http://www.leaderpost.com/sports/Bergquist+caught+Riders+quarterback+moves/6333255/story.htmlBergquist caught up in Riders’ quarterback moves
QB Cole Bergquist was released by the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Mar. 20
REGINA — Cole Bergquist’s backup plan has come into play sooner than he expected.
Bergquist started working during the off-season in real estate just in case his CFL career as a backup quarterback was derailed. Those plans became more realistic Mar. 20 when he was released by the Saskatchewan Roughriders after two-plus seasons as one of the team’s backup quarterbacks.
“In hindsight, it was probably one of the best moves that I could have made,’’ Bergquist said Mar. 20 from his office in Missoula, Mont. “It changes everything when you have something to fall back on. In football terms, I’m on the streets. In real life, I have this to fall back on.’’
Bergquist, 26, hasn’t given up on playing football. His agent, Dan Vertlieb, is looking for other opportunities for Bergquist.
“I still love playing football and throwing touchdowns,’’ said Bergquist, who joined the Riders in 2009 after four stellar seasons with the University of Montana Grizzlies. “I’m still in the best shape of my life. Just because this happened, I haven’t lost confidence in myself. It’s just the way this business works.’’
Bergquist learned about the business of football at the end of the 2011 regular season. It took place after the Riders had been eliminated from the playoff race en route to a 5-13 record. There was an opportunity for the team to play some of its younger players to determine whether they could actually play at the CFL level.
Ken Miller, the Riders’ vice-president of football operations and head coach, played Ryan Dinwiddie at quarterback extensively down the stretch. Bergquist’s live game action was limited to one pass completion in six attempts in the final two games of the season.
“It would have been a lot easier to swallow if I had gone out in the last couple of games, got to play, played really bad and then they released me,’’ said Bergquist, who was third on the depth chart behind Darian Durant and Dinwiddie. “Then I could say I deserved that one. It’s hard to understand so I’m not going to try to understand it. My agent is working really hard and if any other team has an opening, I will take it. If not, I’ll be all right too.’’
Bergquist was relegated to running scout teams in practice. Corey Chamblin, the Riders’ rookie head coach, said Bergquist’s showing in practice wasn’t enough to keep him on the roster for the 2012 season.
“At the end of the day, it’s just cards and you’re mimicking another team’s quarterback,’’ Chamblin said. “The only thing you get out of that is how accurate he is or what the reads are on that play. You need to see game-time situations and how they react.’’
Bergquist knew that he needed live action to show the Riders what he was capable of doing. He leaves knowing that he wasn’t given that opportunity.
“I try not to stress out about too many things, but some for some reason Coach Miller didn’t want to put me in,’’ said Bergquist. “Whether that was because he felt allegiance to Dinwiddie because he won the second-string job or felt that I just couldn’t do it … He didn’t put me in. That was in the past. I felt it was just part of the many struggles in a long career and I would have a chance to redeem myself next year. Now I find out that I won’t, which is the most frustrating thing.’’
On Mar. 20, the Riders signed import quarterbacks Levi Brown and Matt Johnson, who join fellow rookies Colt Brennan and Drew Wiley. Those signings allowed the Riders to release Bergquist. Dinwiddie was cut in January.
“I’m sure they will come in and work their butts off,’’ Bergquist said. “I have absolutely no hard feelings toward them. My only hard feelings are towards whoever decided not to put me in last year. I know who it is, but I won’t throw them under the bus.’’