Banks wasn't money

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:15 AM ET

Doug Berry sounds like a coach who isn't ready to give up on Brad Banks just yet.

Despite Banks' deplorable showing in the first quarter of Thursday's 35-23 pre-season loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Berry isn't about to call a cab for the embattled Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback.

When asked yesterday how much more he was hoping to see from Banks on Thursday, Berry instead led an assault on the Bomber receivers, who dropped three of Banks's six incompletions.

"I would've liked to have seen all the nice throws that he threw be caught and then see how well we move," Berry said. "... I really don't think that was fair for Brad, but then again you're only going to get so many reps."

GLENN STARTING

Banks may not get any more reps, as No. 1 quarterback Kevin Glenn will start Winnipeg's second and final pre-season game on Friday in Hamilton and could go as deep as the fourth quarter.

"If he feels like he's had enough at half-time, needs to play the whole third quarter or wants to go into the fourth quarter, I don't care," Berry said. "I want Kevin to feel like he's ready to play the first regular season game."

That wouldn't leave a lot of playing time for Banks, Justin Holland or Ryan Dinwiddie, who are all trying to secure the backup spot behind Glenn.

Holland, the only CFL rookie in the group, had the best showing of the three on Thursday, completing 12 of 20 passes for 160 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

"I felt it was all right," Holland said. "I made a couple errors reading the defence, and that's coming to me kind of slower than I had hoped.

"But I made some good throws. I had one that got away from me and ended up being a pick and a touchdown for them. I can't be happy about that. But overall it's something that I can definitely build from, and I was happy with my performance."

Berry's praise for Holland may be somewhat tempered, but the coach is contemplating giving the 24-year-old more action in Hamilton. It's unlikely that all three backup hopefuls will travel.

"There's a temptation there definitely," Berry said. "You'd like to know, 'Is this a fluke?' Because he played pretty well under the gun, and I would expect next week we'll see a defence that's a little more aggressive than what we saw this week and more challenging.

RESPOND

"Can he respond when things are a little different, a little tougher?"

Banks, however, was playing against that same defence on Thursday night and threw two interceptions. One of them, though, was apparently his intended receiver's fault.

He completed just one of seven passes for four yards.

"You just have to have to learn to bounce back from stuff like that," said Banks, a four-year CFL veteran who is running out of time to prove himself. "I'm just going to go back to the drawing board and see what happens next week."

Dinwiddie was 9-for-18 for 91 yards and two interceptions in the fourth quarter, but Berry urged the second-year pivot to be aggressive since the Bombers were trailing by almost two touchdowns.


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