'Cool' Banks wins a backup QB spot

KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 10:49 AM ET

Brad Banks swears he never feared for his job.

Not when he was left at home for Thursday's exhibition finale against the Montreal Alouettes, not when general manager Brendan Taman told him not to look for an apartment earlier in the week and not yesterday when he showed up at Canad Inns Stadium to learn his fate.

Lo and behold, Banks -- who had a rather indifferent training camp with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers after his selection from the Ottawa Renegades in the dispersal draft -- is on the 46-man roster (42 active and a four-man taxi squad).

"I just pretty much relaxed," said Banks, who didn't listen to Thursday's game on the radio but did check his computer frequently for updates. "It was kind of tough not being able to be out there with your teammates and not get a chance to show I can play and all that good stuff.

"I was cool about everything. I'm happy I'm still here obviously."

Banks believes the best is yet to come.

Continue to push

"I'm going to continue to push and grow and be better," he said. "I know some good things are going to happen this year."

Banks, who makes in the neighbourhood of $100,000 per season, beat out lefty Russ Michna, who spent all of last season with the Blue and Gold but was released yesterday.

"It was not an easy one, but Brad still has a lot of upside. If Brad had demonstrated he was not capable of continuing to learn and we thought it was a dead end, we wouldn't have kept him," said Blue Bombers head coach Doug Berry. "His learning curve is still on a positive note and he talks like he understands the game. He has physical ability with his legs that we don't have with the other quarterbacks."

"He should have been a little nervous, but Brad has worked his way onto the roster," added Taman. "Brad is an interesting guy. He'll be in the mix."

Michna was coming on near the end of training camp, but suffered a thumb injury on his first play from scrimmage on Thursday and struggled through his quarter of action.

"It's disappointing, he's a good kid," said Taman. "He's a smart quarterback who did a lot of important things over the last couple of years, more so off the field than on it. He proved he can play in this league."


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