Daley defends decision

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 12:56 PM ET

EDMONTON -- Jim Daley will defend his decision until the cows come home.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach seems to be the only person on the face of the Earth who felt quarterback Tee Martin should have stayed at the controls for the duration of Winnipeg's 14-12 loss to the Edmonton Eskimos Friday night at Commonwealth Stadium.

"I'm not going to pull the quarterback," Daley barked. "We already are using Tee, who came out of camp as our backup quarterback.

"I'm not pulling him. He needs every snap he can get."

THIRD CFL START

No. 1 quarterback Kevin Glenn, who's missed three games with a high ankle sprain, practised last week and appeared to be moving ably, so his potential return to the lineup for Friday's home game against the Montreal Alouettes appears to be critical.

Martin, who was making his third CFL start Friday in place of Glenn, completed just 11 of 29 passes for 142 yards and an interception. He overthrew receivers often and established no kind of rhythm.

In his three games, Martin has completed a dismal 43.2% of his passes for 379 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

The former University of Tennessee star admitted that he was uneasy during the first half of Friday's game, which probably isn't how you want your quarterback to be feeling.

"I felt kind of awkward out there early on," Martin said. "I don't know why. I don't think it was the pressure ... but I just felt kind of weird. I don't know exactly what it was.

"It was just a point in the game when we just weren't in sync, and I just kind of felt that feeling."

That was quite obvious, and everyone from Tuxedo to Timbuktu was wondering when Daley was going to give Martin the hook and replace him with rookie Russ Michna.

When it was suggested to Daley that Michna, if nothing else, might have provided a spark, the coach shot that notion down quickly.

"Pulling the quarterback does nothing to improve the offence," Daley said. "A spark? That's what people said when Kevin was playing. They always want the quarterback pulled.

"We're not pulling the quarterback. We're going to give the quarterback every opportunity to win the game, and we came darn close to doing that."

Martin, who also lost a fumble Friday night, felt the entire offence was to blame for the team's 218 yards of total offence.

"We just gotta get every guy to execute on every play," Martin said. "There were some plays where we all executed and we looked great. And there were other plays where one or two people didn't and we looked terrible, whether I didn't make the throw or they didn't make the catch or they missed the block or da-da-da.

"It was just one of those days."


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