QB exits Rider stage

03/28/02 Bismarck Tribune
QB or not QB? That turned out to be an easy question for Dave Bertucci.

After just one game of trying to take arm against what turned out to be a sea of troubles, Bertucci decided that he no longer wanted to suffer the slings and arrows of the NIFL and left the Bismarck Roughriders.

"He cited his being in grad school and wanting to focus on his professional career in life instead of football," Roughriders coach Collins Sanders explained.

The departure of Bertucci puts even more pressure on the Roughriders' only remaining true quarterback, Kirk Anderson.

Wide receiver Reggie Shulte will be the team's backup until they can pick up another signal-caller, a deal Sanders has been working on.

The Roughrider quarterbacks were already under intense scrutiny heading into Saturday's game against the River City Renegades. Anderson and Bertucci split time in the season-opening 48-20 loss to Sioux Falls and both performed poorly.

Bertucci completed just 3 of 10 passes for 20 yards with two interceptions and two fumbles lost against the Storm. Anderson fared no better, completing 3 of 11 for 38 yards and throwing two picks.

Collins Sanders is hoping Anderson can show the kind of improvement another former University of Mary QB, Chris Schwab, did two years ago for the Bismarck Blaze.

"Schwab got off to a slow start, but he ended up being a pretty good QB," Sanders said.

Schwab may have taken some time to learn the indoor game before leading the Blaze to the IFL championship game.

But he never had a game anything like the Roughriders QB's had in the opener -- when they committed as many turnovers as they had completions.

Sanders knows as much, and says Anderson has made quantum leaps during the long three-week down period the Roughriders have had since playing the Storm.

"In this game everything happens so fast," Sanders said. "When you come up to the line you have to make pre-snap reads and as the play develops read again. ... Kirk's getting that now."

Sanders added that Anderson had pulled ahead of Bertucci and was going to start the game against River City anyway. Now the Roughriders have little choice.

"He knows he has to perform better because there is no safety net," Sanders said.

* NOTES: The Roughriders brought in defensive back Rashad Jackson (Michigan Tech) and wide receiver Rashard Dykes (Charleston of af2) this week. They take the spots of DBs Mark Ransom and Rodney Boykin, who were cut. Š Wide receiver Dustin Morgan has been activated from the injured reserve.

 

 
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