Bomber QB ready for bullets to start flying

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:43 AM ET

Now the fun really begins for Kevin Glenn.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers No. 1 quarterback will be the starter tonight when his team battles the Edmonton Eskimos in the first CFL pre-season action for both teams.

Even though Bombers head coach Jim Daley has proclaimed him as the team's top pivot, Glenn knows people are going to be watching his every move.

Glenn, who turns 26 on Sunday, became Winnipeg's starter last September when Khari Jones was traded to Calgary. However, with former NFLers Tee Martin and Spurgon Wynn waiting in the wings, the critics will howl if Glenn struggles.

"That goes hand-in-hand with the position," Glenn said yesterday after the Bombers did a 40-minute walk-through at Canad Inns Stadium. "They criticize and analyse everything, from your off-season to in-season, so I know that kind of stuff happens playing this position.

"I'm ready for it. I'm ready for the bullets. I'm ready to dodge the punches. It'll be all right, though."

Glenn and Bombers GM Brendan Taman are talking about a raise on his approximate $95,000 salary. Glenn would like to get it done before the season starts, but Taman isn't in a rush.

IT'S GO TIME: Daley has been preaching for the last week about how game snaps are much more important than practice reps, so the team's top performers tonight should come home feeling good about themselves.

Some of the key battles beginning tonight are at:

- Wide receiver: It depends on the ratio, but import Derrick Smith and non-import Jamie Stoddard appear to be the frontrunners. Rookie import Elgin Hicks can't be counted out.

- Linebacker: Veterans Ryland Wickman and Lamar McGriggs must perform well to keep their jobs, because Sean Woodson, Travis Ortega and Willie Fells are trying to steal them.

- Defensive back: Returning players Justin Coleman, Cedric Dickerson, Markese Fitzgerald and Stephen Fisher will attempt to snag one of two starting spots while warding off newcomers William Fields, Stanford Samuels Jr. and Maurice Tucker at the same time.

- Defensive end: Jason Clark, Gavin Walls, Marcus Jones and Antwone Young will duke it out for the fourth spot on the D-line.

LATE HITS: Bowmans.com, a European betting website, has given the Bombers 30-1 odds of winning the Grey Cup -- the longest odds in the league. Ottawa was next at 20-1. Edmonton is the favourite at 3-2 ... QB Tee Martin will see a doctor about his injured knee this afternoon but won't get the results until Sunday. It isn't believed to be serious ... The Bombers didn't leave for Edmonton until this morning.


Photos