quarterbacks behind Glenn that are young and have the chance to develop into more than they currently are. That’s really all you can do, just keep bringing in quarterbacks until something clicks. Just like Young, whether this group works out or not has yet to be seen. If it works out, then the Riders are set. If it doesn’t, then it’s back to the drawing board.