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Quick Slants: Let’s Talk QBs, Hughes Follow Up, and Ref Cam FTW

Published: Friday, Jun 29th 2018, 3:06am

by: Greg McCulloch (@GregOnSports)

Quick Slants looks at some of the weekly stories in the CFL and beyond.

It’s Saskatchewan, Let’s Talk QBs

When the Riders brought in Zack Collaros the big elephant in the room was his past injuries. Everyone knew what kind of player he could be when healthy, but his injury history, especially with concussions, was always a concern.

Here we are going into game 3 and Collaros is on the IR with a concussion. Speaking from experience concussions are no joke and are usually worse with each consecutive one.

I hope for both the Riders and Collaros’ sake, he doesn’t rush back only to go down again. The brain is not something you want to mess with.

With Collaros out, Brandon Bridge gets his shot at being the one to lead this team to victory. Bridge was anointed the starter by a good chunk of Rider Nation going into this offseason after some great performances in limited duty last season.

He has a cannon for an arm and mobility to make tacklers miss, I think Bridge could be a starter in this league. Before the 2017 season, I was one of the few who thought Bridge was going to be the starter before Labour Day.

However, when Bridge was discussing this week’s start vs the Alouettes, he was saying he was going to have to play differently because there are only him and David Watford ready to go. A quarterback changing their gameplay to avoid getting hurt usually only gets hurt. Also, Brandon Bridge is the player he is because he plays like Brandon Bridge, he’s not a stand back and throw QB. Plus, with the way the offensive line has been playing standing back and throwing is not a great strategy.

Let’s Hear It For The New Guy

After less than 24 hours of people were speculating the returns of everyone from BJ Daniels, to Marquise Williams, to Darian Durant. Even TSN was stoking the fires on a possible trade for Johnny Manziel.

The Riders signed Devin Gardner. Recently the reigning rookie of the year of Japan’s X-League, Gardner was an undrafted free agent who spent time with both the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers in 2015.

Gardner went to the University of Michigan after being ranked as the number 1 by Rivals.com as a high school senior. At Michigan, he was number 2 behind Denard Robinson but would see a fair bit of playing time in the Wolverines “Deuce” Packages. The would have both him and Robinson on the field at the same time, with Gardiner at QB and have Robison swing out to slot receiver or running back.

After Robinson left for the NFL, Gardiner took the starting role and held Michigan’s records for most yards in a game and most passing yards in a game.

Charleston for Nothing and the Sacks for Free… A Follow-up

Not saying that Charleston Hughes and I are on the same page but…. In this week’s Cypress Hills Destination Area Piffles Player Profile, he was quick to point out that the Riders got the best of the deal.

Though he claimed the Stamps got a box of Cap’n Crunch, I will have to disagree if anything they got a bowl of All Bran.

Ref Cam Is Here

TSN and the CFL announced this week that 18 games this season will be mic’ed up this year beginning with the Friday night game between Hamilton and Winnipeg. That sound in the distance you are hearing is Jason Maas realizing he must be mic’ed up 3 times this year.

However, the most amazing part o the announcement is that they are going to strap a camera on the ref once a week so the fans at home can witness highlights from the ref’s point of view. Starting this week at the Riders vs Alouettes, we can see, or in the case of Al Bradbury not see, the plays as they see them.

I don’t know if this is going to be a good feature or not, but once again it is great to see the CFL try new things to entice new viewers.

*** Piffles Podcast is putting on a touch football event at Mosaic Stadium in Regina on Friday, August 10 to raise money for a great charity, Hope’s Home! We will play on the field for a few hours and then head off to Mr. Mike’s in Grasslands to celebrate and hold a silent auction with ALL the proceeds going to Hope’s Home in Regina! $60 gets you on the field for a fun evening, a shirt and more!

Also just announced, Jovon Johnson will be co-hosting the event with us.

Let us know if you are interested! Email pifflesbowl@gmail.com for more details! ***

*** Don’t forget to enter the 2018 Piffles Podcast Fan Contest! Running all season, we want to hear more about YOU, the GREAT Rider fans! What does Rider Pride mean to you? How did you become a fan? Who’s your favourite player? We would like to ask you these questions and more and share your story with ALL of Rider Nation! We have over $2,500 in prizes to give away and we would love to learn more about the passionate fans that make up Riderville! To enter, fill out the questionnaire and you are qualified! 20 Weekly Winners will be drawn throughout the season and EVERYONE that enters is put into the Grand Prize Draw to be made during the final week of the CFL regular season! ***


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