Quarterback knows his role

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 9:46 AM ET

There was nothing mighty about his first performance as a starting CFL quarterback.

Although Winnipeg's Mike Quinn threw four interceptions and lost two fumbles -- one returned for a touchdown -- in a 32-5 loss to B.C. last game, he has been handed a second chance in tonight's match versus the Toronto Argonauts.

"I know that I can play," Quinn said yesterday. "I know I can do better than the (B.C.) game. I've never had a game where those kind of things happen like that. It's not about going out to show that I can be a better quarterback than that because I know I am. It's about leading this offence against Toronto, that's the mindset."

But he will have to play smarter.

"We'll have to protect the ball, not turn the ball over and put our defence out there on a shorter field," Quinn said.

Bomber head coach Doug Berry was asked if he would give Quinn a quick hook if he is not going well.

"Tentatively, it's programmed for the ninth play of the second quarter," Berry joked. "It's all relative to how the game's going and I'll give Mike ample opportunity to go out and have some success."

ARGO ARSENAL: Toronto has already welcomed back QB Damon Allen, who missed the last two meetings with an injury (finger), as well as tailback John Avery, who is replacing the injured Ricky Williams (arm).

"They bring back their starting quarterback and you don't have to look any farther than our own team to see what kind of difference that can make," said Bomber DL Doug Brown. "The lore of Damon Allen is how he affects his teammates and how they respond to his leadership.

"From what we've seen John Avery do, he's better suited to this game. Ricky Williams is a run-between-the-tackles-run-through-the-hole type guy while Avery takes advantage of the space and is so shifty and versatile. We're going to be hard-pressed to have success against the run like we did the first two."

Avery is still getting into game shape.

"I've been struggling the last two weeks just trying to breathe," he admitted. "The more I play, the better I get, hopefully.

BABY DAYS: Ever wonder what CFL players do when the season ends? Well, Bomber OL Mike Abou-Mechrek and Argo LB Chuck Winters both became new fathers this week -- about nine months after last year's Grey Cup.

Abou-Mechrek is the proud papa of a bouncing baby girl, Miya Eileen, born Aug. 23.

Winters, meanwhile, arrived with the Argos yesterday morning, but got a call that his wife was giving birth to their fourth child -- and first son -- back in Toronto. So, Winters hopped a plane immediately back to Ontario and may or may not be back in time for tonight's game. CB Jermaine Mays, who flew to Winnipeg last night, would replace Winters.

TICKET MASTER: Winnipeg native Adam Eckert, who will make his Bomber debut tonight, had to round up only 10 tickets for friends and family.

"A few of my buddies and family have season tickets already, so I didn't have to scrounge up too many," the wide receiver said. "It's starting to sink in a little bit that I'm in my hometown and playing for my hometown team. I'm getting excited for the game."

LATE HITS: The Argos haven't allowed a passing TD in their last three games ... Bomber SB Milt Stegall (ribs) remains doubtful to dress ... The Bombers had sold 23,700 tickets as of 4 p.m. yesterday.


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