Three quarterbacks will see action when the Winnipeg Blue Bombers host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in a pre-season CFL contest this Thursday.
Incumbent QB Kevin Glenn will not be one of them.
Brad Banks, Ryan Dinwiddie and Justin Holland will play about one-third each, Blue Bombers head coach Doug Berry said yesterday.
"I'm not sure who will start. Kevin's not going to play. I can't see it. There's no need. I'll play him in the second game," Berry said. "We'll hold a few guys out because we've got guys we have to evaluate and those will be the guys who are going to play."
HEAD SCRATCHER: Pat Fleming enjoyed his best season ever punting the ball for Hamilton last year and still can't figure out why the rebuilding Tiger-Cats cut him.
"They just said they were going to trade or release me, they didn't really tell me a reason," said the Canadian kicker, who signed with the Bombers on Friday. "I was a little surprised, too. I thought I had a good year but that's the way it goes sometimes. I'm happy to be here in Winnipeg."
The Tabbies are apparently determined to go with an American kicker. The knock on Fleming is he had too many punts blocked in Hamilton.
"It's a team game," he responded. "It starts with the snap, protection and kick. Sometimes, there's breakdowns; some guys get free and might be able to block it. It's part of the game ... Last year was a bad year in Hamilton."
But he claims he is not too slow to get the ball off his toe.
"My times were fine."
CANADA BACK: Defensive end Tom Canada returned to the practice field after being banished Friday afternoon for his part in a fight with offensive lineman Matt O'Meara.
"I think he was a bit better (focused)," Berry said with a knowing smile. "The 'extra film work' had to help. Everything's good."
Canada declined a request to discuss the subject.
ROCKY SPEECH: Berry admitted to giving his charges a Rocky Bleier speech on the eve of training camp. Bleier became a running back for the four-time Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers after recovering from shrapnel wounds suffered while serving for the U.S. Army in Vietnam.
"He was never a superstar," Berry said. ""But he was a good football player and contributed greatly to a great football team. And he did it by presenting himself in a position as being tough and nothing was going to ever discourage him, no matter what the obstacle. It was, 'Tape me up and put me back in there.'"
"He worked so hard at it that he actually became a better athlete and a faster athlete, and stronger than he was (before getting wounded)."
Berry, by the way, was drafted into the Army the same year as Bleier but did not serve in Vietnam.
WALKING WOUNDED: DL Nate Davis and CB Robert Bean returned to practice yesterday. Still sidelined were: CB Anthony Malbrough (hamstring), LB Toney Edison (elbow), DE Brian Guebert (hip flexor), OL Alexandre Gauthier (hamstring) and WR/KR Albert Johnson III (hamstring).
HASHMARKS: Hamilton has cut former Bomber SB Kwame Cavil ... Bombers GM Brendan Taman was in Toronto to scout yesterday's exhibition game between the Argos and Montreal Alouettes, won 20-13 by the Argos ... The Bombers will have just one practice at the stadium today, starting at 10 a.m.