When it comes to Air Canada, it’s better late than never. That applies to both the airline and Roughriders quarterback Brandon Bridge.
(Full disclosure, in my pre-season predictions I felt Bridge would take over at some point, so there might be some self serving with this piece, because who doesn’t like to be right? Also, I’m not sucking up to Justin Dunk)
Earlier this week, 3DownNation’s Darrell Davis wrote a piece on why the Riders were right to stick with veteran Kevin Glenn as their starting quarterback, even though Bridge has shown better than the 38-year-old over the last few weeks.
Even though I don’t entirely disagree with what Davis wrote or with the decision the team has made, I think now is a good time for the team make the switch at quarterback.
The easy move for the team is to stick with Glenn. The Detroit native has been a quality quarterback in the CFL for over a decade and that alone should give him a chance to regain his form that had me picking him as the team’s most outstanding player nominee candidate at the halfway mark of the season. However, football is a game about what have you done for me lately, and lately, there’s no question that Bridge has been the better pivot. The Canadian just about led the Riders to a comeback win over the Calgary Stampeders and then did just that against the Toronto Argonauts. If the defence wasn’t as stout was it was against the Ottawa Redblacks, we probably would have seen Bridge in that one too.
Over his last three appearances, Bridge has average 205 yards per game and that’s mostly weighted down by a 91 yard fourth quarter against Calgary. Compare that to Glenn, who has average just 136 yards passing over his last three appearances, which is also mostly weighted down by a 26 yard first quarter against Toronto. Take out the bottom end for both pivots and Bridge’s 262 yard average tops Glenn’s 190 yards. If you really want to dig into the numbers, the Regina Leader-Post’s Rob Vanstone has been tracking what he calls “positive plays percentage” all season. In his formula, Bridge is coming out on top too, granted, not by much and the sample size needs to be taken into consideration.
Despite all of that, now is the time to start Bridge because barring some kind of horrific collapse, combined with a sudden resurgence of the B.C. Lions, the Riders are going to make the playoffs in some form. Bridge is going to be a free agent of the season and while I’ve been lead to believe that Bridge would like to return, he’s certainly going to do what’s best for him. There suddenly appears to be a number of starting jobs that might not have been open at the start of the season. Now is the time to give Bridge a chance to work as a starter all week. See if he can handle the role for a few weeks. If he proves to be the guy, then the team has the head start on re-signing him. If not, then we know. Glenn has always been a team first guy, and will be there if things go sideways.
The rest could also be good for Glenn who clearly hasn’t been the same player since injuring his hand. Is it still bothering him? Could a reset help? Either way, it can’t hurt.
We know that Chris Jones hasn’t been against making the tough decisions since coming to Saskatchewan, now might be a good time to make another.