SPORTS

The waiting is the hardest part for Canadian quarterback Brandon Bridge

04/02/2015 05:58 EDT | Updated 06/02/2015 05:59 EDT
For Canadian Brandon Bridge, the waiting is the hardest part.

With his pro day in the books, Bridge has no workouts or team visits planned leading up to the NFL draft April 20-May 2 in Chicago. After a whirlwind off-season that included playing in the NFLPA Bowl and auditioning at the NFL combine before Monday's workout before 12 league scouts and two CFL representatives in Mobile, Ala., the 23-year-old native of Mississauga, Ont., suddenly has plenty of down time on his hands.

"There is relief the pro day is over but now it's kind of a stressful time because you sit and wait and don't know what's going to go on," Bridge said during a telephone interview Thursday from Mobile. "You're waiting for your agent to call and say, 'Hey, you've got a workout here.'

"Hopefully some teams call me up and say they want to work me out before the draft. The end is near, it's like a new beginning but just sitting around waiting for four weeks . . . kind of sucks."

Bridge is looking to become the first Canadian-born quarterback to go in the NFL draft since '01 when Ottawa's Jesse Palmer went in the fourth round to the New York Giants. Prior to the NFL combine in February, Bridge wasn't projected to be drafted but following his efforts in Indianapolis and Monday in Alabama some football pundits have rated him as a potential-sixth-round pick.

"To hear my name called, that would be a dream of mine," Bridge said. "There would definitely be an excitement being in the NFL . . . but for me I don't think it means anything if I don't really reach that goal (of playing there)."

The biggest knock against the six-foot-four, 229-pound Bridge this off-season was his footwork, which many felt affected his completion rate last year. On its website, the NFL said of Bridge: "His arm strength is pure NFL, but his lack of functional accuracy simply cannot be overlooked.

"It's one thing to miss with ball placement just inside or just a little bit high, but Bridge's throws are all over the map. He puts so much heat on them that his receivers struggle to make successful adjustments. That size, arm and athleticism are definitely traits worth taking a chance on, and Bridge could become an interesting talent down the line if a team is able to get his mechanics and touch where they need to be."

Bridge says he's worked diligently on improving his footwork and it seems to be paying off. The word following his pro day was Bridge had shown improvement in that area over his combine workout in February.

"Obviously there's still a lot of room for improvement but I thought I did pretty well," Bridge said. "The NFL is so technical and fundamentally sound that people there don't really care about a strong arm, they worry about having the fundamentals down pat.

"I think I'm on the rise in that department, I think I can only get better from this point."

And even if he has no further workouts or visits, Bridge will stay busy right up to the draft.

"I'm going to keep working out, keep training, keep trying to get better," he said. "I'll definitely take the feedback I got from my pro day and try to turn the weaknesses into strengths and keep strengths as strengths."

Bridge began his U.S. college career at Alcorn State before transferring to South Alabama in 2012. He appeared in 11 games last year with the Jaguars, completing 160-of-307 passes (52.1 per cent) for 1,927 yards with 15 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also ran 297 yards and four TDs.

Bridge said his ideal scenario in the NFL would be going to a team with an established veteran starter he could learn from.

"I have no problem with sitting and learning," Bridge said. "I think it would be good to sit back and watch a veteran do his thing and learn from him."

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