The Saskatchewan Roughriders are currently locked in a tight battle for a playoff spot in the CFL West Division. Kevin Glenn has paced the Rider offence for all but one game this year. He sits in sixth place in CFL passing yards but has played in one or two games less than the top five. At 38 years of age can Glenn lead the Riders again next season? Is it time for one of the young quarterbacks on the depth chart to fill in the starting role? Or will the Riders look elsewhere to find the future Riders quarterback? There are arguments for at least five quarterbacks who could snag the starting job next season.
Who Will Be the Riders Quarterback in 2018?
Glenn is nearing the end of his time in the CFL, but he shows no signs of slowing down. This season has been one of his best statistical seasons of his entire career. Glenn came to Saskatchewan to start for at least this season and mentor the young quarterbacks behind him on the depth chart. He has done a tremendous job completing both of those tasks. As long as Glenn keeps putting up good numbers for the Riders, they’ll have him at the top of their depth chart again next season.
Brandon Bridge is a promising young Canadian quarterback in the Rider ranks. He started against Hamilton this season and did a decent job at managing the game. Ultimately the Riders won, which is all that matters. Bridge came out flying in the first half of his start but struggled in the second half. His ability to get to his second or third reads might quite be where it needs to be as of yet. His powerful arm will keep him out of trouble because the ball gets on receivers so quickly it’s hard for the defenders to make a play on it.
Bridge is the leader of the pack when it comes to next in line behind Kevin Glenn. His ability to throw the ball deep with accuracy and his ability to escape the pocket to extend plays makes him a strong contender. Brandon Bridge is an exciting young talent in the CFL.
Vernon Adams Jr.
Vernon Adams Jr. was acquired from Montreal this season and instantly became the Riders’ third down back. He also has a red zone package made for him that the Riders have deployed a few times with moderate success. Adams is in his second year in the league and his ability to run and throw the ball well makes him a huge threat in the quarterback position. He played his final year of college ball with the Oregon Ducks where he threw for 26 touchdowns and scored two on the ground.
Adams could very well have been the starter for the Alouettes this season but when they picked up Darian Durant those hopes were dashed. Vernon Adams Jr. will be pushing hard to be the starter next year but I’m not sure if he has the talent to surpass Bridge or Glenn.
The riders picked up Marquise Williams during training camp this year. He played his college football at UNC, Darian Durant’s alma mater. After a great showing at the end of the Riders’ first home preseason game he earned the third string spot over Bryan Bennett who most thought would get that role.
With Adams coming over, Marquise has found himself not dressing for the past few games. Williams showed a lot of poise in his minimal action and there are rumblings from people who have seen him play and practice this year that Williams could be a dark horse to pick up the starting spot next season. It will come down to whether or not he can fully acclimatize to the Canadian game.
James Franklin just barely makes it onto this list, because it’s so unlikely he’s going to get to start. I’m not sure what Franklin’s plan is for the offseason but I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if he stuck around in Edmonton for another year or two and waited for his shot. Reilly will be 33 to start next season and he plays a dangerous style of football in the quarterback spot.
If Franklin did make the move to Saskatchewan he would probably be the automatic front runner to challenge Kevin Glenn for the starting spot. This would likely lead to the end of the road in Saskatchewan for either Brandon Bridge or Vernon Adams Jr.
Bonus: Zach Collaros
Both Hamilton and Saskatchewan have admitted to talks about the Riders acquiring Zach Collaros. The depth of these talks hasn’t been revealed but it is an interesting possibility. Collaros had a career year in 2015. Since then knee injuries have slowed him down and his 0-8 start this year he was replaced by Jeremiah Masoli. His disagreements with former Ticats head coach Kent Austin may mean that his time in Hamilton is coming to an end. If he ends up in Saskatchewan, with the Riders’ all-star receiving corps at his fingertips, it could mean a career revitalization that would put the Riders into elite status next season.
There is still a lot of 2017 left to play in the CFL but the future quarterback battle is too intriguing to not start examining already. It really is up in the air as to who will start the season as the Riders’ number one next year. But if I had a vote, Kevin Glenn would start the season at the top of the list.
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