Jim Daley does not want to be too quick to cut ties with veteran Winnipeg quarterback Khari Jones. The Blue Bombers head coach cautioned against rushing into such moves as dealing Jones elsewhere, even if the club now has four quarterbacks in camp after signing ex-NFLer Tee Martin last week.
"Quarterback in our league is a pivotal position, no pun intended," Daley said yesterday. "It's a critical position. I've been in situations where we've played with very thin and sometimes inexperienced quarterbacks. We, right now, have a great situation.
"To have four quarterbacks like we have is solid. It's how you build a franchise and it's a very fortunate part of our team right now. So, I would be very careful before compromising that as a head coach. Simply, I've seen too many situations where you don't have the depth we have and it can rise up and catch you. So, I'm very conscious of being solid at that position."
Almost immediately upon Martin's arrival last week, a rumour started that Jones, who is still suffering a shoulder ailment, would be shipped to the Calgary Stampeders for defensive lineman Joe Fleming and safety Wes Lysack.
"As a franchise and as a coach, I'm very conscious of the value of quarterbacks and the importance they are to the franchise's stability and success," Daley said. "We are not going to play shorthanded at that position.
"We traded for (Kevin Glenn) for a purpose and that was, in the event of an injury to Khari, who has been the winningest quarterback over the last three years prior to this year. We're not going to go into a situation where we lose him, as we have at this stage, and have no one the calibre of Kevin to play."
And Martin could still return to the NFL this winter.
The Bombers, who also have Stanley Jackson in camp, are still anxious for Jones to recuperate.
"The one thing we're trying to do with Khari Jones is to get him healthy so he can help the Blue Bombers, not to trade him," said Bombers GM Brendan Taman. "And get him back to where he was doing what he has done for the team in the past."
Although the Bombers did not practise, Jones tested his shoulder by throwing hard yesterday morning.
"He threw with some pain but less than what he had had," Taman said. "When he can throw pain-free, that will be better news for my ears."
But Daley said Jones is "light years ahead" of where he was 10 days ago. We'll see how he throws (today) because this was the hardest he's thrown in weeks," he said.
No matter how quickly Jones recovers, Glenn is slated to start against the Toronto Argonauts here this Saturday.
"Right now, Kevin Glenn will start on Saturday, I see no reason to change that," Daley said.
"Kevin's making great strides as a quarterback. He played a very smart, well-executed game (Sunday). He has a quick release and puts some zip on the ball.
"He made good audibles, good calls, good checks. Had a a couple of mistakes that we can easily correct. He's a fast learner."