Calm and confident

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:24 AM ET

TORONTO -- Ryan Dinwiddie, Grey Cup starter.

The statement was posed to the man himself, and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' new starting quarterback couldn't help but smile.

"That sounds great," Dinwiddie said while seated at his Rogers Centre locker in nothing but a towel. "I've been waiting for this opportunity for four years, and I'm just really blessed and excited.

"I feel so bad for Kevin (Glenn), because he took us here and played amazing football all year. It's just too bad he doesn't get a chance to do it, but at the same time it's my opportunity."

Dinwiddie, who joined the Bombers in August 2006, will be making his first CFL start on Sunday after Kevin Glenn broke his arm in yesterday's East final win over Toronto.

Most observers won't give the Bombers a chance against the Green and White because of that, but Dinwiddie's teammates and head coach are genuinely confident in his abilities.

"Once he got in that huddle (yesterday), I was just looking at him and he was just oozing with confidence," slotback Milt Stegall said. "Ryan's a cocky guy. That's what you want. He's just been waiting his turn.

"It's unfortunate it happened in this circumstance. And what better stage to start your first CFL game than the Grey Cup."

Winnipeg's biggest question mark going into this season was quarterback depth. Glenn started every game this season, however, so the issue has been on the back burner.

Until now.

"He's smart, he's detailed, he preps himself as well as any quarterback I've been around," head coach Doug Berry said. "So I'm really confident that mentally he'll be as sharp as he can be. He's got a great personality. I don't think anybody's going to shake him up. Toronto came with some pressure, and it doesn't bother him."

Dinwiddie appeared in three regular-season games this season, completing 17 of 24 passes for 175 yards. Since last August, he is 28-for-48 for 282 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.

The Sacramento native, who is still revered in Idaho after a stellar collegiate career at Boise State, is happy to know his teammates believe in him -- even if the bookmakers likely won't.

"I'm glad my teammates feel that way about me, and I feel the same way about them," said Dinwiddie, who will turn 27 two days after the Grey Cup. "I just gotta go in there and play well. We've got a lot of good guys.

"We just gotta not turn the ball over, let our defence do what they're doing, and shoot, Blink (Charles Roberts) is going to be there too, so I just gotta go manage the game."

Stegall told Dinwiddie after yesterday's game to be ready for more interviews this week than he's had in the last 15 months. He seems prepared for that, too.

"I'm calm. I'm thinking about next week already. Today is gone with," Dinwiddie said. "I'm just so excited to get this opportunity. And just for the city of Winnipeg and this organization ... classy people.

"That's why we're here, because the guys in this locker-room love each other and love what we're doing. We're going to continue that next week. I'm really blessed to be here."


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