Riders' new quarterback arrives in Saskatchewan
After a year of trying, the Riders have finally acquired Vernon Adams
The one time Chris Jones' Roughriders played against Vernon Adams, they couldn't contain him.
It was a rainy day at old Mosaic last October, and Adams in his first CFL start led the Montreal Alouettes to a 19-14 victory.
The Riders couldn't keep him in the pocket that day but they finally got him under wraps this week. After a year of on-and-off negotiations, the Riders acquired the elusive quarterback in a trade with Montreal.
"You saw last year when we played him, we sent a lot of stuff at him. He's as elusive as anyone I have ever coached against," said Jones shortly after Adams's arrival in Regina Wednesday afternoon.
"Certainly he's got some things to work on as a quarterback, as all young quarterbacks do, but he's 65 and 14 since high school, that's what I like most."
In other words, Adams, who played college ball at Eastern Washington and Oregon, is a winner.
"We know that you're escapable; we know that you can run; we know that you're going to give us some things in the wildcat package that you can do. Now he's got to work on his left hand in basketball, things he doesn't do well he's going to have to work on," added the Riders' head coach and general manager.
"I just don't like getting sacked; I don't like getting hit. I just want to get out and make something happen with my feet and I would rather scramble to throw not scramble to run and try to make people miss and get playmakers the ball," said the newest Rider.
In Saskatchewan, Adams is reunited with Glenn and Brandon Bridge. They were all together in Montreal in 2016.
"I really want to just perfect my ways as a quarterback, keep learning from Kevin Glenn, see how he does it, see how he's been playing for so long and just be a professional," said Adams.
Adams leaves Montreal where he was Darian Durant's backup.
"He said I was going to love it, that's exactly what he told me," said Adams of Durant who quarterbacked the Riders for almost a decade, but was traded prior to free-agency last winter.
"He had found out what happened, he had reached out to me and said 'You're going to love it out there in Sask.'"
In Saskatchewan, Jones says Adams will be worked into their short yardage package right away and there will be competition between Adams, Bridge and Marquis Williams for how the depth chart is shuffled.
"We need both of them [Bridge and Williams] to up their game, practice and in games when they get opportunities," said Jones.
That's a shot perhaps directed specifically at Bridge who may have fallen out of favour with his head coach for being unprepared for his one and only series against the B.C. Lions last Sunday.
Bridge took a time count violation and a loss of down in the fourth quarter. The Riders had to settle for a field goal to put the game well out of reach, but the score was irrelevant for Jones who was visibly upset on the sideline.
"Certainly it was something I wasn't happy about. You saw my reaction. It's on our offensive staff to get the plays in and our quarterbacks to get the play run."
Adams will have a few days with the playbook before the Riders return from their bye week for practice on Monday.
They face Edmonton in Alberta's capital on Aug. 25.