Daley off the hook for bad decisions

TED WYMAN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 1:59 PM ET

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers got on the board in thrilling fashion last night and now are feeling good about themselves despite a 1-4 record. It says here that they might well be 3-2 if coach Jim Daley had been willing to do whatever it takes to win all season.

Daley's flat refusal to change the quarterback when Tee Martin was struggling in games against Edmonton and Calgary indicated winning was not his top priority. He seemed more concerned with rebuilding a team and building a quarterback's confidence.

By not replacing Martin with Russ Michna or Spergon Wynn, Daley dropped the ball. Until last night's unbelievable win over the Montreal Alouettes he was more reluctant to take action than city entomologist Taz Stuart.

Daley got his starting quarterback back last night, figured out a way to spring a Charles Roberts ground assault on the Alouettes and put some plays into the game plan that clearly indicated he was finally hungry to win.

In a way, he got off the hook for his previous questionable decisions because of a thrilling contest on a night when the local TV blackout was lifted at the perfect time. We hate to put a damper on that magic contest, in which the Bombers scored more points than in all their previous games combined, but the fact remains that Daley's previous decisions were costly.

His claim that changing the quarterback does nothing to improve the offence is a laugh. Especially to those who remember John Hufnagel coming off the bench to replace a certain Tom Clements when the chips were down.

Admittedly, fans often prematurely clamour for a quarterback change as an easy solution to a problem, but in this case it was a no-brainer situation. Nobody could have done worse than Martin. And the Bombers were in winnable games which they let slip through their fingers.

Fans expect Daley to do everything he can to win every game and if that means pulling a struggling quarterback, so be it.

Kevin Glenn might make it easy for him, but if that's not working out Daley needs to see if any of the quarterbacks in town can get the job done and win games for this team.

If not, try Khari Jones.

Or better yet, go get Casey Printers. Whatever it takes.

CHILL PILL: Those people who are waiting for the trucks to arrive with an NHL team for Winnipeg might want to take a patience pill. We still think it will happen, but it's going to be a few years. Although, it would be nice -- given their luck in the Sidney Crosby sweepstakes -- if there was still talk about the Penguins moving to River City. Let's hope they don't get a new arena in Pittsburgh anytime soon ... Best news about Crosby going to Pittsburgh? He's not going to Toronto. Second best news? He's not going to Florida, Carolina, Nashville or Atlanta either ... You have to give some credit to the NHL owners. They crushed the players union and got a labour deal that will not only save, but rejuvenate hockey ... In the news this week, a man named Brian Jackson was arrested for impersonating Pittsburgh Steelers pivots Ben Roethlisberger and Brian St. Pierre while picking up women. Winnipeg police are currently conducting an investigation of their own after Tee Martin's impersonation of a quarterback last week ... Read a comment from a French citizen this week suggesting the Tour de France is popular because cycling is a such a macho sport. That's true, nothing says macho like a race involving men in tights who shave their legs ... Note to Kenny Rogers: If you are going to continually get into altercations with members of the media, go for the print guys who can't get it all on video ... Former Oakland Raider Tim Brown is planning a venture into redneck world of NASCAR now that he's retired from football. The only thing weirder that we can think of would be Brown moving to Canada to work as a curling broadcaster. Oh wait, there is no curling on TV in Canada.

BALCO BLUNDER: After Victor Conte fell on his sword to end the BALCO steroid case and take the heat off of suspected drug-using athletes, do you suppose he will be back on Barry Bonds' Christmas list? It's possible the world will now never know if Bonds and other big-name athletes regularly took steroids. But one thing's for sure. Their names are far from cleared.


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