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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

WEEK 2 OF RIDER TRAINING CAMP BEGINS

Chris Jones watches over Bryan Bennett on Monday
SASKATOON - In another "Only In Saskatchewan" scenario, back-up Roughrider quarterback Bryan Bennett has become something of an overnight sensation in the Wheat Province after being the star of Saturday's mock game at SMF Field.

Radio deejays across the province have already built the 25-year old product of Tarzana, CA into something of a demi-god after he threw three touchdown passes in the annual Green & White Scrimmage.

And it hasn't taken long for women to swoon over Bennett's rugged good looks, or gossip over the sleeve of tattoos down his left arm. His name has become one of the "top searched" on Google in Saskatchewan over the past 72 hours.

All this just because of his performance in a scrimmage.

However the habitually stern Head Coach of the Roughriders, Chris Jones, isn't prepared to map out Bennett's road to the Plaza of Honour just yet.

"He threw two balls to the wrong team, I know that," Jones said Monday of Bennett's performance on the weekend. "So he's got to take care of the football. He's got tremendous athletic ability, he's got a tremendous arm, he fit the ball into some very tight windows, so it's going to be interesting to see when we play somebody in a different coloured jersey."

The 6'2", 211 lb pivot was pleased with his performance on Saturday, but knows he's got a long ways to go to challenge for the #1 job.

"I felt good throwing the ball," Bennett said of Saturdays game. "I was able to throw some accurate passes which I was happy about. The only time I got in trouble was not taking what (the defense) gave me. You've just got to be disciplined every time and keep taking what they give you and let everything fall into place."

Fellow back-up quarterback Vince Young was next up to meet with reporters after Monday's rainy workout at Griffiths Stadium, and he bristled at some of their critism over his play in the first week of training camp.

"I don't feel like I'm struggling.  Probably to you it is," Young shrugged. "I feel like we're all learning right now. That's what camp is for ... continuing to take it one day at a time, do what you can, take it to the film room and learn from your mistakes and get ready for the next day."

CKRM football analyst Luc Mullinder said on Monday that any frustration Young's feeling regarding the microscope on his play is understandable. From Day 1 of training camp, Vince has said he's here to be a football player rather than a celebrity. He just wants to be "one of the guys", but the fact is he's one of the biggest names in the game. It's clear that's something he's a tad uncomfortable with, which speaks to his humility as a person.

There are still plenty of training camp days lined up before Saturday's home preseason clash with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at new Mosaic Stadium, but Young admitted they're already looking forward to that.

"I'm definitely looking forward to looking into our opponents," Young offered. "I'm really tired of looking at Coach Jones' defense right now! I'm looking forward to that. You always get tired in camp of looking at your guys and you're ready to go compete without the coaches on the field and see how you respond."

As yet, the club seems nowhere ready to determine a playing rotation for Saturday's game at any position. That includes the quarterbacks, and veteran Kevin Glenn said right now he has no idea if he'll suit up against the Blue Bombers.

"I always want to play but I understand the process so if it happens that I don't play, I'm not going to be upset and slamming my helmet," Glenn smiled. "I always want to play, I've never been one to want to sit out but I understand what has to happen."

I've been giddily excited over the "first-ever" Roughriders game in the new stadium ever since the first shovel went in the ground at Evraz Place in 2014 but Glenn put it into perspective.

"It would be cool (to play) but at the same time it's still a preseason game," Glenn admitted. "I don't think anyone would ever remember the first preseason game, but the first regular season game there is going to be a big one."

As far as Monday's practice went, the workout was staged in a mild drizzle and Chris Jones said his troops were a little sluggish after getting the day off on Sunday.

"I thought it was a little bit sloppy, especially early on," Jones revealed. "We've had one big wind day and now one rain day and both days were a little bit sloppy. We've got to understand that when we play up here in Canada, we've got the elements to deal with and we've gotta come out everyday ready to play.

"The one thing I did like was that the spirit and the energy were there. It was just a little bit sloppy with execution."

The Riders are back on the field Tuesday at 9:00 am at Griffiths Stadium.

RP
@rodpedersen

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just love these reports!

Kerry Wrishko said...

Hey Rod. What did you think of the Faith Hill and Tim McGraw concert on Sunday night? A nice bonus to rider training camp in Saskatoon, hey?

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to the pre-season. In reality, what Bennett or Young do in these scrimmages doesn't amount to much. Just like people oohed & aahed over Bingham in mini-camp & got upset over him possibly going to an NFL tryout, not much has been said of him at main camp &, who knows, maybe even less said after pre-season. The second coming of BLM Bennett isn't. It's okay to get carried away - we're all fans after all but the Riders have a lot of holes. Is our backfield so bad right now that we're experimenting with Collins & Craig back there? Surely there's gotta be some DB's that Murphy & Jones dug up in the mini-camps this year.

Rod Pedersen said...

Kerry - please the Monday Morning Goalie column a few posts down for a review of the show!

RP

Anonymous said...

I find it confusing that Jones the GM was obviously content with the DBs he'd recruited for camp (Or he would have signed more).

But Jones the coach is trying to use receivers (Collins & Craig) to improve the defensive backfield.

Do the GM and coach never communicate?

SWC

Anonymous said...

Is Shaw or Access televising the June 10 game?

CM said...

+1 on Bennett. He was on the practice roster in the peg behind Nichols Willy Glenn and Davis. So what if he had a good mock game lol. VY has the pedigree at the highest levels he just needs time to learn the game and shake off the rust. We as fans need to look at things with proper perspective. As for Glenn his body of work is 17 years long..hes acceptable but hes not Durant. Look at Durants playoff record vs Glenns. The fans should want VY to succeed here if you want a championship team.

Anonymous said...

Kevin Glenn is in for a big year! A wealth of receivers and a solid O-line will see a much improved team in 2017. Every so often a CFL star is born (think Dressler and Chick) and it could be that Stoshak could be the next future great to arrive.

Anonymous said...

That's the thing. Even if he is happy with the DB's & just wants to keep Craig & Collins around (back up DB's & receivers, keep them away from other clubs), they take up valuable time & reps that should go to REAL DB's. It's also silly to think all the other clubs are waiting for the Riders to make some of these guys available. Collins was in Bomber camp last year & was cut. If they end up on the PR, they're available to anyone anyway but I'm not sure any of the Western clubs are interested. It's not like the other clubs don't have guys they really like. We need to get some of the DB's up to speed because that's an area of concern & the problem isn't solved by trying out converted WR's no matter how athletic.

Anonymous said...

I puked, terrible waste of money.

Guy from Regina