Brandon Bridge knows it was not his best game last Saturday — he just wishes he had the opportunity to get the team out of it.
The Roughriders’ quarterback was pulled after the first half of the game after struggling to move the offence downfield and throwing two interceptions.
“It’s always difficult,” Bridge said of being pulled from a game.
“I was trusted last year to take this team out of deficits and bring us back from larger deficits, that it was. I wish I had the opportunity to get myself out of that deficit.”
“It was only a bad half,” he continued. “If you go on every other game (I’ve played) everyone’s going to say I was shining bright like a diamond, but now it’s like one bad half and people think hell froze over.”
This week, Bridge said he took a step back and remembered something: football should be fun.
“I’ve already proven myself, people would love to have me out there. Chris Jones actually has the confidence to have me back out there. I’m a play maker,” he said.
This week, he’ll need to show that. Head coach Chris Jones said while he doesn’t like to call it a leash, he will be watching Bridge. And if the backup-turned-starter is having a hard time, 3rd-String David Watford will take the field.
“I’m going to treat him no differently than I did Kevin Glenn,” Jones said, referencing the tandem he created last season between Glenn, the starter, and Bridge.
However, Bridge said he would prefer to know he’s the guy.
“I’d rather them just say, ‘This is your game and you’re going to go out and play the whole thing,’” Bridge said. “It’s easier to put it that way.”
While he’s at it, Bridge said he would also like to have Duron Carter back on offence — even though he understands it’s above his pay grade to decide it.
“(He’d have) the same impact he had last year – 1,000 yards, attention of the defence,” Bridge said.
“Defensive co-ordinators are probably scared to have him out there. He’s definitely a playmaker for us and he definitely helps out other guys to have all that attention (focused on him).”
Bridge and the offence may need all the help they can get to match a potent Hamilton offence led by Jeremiah Masoli, someone Bridge admitted was playing at “God level” right now.
But Bridge knows the easiest way to stymie Masoli — who has eight straight 300-plus yard games — is to keep him off the field, and that’s up to him.
“I don’t have to match anything. I’m just against myself. I just need to go out there and do what I have to do … Masoli can’t put up those numbers if our offence is making long consistent drives.”
Coincidentally, that’s exactly what Jones said he needs to see from Bridge so he can stay in the game.
“As the quarterback, you’ve got to get first downs,” Jones emphasized. “You’ve got to stay on the field.”