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Thursday, February 16, 2017

RIDERS INTERESTED IN QB'S JAKE HEAPS, VINCE YOUNG

As the Riders go through free agency this week, they're still putting considerable thought into their quarterback position.  Head Coach & GM Chris Jones mentioned in Wednesday's news conference that you win in the CFL with quarterback play and quality Canadians.

However Saskatchewan Assistant V.P. of Player Personnel John Murphy revealed the depth chart continues to be a moving target.

"I think the next step is the Florida minicamp in April," Murphy told 620 CKRM's SportsCage. "There's high hopes Jake Heaps will throw at University of Washington's pro day and we hope to have one of myself, Jeremy, Coach McAdoo or Coach Jackson out there for that."

Hardcore football fans will remember the name of Jake Heaps, a quarterback who played at a handful of NCAA schools before NFL stints with the Jets and Seahawks. Clearly he's in the Riders' plans, as is former Titans pivot Vince Young who was reportedly added to the Saskatchewan negotiation list two weeks ago.

NFL super agent Leigh Steinberg Tweeted on Thursday: "@leighsteinberg: We have opened discussions with Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL for Vince Young".

Murphy said the search for an NFL veteran is real.

"There are some guys who've earned the right to compete at minicamp and there's also some veteran guys whose names have been bantied about," Murphy mentioned.

"I think there's an opportunity should those guys say they're definitely interested, if they are interested in the CFL and the Riders, then why not? For me to say a 31 or 32 year old guy can't learn this league, play a role on our team and be an experienced guy who can help our young guys, I think it would be foolish to turn a guy down based on his age."

Regarding Young - who turns 34 in May - he hasn't been on an NFL roster since the 2014 off-season, when he was with Cleveland for two weeks before being released. He hasn't played in a regular-season NFL game since 2011 when he was with Philadelphia.

After a record-filled college career at Texas, which he led to the national championship in the 2006 Rose Bowl, Young was drafted third overall by Tennessee later that year. He was the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year and made the Pro Bowl, and was selected again following the 2009 season but never fully lived up to lofty expectations.

Last month, Young pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 18 months of probation for a 2016 drunken driving arrest in Austin, Texas. He currently works for Texas promoting diversity and community engagement.

Of course the Riders also feel/hope the "next one" could already be under contract with the Green & White. There's certainly already a group of hungry young quarterbacks in the Riders' employ including G.J. Kinne, Jake Waters, Brandon Bridge and newcomer Brian Bennett.

"We saw some good things from Brandon Bridge down the stretch last year," Murphy continued. "I'm very excited in the capabilities of Bryan Bennett and we'll see what he can do in our system. Jake Waters has texted me every week to say his rehab is on target so he should be able to throw by mid-March. You have to just keep with the course of action we set forward. We have a veteran QB who can win games for us (Kevin Glenn) and then we'll have great competition for that spot starting in camp and down the road."

*Meanwhile on Thursday the Riders announced the release of veteran offensive lineman Andrew Jones.

(With files from the Canadian Press)

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

One more name to add to the Heap of QB hopefuls.

Anonymous said...

Lots of hype and spin again this preseason. You talk-da-talk Rod, but the Riders are still in a spin of their own since 2014.

I'm among many fans that are still 'stiffed' at the exhibition game setting that the Riders delivered on the last game at Taylor Field / Mosaic. Yes, we should get over it, but that last home game sent such a 'negative' message to the fan base that still continues to linger.

We understand that Chris Jones has to 'do it' his way. Presently Jones is still holding many critical positions. If the Riders still aren't in winning ways by mid season then he should step aside and just take on one. I think he has moments when he demonstrates that he is a good coach but his role as GM hasn't worked to date.

Some great signings with DD2 and C.O.

GpS

Anonymous said...

Funny you should mention that final game at old Mosaic. The person I felt played very mediocre football in that game was Darian Durant. For someone wanting a new contract in a new stadium he had a very subpar game and year. That was a very uninspiring effort by our team after all the hype leading up to it. I have always been a Darian supporter but Chris Jones probably knew way before November that he was not going to pay that kind of money for Darian anymore. Why not bring in all the hopefuls plus the added assurance of Kevin Glenn who I believe will see a lot of time on the field. Anxious to hear what other signings are yet to come in all areas of the team. Getting excited for summer 2017, could be a good one!

Anonymous said...

DD was uninspired and mediocre all last season. It can't all be placed on his O-line. Too many times with good protection he threw real bad balls that no receiver had a hope of catching. Overthrown, under thrown, off line, or INT. He seldom used his feet as if he was protecting himself. And he really didn't lay it on the line like he had done in the past. I love DD but he wasn't the same guy any more and yet he still wanted elite money. I'm sure he would have been paid that money had he shown elite play last season.

You never know where then next great QB will come from. Tom Brady picked in the 6th round was nothing more than a shot in the dark. You never know where the next one will come from. It should be a clear understood fact that we were going to need someone either this year or at a point in the very near future. Even the trolls should understand that but it's doubtful they can comprehend that fact.

Anonymous said...

Great "point". And "why" did Darian not play in the last game of the season? Because he was "worried" about himself. Not the "team".

Anonymous said...

Note: QB Brian Bennett is actually QB Bryan Bennett who was one of the top 5 free agent QB's in the USA according to RotoWorld. He was ranked higher than Johnny Football.

The Professor said...

Back in the day when Durant became the Rider's starter after learning the CFL game as a back-up for a couple of years it was harder for new QB's to transition into being a good, consistent quarterback. It took TIME. But with the recent change in rules for the passing game the offense is a bit easier for a new CFL quarterback to make a quick impact provided they are smart, talented and accurate - i.e. Jennings in BC. So, with some luck, good coaching and exceptional talent of of these new guys might soon be "the guy" and be the next CFL star. We can but hope that "our" Bo Levi Mitchell is soon to emerge.

Anonymous said...

The riders will be the first team in the cfl to plat a season with no decent starting QB

What a joke !!!!

Anonymous said...

Why did DD not play in the final game at Mosaic --- because Jones did not want him playing, that's why! Pretty sure if the coach says you're not playing...you're not playing.

Anonymous said...

NO O-LINE.

Anonymous said...

Mr Jones an astute articulate master of player evaluation.

Anonymous said...

C'mon Reynolds, fall on your sword. It's too painful watching my Riders grasping for straws.

Anonymous said...

Yes. Mr Jones proved last year what a master of player evaluation he is. After all, he evaluated about 3000 of them, signed 192. What he did though, I would hardly call astute or articulate. Call it insanity perhaps.

Anonymous said...

That way he didn't have to be here answering questions

Anonymous said...

Young and Manzel waste of time and money . Got Glen develop the younger guys who ever we got and can get and go from there . Season ticket holder here that is willing to wait another year to see what Jones can do . Hope this year they are at least entertaining most of the time . Rome wanst built in a day

Anonymous said...

DD looked inspired to me, he used his feet plenty, rushing the ball and taking punishment in games that meant nothing in the standings.

A good number of the passes that you speak of had to do with the revolving door of recievers Jones deployed all year long. Recievers need to run the right routes and build continuity with eachother and the QB. Wouldnt expect you to recognize that though.

Anyone who insinuates that DD gave anything less than his all for the Riders, which is what you are saying, is out to lunch.

His play will speak for itself this year. Hes got AT LEAST 3 seasons of elite football left.

Anonymous said...

WRONG. He was banged up. Had it meant anything in the standings, he'd have played. It didnt, so he steps aside to let the young guys play. Likely wouldnt have played even if he was healthy.

Anonymous said...

BLM = Overrated