Last man standing

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:19 AM ET

Timmy Chang, we barely knew him before saying goodbye.

Then there was Kevin Glenn, the quarterback who led the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to the 2007 Grey Cup game. Gone.

Next, Ryan Dinwiddie, who started and lost that CFL championship, was unceremoniously dumped on the eve of training camp 2009.

So, quarterback Bryan Randall is the last quarterback standing from Winnipeg's ill-fated 2008 campaign.

"It's part of the business," Randall said yesterday. "Those guys (Glenn and Dinwiddie) were a tremendous help to me while they were here. I'm just trying to make this ball club. You can't control the decisions that the personnel people make. All I can do is go out there and play, and hopefully play well enough to be here."

Former Bombers GM Brendan Taman pursued Randall for years and was ecstatic when he finally landed him last spring. The 25-year-old has been patiently learning the CFL ropes since then, finally getting some significant action toward the end of the season.

But along came a new head knock, Mike Kelly, from Edmonton and he eventually brought backup QB Stefan LeFors here with him. The Bombers seem high on ex-NFLer James Kilian and, on the eve of training camp, brought former Hamilton pivot Richie Williams (who was replaced by Glenn) to town.

"They had a guy available that they think can get the job done so they're going to bring him in," Randall philosophized. "That's the way it's always going to be, no matter where you're at.

"So, it just makes me want to compete harder. But I'm not going to change anything that I'm going to do. I'm just going to go out there and do what I can."

The 6-foot-1, 218-pound Charleston, W. Va. native who once shared quarterbacking duties with Michael Vick at Virginia Tech, actually has a very similar style to the more-experienced Williams.

"We both bring the mobile aspect to the offence, getting out on the edge and making the defence respect the fact that we can pull the ball down and run," Randall agreed.

In fact, that style is better suited to the system that Kelly wants to establish here than the type of offence employed by the old regime.

"The mobile aspect is a big plus," said Randall, who completed nine of 22 passes for 99 yards with one interception and no touchdowns as a reliever last season. "I don't necessarily feel that you've got to be running a 4.3-40 but at the same time, I've always felt that any offence where the quarterback brings the threat of bringing the ball down and running, it's adds an extra dimension that the defence has to respect."

Randall seemed relatively pleased with his turns at the controls in Friday's Blue-Gold Game.

"It was good to get into a somewhat live type of scrimmage so, it was exciting to get out there and get things moving a little bit," said Randall, who completed a 35-yard pass to receiver Adarius Bowman, the longest gain of the controlled scrimmage.

But, if Kelly thought one quarterback shone more than another Friday, he was not saying.

"One of all all for four," he said. "There's no reason to start singling guys out at this point.

"It was fairly typical of what I expected. There were several things (mistakes) that maybe, to those sitting in the stands, would be directly attributed to the quarterback when, in fact, they weren't. The tape of the scrimmage will go a long ways for us to become better teachers so we can help our players perform better."

jim.bender@sunmedia.ca


Videos

Photos