Pro goal pushes Mitchell

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:27 PM ET

CALGARY - When Bo Levi Mitchell was looking around for a pro football opportunity, a couple of Eagles told him to fly north.

JC Sherritt and Matt Nichols had already made the trip to Canada to play for the Edmonton Eskimos, and they thought the CFL was suited for their fellow alum after he finished out his college career at Eastern Washington.

At least they told the newest Calgary Stampeders quarterback as much.

“Being a quarterback, Matt said it’s a lot of fun because you get to throw the ball all over the field,” Mitchell said about the Eskimos pivot, who will likely be the No. 3 man this season.

“I just like the way the Canadian game is played. With more guys on the field, there are open guys running around everywhere.”

Now, Mitchell is with the Stampeders, but getting on the field isn’t a given.

The Stamps are set at the top of their QB depth chart with Drew Tate as the No. 1 man and Kevin Glenn a solid No. 2.

That has left Mitchell to battle sophomore Brad Sinopoli for the No. 3 job.

During the first two weeks of training camp, it appears the competition is neck and neck.

In the pre-season victory over the Eskimos, Mitchell came in first and moved the offence well, getting in position for a pair of field-goal attempts.

Sinopoli took over and guided the team to a game-tying touchdown and two-point conversion, both throws to Marquay McDaniel.

If offensive co-ordinator Dave Dickenson had the option, he would keep both players, but he doesn’t get to make that choice.

“This is a good spot to be in,” Dickenson said.

“This is the best quarterback group I’ve been with in my time here in terms of depth. I believe all four can play and win.

“It’s (GM/head coach John Hufnagel)’s decision how he shapes the roster. Where do you keep the extra spots? Huf really gets to decide.”

The third quarterback on the active roster will likely have a couple of special assignments for the Stamps this season.

Along with holding on field goals, there is a good chance whoever best runs the short-yardage unit may win the job.

When asked what he would like to accomplish in Friday’s pre-season finale, Sinopoli’s goals are quite simplistic.

“I would like to get in,” the University of Ottawa product said.

“We will see how the game goes.

“That’s what practice is for. We only get a couple of reps in practice, too, so we have to make the most of our opportunities.”

When the Stamps go to Regina, there might not be much time for either Mitchell or Sinopoli, as the Stamps need to give Tate and Glenn enough time to get polished for the season-opener.

“We have more information on Brad than we do on Bo,” Dickenson said.

“Brad was here last year so we know more about him. Bo didn’t disappoint us at all.

“Brad’s showed that when he played last year he makes some real nice decisions. The game might be clearer for him in practice. The No. 1 thing for him is to be more accurate.”

Mitchell won the Walter Payton Award in 2011 for top offensive player in the second tier of U.S. college football.

Still, when he was on his way to Canada to join the Stampeders, the 22-year-old said he was like a kid at Christmas.

Coming here to work hard for a No. 3 job doesn’t sound glamourous, but Mitchell didn’t see it that way.

“The motivation is within yourself and wanting to play as long as you can,” the Houston native said.

“You want to prove yourself, not only to your family and friends but to the fans, and most importantly, to teammates and coaches.

“You have to have the motivation that when you aren’t the guy, that you can still keep your head in it and be ready to go any time during the season.”


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