Corey Mace: Shea Patterson ‘ran away’ with Saskatchewan Roughriders backup QB job

Photo: Neil Noonan/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

Shea Patterson earned the backup quarterback job with standout preseason performances for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Patterson completed 8-of-11 passes for 132 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions while rushing three times for 17 yards in two exhibition outings.

“We allowed him to do a little bit more, gave him more opportunity and he ran away with that,” head coach Corey Mace said. “He does have the ability to create from the quarterback position, that’s important to have on the roster — it’s a unique skill set to that position.”

Patterson was competing with Mason Fine for the role behind Trevor Harris. Fine started six games for the Riders over the last two seasons but did not perform well enough to earn a roster spot entering the 2024 regular season.

“They were pretty tight, neck-and-neck through the majority of camp, but we felt Shea really set himself above. That was probably the No. 1 position we looked at with a magnifying glass, we felt we made the right decision,” Mace said.

“Mason’s a good player and we wish him all the best moving forward. Those conversations are never easy, but it’s necessary with what we do. We’re happy with the roster we put together.”

During two seasons at the University of Mississippi and two at the University of Michigan, Patterson completed 60.3 percent of his passes for 8,800 yards with 68 touchdowns against 27 interceptions while adding eight rushing touchdowns.

As a pro, the 27-year-old has had stints with the Kansas City Chiefs, B.C. Lions, Montreal Alouettes, Michigan Panthers, and New Orleans Breakers. Saskatchewan has been his longest football home since leaving the NCAA.

“Coming up to the CFL, you have to put your time in, a lot of guys don’t get opportunities for years up here. I’m always going to be ready when my number’s called,” Patterson said.

“My role is to make sure [Trevor’s] ready to play and push him every single week. You want to push the next guy that’s ahead of you because that will make them that much better. I’m all about the team.”

Mace noted Patterson’s ability to “make things happen” when it comes to scrambling as reasons why he likes the six-foot-two, 202-pound dual-threat QB. The first-year bench boss believes rookie pivot Jack Coan also has intriguing upside.

“His mental preparation, understanding the playbook, ability to process what he’s seeing very quickly,” Mace said. “We feel very comfortable with Jack and his progression as he develops here as a quarterback on the team. He’s got a bright future.”

The Saskatchewan Roughriders (0-0) visit the Edmonton Elks (0-0) on Saturday, June 8 at Commonwealth Stadium with kickoff scheduled for 4:00 p.m. EDT.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.