HAMILTON -- On the one hand, the Tiger-Cats are simply giving their backups a crack at strutting their stuff.
On the other hand, many teams will be taking a hard look at their quarterback situations with the league introducing a stringent new salary cap with tough penalties for exceeding it next season. That means some of the higher-priced pivots could find themselves on the market -- like Hamilton's Jason Maas and B.C.'s Dave Dickenson.
Hamilton's Kevin Eakin will start against the Blue Bombers this afternoon and head coach Ron Lancaster Sr. is also hoping to give Richie Williams some action. Maas, who is apparently injured, has been dropped to No. 3.
In Eakin's last start, he completed only 10 of 24 passes for 64 yards and three interceptions as Winnipeg whipped the Cats 29-0 at Ivor Wynne Stadium.
"It was definitely not a great game," the 6-foot-1, 224-pound Fordham product said yesterday. "It wasn't even a good one or an OK one. It wasn't even a bad one. It was worse than bad.
"But you get second opportunities and everyone's asking if I'm trying to reconcile for the last game. I'm not. I'm just trying to go out there to lead our team to victory and whatever we have to do to win."
Eakin, 25, knows today's outing could have a dramatic effect on his future.
"I don't get real nervous when I play a game," he said. "You can't play nervous. If you play nervous, you might as well cut yourself. It's not in my hands. I'm going to play as well as I can play. I'm going to have some fun and the bottom line is, I don't make those decisions and I'm not going to try to."
GLENN PRAISED: There were suggestions earlier this season that the Bombers should make a play for Maas, despite his struggles. But Lancaster is a fan of Winnipeg quarterback Kevin Glenn.
"A lot of people aren't sure about Kevin Glenn," he said. "I kind of like Kevin Glenn. He's the kind of guy who's a little underrated, underappreciated. I think he does a good job for them in their style of offence."
But Glenn still seems to be a work in progress.
"The ultimate test or evaluation of any quarterback is, can he move the team? Can he lead us to victory?" said Winnipeg head coach Doug Berry.
But should Glenn be found wanting, the Bombers may show some interest in whatever experienced QBs may be available this winter.
HASHMARKS: Hamilton's Pigskin Pete, aka Paul Weiler, will retire after 31 years of cheering, 'Oskie wee wee' ... Hamilton S Rob Hitchcock and WR Mike Morreale are expecting to follow suit ... Both RB/KR Corey Holmes and WR Kamau Peterson were late scratches due to injuries yesterday ... Hamilton has suspended DB Jason Goss, who returned home to tend to family medical problems. And contemplate his future as a pro football player, Lancaster said ... Lancaster, who celebrated his 68th birthday yesterday, will coach for the last time at Ivor Wynne today.