It ain't the Grey Cup

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:12 AM ET

The media scrutiny surrounding his second pro start will be a little less intense than the first.

Regardless, Ryan Dinwiddie is just as jacked up to start regular-season Game #5 of 2008, which goes Thursday night at home against the Calgary Stampeders, as he was for last year's Grey Cup in Toronto.

"I woke up today, and I was excited," Dinwiddie said. "Any time you're the starting quarterback, you're a lot more enthused to go out there, so I'm excited for the opportunity to go out there and play well."

Dinwiddie, 27, had to start last year's Grey Cup after Kevin Glenn, the man he is replacing this week, broke his arm in the East Division final. Dinwiddie threw one touchdown and three interceptions in the 23-19 loss to Saskatchewan.

One of the most prolific passers in NCAA history, the Boise State product admitted that there will be a little less pressure on him Thursday -- but not much considering Winnipeg is 0-4.

"It's a little different," he said. "The crowd's not going to be as big and obviously we're at home, but I really wasn't that pressed during the Grey Cup."

Including the post-season, Dinwiddie has completed 67 of 118 passes for two touchdowns and eight interceptions (coincidentally Glenn's TD-to-interception ratio this season) since arriving in Winnipeg in August 2006.

"I've been looking forward to this opportunity for a while, and I've just been working hard and (being) patient and waiting for it to come," Dinwiddie said. "It's here now. I just gotta go out and produce."

LATE HITS: It's expected to be confirmed today that middle linebacker Barrin Simpson will miss the remainder of the season with a pectoral muscle tear ... It's still early in the week, but new players in starting spots at yesterday's practice were: Kelly Malveaux (outside linebacker), Joe Lobendahn (middle linebacker), Stanford Samuels (defensive back) and Matt O'Meara (right guard) ... Offensive lineman Obby Khan (colitis) and special teamer Greg Bearman (hamstring) are likely to return to the lineup this week ... Offensive lineman Kyle Koch (ankle) and linebacker Ike Charlton (knee) are questionable, while slotback Milt Stegall (knee) is doubtful ... Running back Charles Roberts and receiver Terrence Edwards watched yesterday's practice, but Berry said both "should be" ready to play this week ... The Bombers released defensive back Sam Young from the practice roster yesterday.


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