Those hoping to hear if it’ll be Zach Collaros or Brandon Bridge starting for the Roughriders on Friday will have to wait a little longer.
Despite saying after the game he will reveal the starter on Monday, Riders head coach and general manager Chris Jones told reporters it was still an open competition.
“They’re competing for a job. Zach, certainly, is a guy that’s played a lot of football and we know what Brandon did for us last year and we’ll talk about the rotation later in the week.,” Jones said.
It’s a situation that Collaros said he’s never found himself in before.
“In college one time, it was a like a 2a and 2b for the backup but, yeah, that’s it,” he said.
Friday’s game did not make Jones’ decision any easier.
Collaros was just six of 16 for 41 yards and three near interceptions. Bridge played only 10 snaps going two of five for 21 yards.
But despite that, he did say Friday night he had decided, he’s just opting not to tell anyone – including the quarterbacks themselves.
“When you know somebody’s good is right in behind you know you got to play your A-game week in week out I know it doesn’t hurt. Competition always helps,” Jones said.
Collaros was seen taking the majority of the repetitions with the other starters Monday morning, which could be a clue of the direction Jones is leaning. If that’s the case, Bridge said he’ll take it in stride.
“At the end of the day, I got to be pro about it. If coach Jones says (Collaros is) going to be behind centre obviously I got to support him and be the best teammate I can be and just go out there and be ready if coach Jones calls upon me.”
Of course, the uncertainty is nothing new for Bridge, who spent the better part of the Riders 2017 season coming in when the team was in a pinch.
“That’s a fact. Coach just threw me in whenever we were doing bad or if we started off slow so he just had me go in there and save the day,” Bridge said.
Collaros also knows this, given his big CFL opportunity came when he was in Toronto and started a game in place of an injured Ricky Ray. That game in 2013 he went 21 of 25 passes for 253 yards and three touchdowns. The following season he went on to play 14 more games in place of an injured Ray, starting in eight of them.
He said he prefers not to think of the competition, opting rather to focus on his own play.
“There’s really nothing you can do differently … you have to prepare like you’re going to be in game because in this sport when that opportunity comes you better be ready to go.”
And as for the team – Bridge said they know they are in good hands if either one of the quarterbacks starts on Friday.
“I think the team knows that they have two solid guys … that can actually start and I don’t think the team is really worried about whose behind there. I think they’re really confident that either one of us can get the job done.”