There’s no question what the biggest story line is for the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2017: who will be their next quarterback?
Kevin Glenn, in all likelihood, will start game 1 of the regular season barring injury. That’s fine. However, Glenn isn’t the guy to lead the Riders into their next era.
If there’s one thing the history of the CFL has taught us is whoever it ends up being, the odds are pretty good you didn’t know much about him before signing. That is unless you follow NCAA like nobodies business.
In the West Division, every other team has a guy that they consider their starting quarterback. Bo Levi Mitchell, Mike Reilly, Jonathon Jennings and Matt Nichols may be household names now, but there was a time they weren’t. Take Mitchell for example: he signed with Calgary in 2012, and this news release is more or less all you will find on the move.
Reilly’s story in the CFL begins back in 2010 with the B.C. Lions. He quietly joined the team almost halfway into that season, again to little fanfare. It wasn’t until 2012 that Reilly started a game outside of the pre-season. He ended up making the most of that chance and was eventually dealt to Edmonton where he beat out Nichols for that team’s starting job in 2013. Nichols himself joined the Eskimos late in the 2010 season.
Jennings actually got his introduction to the CFL at a mini-camp in 2014 with the Riders. His performance was allegedly so forgettable that former Lions offensive coordinator George Cortez, then with Saskatchewan, claimed to not even remember it. Though, with Cortez you never know as he isn’t one to share much information.
The Riders previous starting quarterback was an unknown as well. Darian Durant was on Hamilton’s negotiation list (he was also previously on Ottawa’s) and he ended up in Saskatchewan as part of a trade that saw the team land the first pick in the Renegades dispersal draft. That pick was Kerry Joseph, who certainly has his place in Rider history, but Durant ended up being the biggest piece in the deal.
Another common factor for all of these guys? Time. They all spent fairly significant time as a backup, third string or even practice roster quarterbacks.
This brings us to Vince Young. The 34-year-old is trying to resurrect his career with the Riders. Based on the talk from reporters stationed in Saskatoon it sounds like the former Texas Longhorn had a rough start to camp but had a better day three. Unlike Brandon Bridge, Bryan Bennett (who also spent time on the Bombers practice roster) or Marquise Williams, time is not on Young’s side. Many big name American quarterbacks have come and gone after plenty of hype. It is possible but the odds aren’t in Young’s favour.
So does that mean that Bridge, Bennett or Williams will be the guy? Maybe, maybe not. We won’t really know what these guys have until the lights turn on in a couple of weeks. If I had to bet though, one of three probably has a better shot at leading this team than Young. At least that’s what history tells us.