Blue strike QB gold

The Bombers signed two quarterbacks to compete for backup positions behind Kevin Glenn. SUN MEDIA...

The Bombers signed two quarterbacks to compete for backup positions behind Kevin Glenn. SUN MEDIA Jason Halstead

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:20 AM ET

Only the fact that they have been burned by their own proclamations in the past is apparently preventing the Winnipeg Blue Bombers hierarchy from proclaiming that at least one of their two newest quarterbacks is a future CFL mainstay, if not a star.

The Bombers have officially signed both former U.S. college stars Bryan Randall and Cleveland McCoy, the club announced yesterday. And they are both believed to be significant upgrades over third-stringer Kliff Kingsbury and Zac Taylor.

"The No. 3 quarterback is a huge deal here," Bombers GM Brendan Taman underscored. "We were one player away from having our No. 3 quarterback play in the Grey Cup game and both backups have since been released. So, those needs have been addressed."

In fact, both QBs are expected to challenge Ryan Dinwiddie for the No. 2 spot, Taman added.

Randall, 24, has spent time in several NFL camps. The 6-foot-1, 218-pound pivot was signed as a free agent by Atlanta in 2005 and spent the season on its practice roster. He then spent time in both Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh camps.

"He's been there and done that with the NFL," Taman said. "It's been pretty frustrating for him because he has had such limited playing time. And this is an opportunity for him to get a chance to play more."

Randall concurred.

"I just haven't been able to stick with a team and even get any film (to showcase his talents)," the Virginia Tech product said from Virginia Beach, Va. "It has been frustrating but it's also a great learning experience. Now, it's just a matter of getting on the field and getting a chance to play."

However, neither Randall nor McCoy know much about the CFL or, for that matter, Winnipeg.

"I've been doing my homework ever since I found out they were interested in me," said Randall, who was been filled in by Bomber linebacker Ike Charlton, a college teammate. "He told me a lot of good things and that my style would suit that game."

McCoy, 23, was still trying to get used to the idea of three downs, 12 men and the expansive field.

"It looks like a wide-open game so it should be a lot of fun," McCoy said from Ravenhill, S.C. "And I do have the ability to run the football."

Indeed, the 6-foot-2, 213-pound South Carolina State QB rushed for 823 yards and six touchdowns on 129 carries while completing 108 of 212 passes for 1,241 yards and 12 majors, with 10 picks, in 2007.

In fact, both prospects have more mobility than either incumbent Kevin Glenn or Dinwiddie, Taman said.

McCoy decided to take the Winnipeg offer after New Orleans decided to look at him as a receiver at a tryout camp.

"It was just the opportunity to play quarterback and I felt comfortable with the Winnipeg program," he said.

"The minute the staff saw Cleveland, they said, 'Wow, this guy's something special," Taman recalled. "(Head coach) Doug (Berry) called me while I was on the road said we needed to put him on our neg list right away."

NOTING: Randall befriended QB Michael Vick while both were with Atlanta and still corresponds with the man who was jailed due to his involvement in a dog fighting ring. "He's a great guy who made a bad decision and he's taken responsibility for it," Randall said.


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