REGINA —It appears that the Saskatchewan Roughriders will be releasing one of their five quarterbacks at the conclusion of rookie camp.
Head coach Ken Miller said after the Roughriders opened rookie camp Wednesday at Mosaic Stadium that it was likely one of the team’s five quarterbacks will be cut before Sunday’s main camp begins.
“At this point, I plan on going with four,’’ said Miller. “If it’s too close to call, we’ll go with five but I think that we might have four.’’
Darian Durant is the only member of the quarterback set at his position. Ryan Dinwiddie, Cole Bergquist, Kent Smith and Todd Reesing are locked in a competition to determine their positions on the depth chart as well as earning invitations to the main training camp.
Dinwiddie, who spent three seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, is the only member of the quartet with CFL game experience. One of Dinwiddie’s two starts with the Blue Bombers was in the 2007 Grey Cup game, which the Riders won 23-19. Dinwiddie was pressed into service in the Grey Cup game when starter Kevin Glenn suffered a broken arm in the East Division final.
Bergquist was on the Riders’ practice roster for most of the 2009 season. Smith played in the AF2 last season before making his way to the Riders in the off-season. Reesing joined the Riders after completing a stellar NCAA career with the Kansas Jayhawks.
The quarterbacks are aware of the numbers heading into main camp and how the competition is largely to see who will be second on the depth chart behind Durant.
“Everyone knows Darian is pencilled in as the guy and he’s earned that right,’’ said Dinwiddie, who missed the 2009 season after being released by the Blue Bombers before training camp. “We’re all coming in here to compete and you want to be as high as you can be on the depth chart if you can’t be No. 1.’’
Dinwiddie may have an advantage over Bergquist, Smith and Reesing in that competition because he has already been involved in a number of professional training camps.
“I’ve been through six or seven training camps and I know how to prepare,’’ said Dinwiddie. “Some of the guys have to learn about getting set up in the dorm rooms and about the league. I can see things on the field faster than those guys because I’ve been there before.’’
Adapting to the professional game could be the case for Reesing, who is making his first appearance at a CFL camp after four seasons with the Jayhawks. Reesing is learning the Canadian style of game, handling the Canadian football and everything else that is associated with making the step to the professional level.
“I was just happy to be out here,’’ Reesing said when asked about his first day of rookie camp. “It was great to face some live competition after being here for a while.’’
Reesing knows that one of the quarterbacks won’t be invited to training camp.
“Five isn’t four,’’ said Reesing. “I understand that I have to compete and show the coaches that I can make all of the throws and the right reads. That’s the fun part — coming up here and competing. That’s what you do as a football player.’’
The Riders carried five quarterbacks for a large part of the 2009 season. Durant and Bergquist are the lone returnees from that group. Steven Jyles, who was second on the depth chart, signed with the Blue Bombers as a free agent. Dalton Bell was traded to the Toronto Argonauts and Graham Harrell was released during the off-season.
Miller chuckled when reminded of having five quarterbacks on the roster in 2009 but feels it just works better at training camp with four quarterbacks.
“We have repetitions that are available for four,’’ said Miller. “When you throw a fifth into the mix, it’s really tough for the top four to get the reps to understand the system and get the work they need.’’
Rookie camp continues Thursday and Friday.firstname.lastname@example.org
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So I guess we already knew this, but it looks like they are cutting one of the quarterbacks before training camp.
At this point, 2 thing are (nearly) certain:
- Durant isn't going anywhere.
- With all the trouble Rider Management went through to get Reesing, and as well as Dinwiddie - I don't see them going anywhere.
That leaves Cole Bergquist and Kent Smith. I am thinking that since Cole has been on the team awhile now and knows the terminology and the game that he would have the upper hand here. I know Kent Smith apparently has a strong arm and good mobility, but he just seems like the odd one out here. He doesn't seem to really fit the roster. I think he could definitely be released and maybe signed to another team that could use him. I would be surprised and a little disappointed if Bergquist was released instead of Smith, but that is just me.
I am thinking that this season the QB positions will be something like this:
- Reesing (with a possibility of moving up the depth chart quickly)