Bridge taking ‘reliever’ role in stride

By Arielle Zerr/CJME News Staff
October 11, 2017 - 12:30pm

In baseball when the starter is struggling, the manager turns to the bullpen to get the game back on track.

Consider Brandon Bridge the Roughriders’ bullpen.

It was a comment made by Roughriders head coach Chris Jones during the post-game interview in Toronto on Saturday that seems to have stuck. And it doesn’t bother Bridge any.

“I’ll definitely take that in stride. I mean, (baseball pitcher) Pedro Martinez was very well known for that … he actually won a world series or two, I actually don’t mind that,” Bridge said after Tuesday practice.

Jones nipped any talk of a quarterback controversy in the bud early, emphatically stating that Glenn would start on Friday against the Redblacks.

“Here’s the thing I think is important: How many games would we have won without him early in the season,” Jones asked.

“He threw for 70-something per cent and was very efficient running our offence and in bad situations was still able to handle because of his experience and calmness,” Jones said.

But the coach said he still knows the team is lucky to have two quarterbacks that can win games for them.

“A lot of teams aren’t necessarily in the same situation … those are two very good quarterbacks.”

Bridge has been building towards his strong showing in Toronto all season, seeing time in games against B.C. and Calgary and starting against Hamilton. The game against the Argos was his longest effort in relief all season and he went 20 of 28 for 292 yards and two touchdowns.

Much of his growth and success, he attributes to Glenn’s help.

“He’s a true pro. He helps me out,” Bridge said. “Through that game it was his mindset but my legs out there.”

“Every time when we got out there he was telling me (what) he saw, telling me what they were doing ‘look for this, look for that’ and then I just took that information and went out on the field and added my legs to it.”

The mobility difference between Glenn and Bridge is a benefit for the Riders, according to quarterbacks coach Jarious Jackson.

“If defences are kind of teeing off on us and we need to get a more mobile guy in there, then that’s where Brandon and the rest of the guys come along,” he explained.

“That’s just one more element of the game the (opposing) defence has to focus on.”

Glenn has been around the league long enough to not take that personally.

“The good thing is the different types of styles (Bridge and I have) where he’s the guy that can move around and extend plays and sometimes get passes down field with guys running wide open, where I’m more of a technician guy,” he explained. “It’s good. It’s good for the team to be able to have that and you never know when you’re going to need it.”

A belief held by both of the team’s quarterbacks who consider each other friends and room together on the road.

Anyone looking for animosity between the two would be hard pressed to find it.

“I’ve always looked at him and said he has the talent to be very good in the league,” Glenn said.

“We call him the godfather,” Bridge said of Glenn. “He actually looks out for us.”

Rodgers out, Lyles in as injuries shake up Riders defence

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