The Brett Smith era begins in Riderville

Brett Smith, Ryan Hinds Deon Lacey

First Darian Durant, now Kevin Glenn.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders’ situation at quarterback became more desperate Wednesday after the team placed Glenn on the six-game injured list with a torn pectoral muscle. The veteran suffered the injury in the club’s 31-21 home loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Sunday.

That means rookie Brett Smith will make his first CFL start Friday night when the Riders visit the Edmonton Eskimos (3-1). Saskatchewan (0-5) is the league’s lone remaining winless squad.

Glenn took over starting duties after Durant suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in Saskatchewan’s season-opening 30-26 loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Head coach Corey Chamblin said Glenn won’t require surgery.

“Just to have two back to back at that same position that’s the biggest thing,” Chamblin told reporters. “Things that Darian did Kevin did differently.

“Things that Kevin does Brett will do different so I really think it’s an opportunity for that kid to grow.”

Smith will have big shoes to fill as Glenn, 36, leads the CFL in passing yards with 1,483 and has six TD tosses and five interceptions.

“I’m not putting pressure on him, it’s football,” Chamblin said of his rookie starter. “He doesn’t have experience but he has youth.

“He has a good arm and also has legs and that’s the thing. Jacques (offensive co-ordinator Jacques Chapdelaine) will do a good job of giving him what he needs to be successful.”

Smith’s mobility could be severely tested against an athletic Eskimos defence that likes to get after opposing quarterbacks.

“It gives him the opportunity to get out of trouble,” Chamblin said. “You don’t want to sit in there and take that heat.

“We understand who we’re playing we understand that he’s going to have to get on the move.”

And Chamblin isn’t expecting Eskimos head coach Chris Jones, who also orchestrates the club’s defence, to change his game plan given the Eskimos will be facing a first-time CFL starter.

“Nothing more than he’s dialling up every week, every damn blitz he can find,” Chamblin said. “I mean, that’s what Chris does.

“I can tell you, I’ve been with Chris and it doesn’t matter if it’s Kevin Glenn, Darian or Brett Smith, he views all quarterbacks the same. It’s time to blitz them.”

Tino Sunseri, who saw action last year after Durant’s season ended with an elbow injury, will serve as Smith’s backup during Glenn’s absence. Chamblin said the Riders will look to add another quarterback shortly.

“I don’t know if it’s going to be a veteran at this point but I do know we will be bringing in a new quarterback,” he said. “The time frame on that, I’m not sure of.

“I know we’ve discussed it and we do have a list of names.”

– CP