Quarterback job slipping away from Banks

PAUL FRIESEN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:10 AM ET

For some Winnipeg Blue Bomber hopefuls, staying home today is a good thing.

For others, not making the trip to Montreal for tomorrow's final pre-season game is cause for concern.

Put quarterback Brad Banks in the latter group.

Banks will have to watch as Kevin Glenn, Russ Michna and Mike Quinn jockey for position on the Bomber depth chart -- and hope all three don't light it up against the Als.

"It just means he's not going to be able to control his destiny at this point," head coach Doug Berry said of Banks. "It's kind of in the hands of the others."

The reason Berry is leaving Banks home: his sub-par performance in the pre-season opener last week. Banks was the only quarterback who failed to put up any points in a 25-24 loss to the Alouettes.

"I thought the other guys played a little bit better," Berry said. "And we'll decide what's going on with those three after this one."

Berry will try to give Glenn, Michna and Quinn equal time at the controls. Who starts the game won't mean anything.

The rest of the first-half offence, though, will largely resemble Winnipeg's starting unit, including linemen Obby Khan and Val St. Germain, who both missed the first game.

Defensively, it'll be a different story, as Berry's staff continues to tinker with different combinations.

"We're trying to just mix and match the defensive players," Berry said. "We're not really concerned that we have a starting unit out there. We've got to find out who our starting unit is."

As we said, some players remaining at home can rest easy.

Berry said there are six to eight of those.

Defensive back Anthony Malbrough and lineman Cameron Legault, for instance, are virtual locks to make the final roster.

ENOUGH ROPE? Just two of the three kickers in camp will make the trip to Montreal, and they'll both get plenty of rope to either hang themselves or tie up a job.

Veteran Troy Westwood will handle the kickoff and field goal duties, while newcomer Brian Claybourn will handle the punting.

"We're going to give him a good look," Berry said of Claybourn. "He'll get most of the punts, if not all of them."

It sounds like Westwood, going into his 15th season, isn't out of the woods, yet, either.

"If he's very successful, then maybe he's the guy," Berry said. "And if he's not, if he has a lot of failure, then we've got another guy in the wings (Kirk Yliniemi), just waiting. It's not been determined that either kicker has made our team, yet."

SAFETY SWITCH: One of the trouble spots remains at safety.

Three players will get their first game-day looks at the position tomorrow: Ian Logan, Ron Ockimey and Robert Grant.

Donnavan Carter, a safety last week, will try out at linebacker.

"Some of these moves may pan out to be great," Berry said. "And some we may say, 'Wow, we can't do that.' But we'll find out."

FAB FOUR: The four vets who didn't play last week, all locks to make the team -- Milt Stegall, Charles Roberts, Doug Brown and Barrin Simpson -- are expected to play between a quarter and a half tomorrow.


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