Dinwiddie takes QB helm

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:11 AM ET

Doug Berry hinted at it following Friday's loss to the B.C. Lions, but a move so significant seemed somewhat unlikely.

The head coach pulled the trigger anyway, making Ryan Dinwiddie the new starting quarterback for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

It's not a one-game trial, either, even though the Bombers are only two games out of first place in the East Division.

"No. I'm not playing a game with anybody," Berry said. "I'm trying to do what I think is right for the longer term.

"I know where this football team is right now, and I know that this is the right move to make at this time."

That means Kevin Glenn, just seven months removed from being named the East Division's most outstanding player, will be the backup when the Bombers host the Calgary Stampeders on Thursday.

Glenn stood and took questions about his demotion like a pro after yesterday's practice, but it was evident from his furrowed brow and the edge in his voice that he's not happy.

"A little bit," Glenn said when asked if he's disappointed. "I mean, who wouldn't be? We're competitive, and we want to play, and we want to help our team win, so I gotta do it another way now."

The Bombers are 0-4 and were going nowhere fast under Glenn, who has produced eight interceptions and two touchdowns in four games. His efficiency rating is a league-worst 65.9.

"I don't think I've played perfect football up until now," he said. "That's why this is called a team sport. It takes everybody contributing to one goal in order to be successful. It doesn't always take one guy to make a team successful."

Berry called the decision "very tough."

"It's something I probably will never be comfortable with," he said. "I've been Kevin Glenn's biggest supporter over the last two years. I understand and realize all he's done for this football team and where he's taken us in two years, so the decision was very, very difficult.

"But here we are at 0-4 and being not very productive offensively."

FRIENDSHIP

Dinwiddie, who sits beside Glenn in the Bomber locker-room, said the situation is "a little uncomfortable," but he is fired up to make his second pro start.

His first one, of course, was in last year's Grey Cup.

"Any time the Eastern MVP's not starting, I think that's a big shock to some people," he said. "But me and Kevin handled it professionally, and it's a friendship. We gotta help each other out. We gotta win a football game."

While Berry pointed out that the offence isn't producing with Glenn at the helm, he couched his criticism of the 29-year-old by saying no one else is playing well, either. Berry is hoping Dinwiddie, who is more fiery than Glenn, will give the team a spark.

"I hope he brings more," Berry said. "I hope he brings the ability to put the ball in the end zone and score points, that he is able, with this change, to be able to inspire the other guys to play up to a higher level.

"All of this is not a decision based on the poor play of Kevin Glenn. It's an indicator that the entire team is not playing well, and when you're a quarterback it comes with the territory."

Glenn, who in the off-season signed a contract extension with a base salary of approximately $250,000, became Winnipeg's starter in September 2004. His record, including the post-season, is 30-30-1.

Glenn agreed that the challenge for him now is to be a good teammate.

"It is," he said. "It's always a challenge to be a good teammate, but it is what it is, man. There ain't too much more that I need to say."


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