Saskatchewan·Analysis

Vince Young stepping backwards at Riders camp

If the Saskatchewan Roughriders' roster had to be set today, Vince Young's name may not be on it. The quarterback, who had success on football's biggest stage, is finding his comeback tough sledding in Saskatchewan.

Former NFL Pro Bowl quarterback had a rough Day 4 in Saskatoon

Vince Young, who is garnering the most attention at Riders camp, is quickly sliding down the depth chart. (Glenn Reid/CBC)

If the Saskatchewan Roughriders' roster had to be set today, Vince Young's name may not be on it.

The quarterback, who had success on football's biggest stage, is finding his comeback tough sledding in Saskatchewan.

While looking OK through the first three days in Saskatoon, Young took a step backward on Wednesday at Griffiths Stadium.

Interceptions and underthrows were the story of the day for Young, a quarterback who had two Pro Bowl seasons in the NFL.

"You know, for whatever reason I did feel he took a step back," said quarterbacks coach Jarius Jackson.

"We will watch film, we will make the corrections, I will try and get on him and make sure he comes out [Thursday] and has a better day."

Jackson couldn't put his finger on the reason for Young's setback, but he did agree the installation of new plays may have had something to do with it.

"The more you put on a guy's plate — if they don't have a grasp of everything from the get-go — you can't overfill the plate, so to speak. You may have to take a step back on certain things."

Riders quarterback Brandon Bridge is aiming high for personal goals in 2017. (Glenn Reid/CBC)

Brandon Bridge, on the other hand, is thriving in this environment.

Bridge is the only quarterback holdover from last year and his grasp of the playbook is evident in Saskatoon.

"I think that is the greatest part of my advantage, that I was here last year. So it's kind of like of a review," said Bridge, who made three appearances for the Riders in 2016.

But it's not only Bridge's grasp of the playbook that has impressed his coach. Jackson says it was the work Bridge put in during the off-season.

"I got the calls and texts all off-season. He was always calling me and trying to get film, trying to get ahead. I know he's trying to put his best foot forward so that's great to see," Jackson said.

Bridge concurred, coming to camp not content being three or four spots down on the depth chart.

"I was really trying to show him I really want to be that guy. I wanted to show him, 'Hey, you guys can trust me.'"

After four days of training camp, Bryan Bennett is ranked second in completion and accuracy percentage. (Glenn Reid/CBC)

But Bridge has some work to do if he is to unseat Bryan Bennett for the backup job, assuming Kevin Glenn will be the starter.

Bennett, who spent last season in Winnipeg on the Bombers' practice roster, signed with Saskatchewan over the winter.

He has been the surprise of camp so far, catching the attention of the man who makes all the decisions.

"Right now he's second in completion percentage. He is also second in accuracy," said head coach and general manager Chris Jones, who is a big believer in statistics.

Quarterback Kevin Glenn is so far demonstrating why he should have a lock on the starters job for the Riders. (Glenn Reid/CBC)

And Bennett, like Bridge, is a big believer in his own abilities, feeling Saskatchewan was his best opportunity to play. But he also gives credit where credit is due.

"I'm going to keep trying to put the ball in our guys' hands. You look across and you're, like, 'OK, that guy's good, that guy's good, that guy's really good.' Our receivers are pretty ridiculous."

Extra Points

The Riders were quick to bring in a fifth quarterback after the release of Maty Mauk.

Marquise Williams arrived at camp on Wednesday morning. He comes from the University of North Carolina, where he set 20 UNC records, breaking marks previously held by Darian Durant.

Marquise Williams is the latest addition to the Riders' training camp roster in Saskatoon. (Glenn Reid/CBC)

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