Brink's ready for job

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:29 AM ET

WINNIPEG -- Of all the times for Alex Brink to get his first professional start.

Thanksgiving afternoon is prime time in Canada, just as it is in the U.S. The only catch is the countries give thanks at different times of the year. That means Alex Brink's friends and family members are all going to be at work when he starts against the B.C. Lions.

"Everybody's a little upset that the game's going to be on a Monday afternoon down in the States on an American non-holiday," Brink said Thursday. "A lot of people are going to be at work.

"My girlfriend's pretty upset that she's not probably going to get to see it, but everybody's going to try."

We're assuming (cough, cough) that Brink's loved ones will figure out a way to watch him take on the Leos. We're also certain that they believe Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice made the right call in replacing Steven Jyles with Brink -- even if not all fans are sold on the idea.

Brink is aware that the decision has been met with both support and criticism from Blue and Gold supporters.

"I'm not one to go out and read the media and a nalyze stuff," Brink said. "At the same time I'm aware of public opinion, and that's not something that is a surprise by any means. I've been in that in college. There's always two sides. I understand that, and I can appreciate it for what it is.

"The biggest thing for me is that people know that they're going to get my best every time, whether it's in practice or in a game and that I'm going to compete and that I'm going to compete to win."

To give himself the best chance at victory, Brink has immersed himself even more in game preparations. Normally he takes game film home with him at night, but this week he is staying at the office to be around the coaches and ask questions.

He was still at the offices past 9 p.m. on Wednes-day night and was back on Maroons Road by 6 a.m. Th ursday.

He did a radio interview Thursday morning and then made the media rounds after practice.

"The media stuff comes with it. It's not my first time being a starting quarterback," the former Washington State and Houston Texans quarterback said. "I've handled that before."

Brink's teammates said all the right things when asked what they thought of the quarterback switch with the team's playoff hopes still alive, albeit barely.

"I would be panicked if they brought a guy in off the street and said, 'You're starting,' " centre Obby Khan said. "If they brought a guy in from the NFL and said, 'You're starting this week,' I'd be panicked. We know Brink. We know what he does in practice. He knows the offence just as well as Jyles or Buck do."

Slotback Terrence Edwards believes it will be up to the rest of the offence to make up for Brink's inexperience.

"It's weird to put an inexperienced guy in, but the coaches, the management and also the team feel that Brink can get it done and we're going to go in fighting with him," Edwards said. "Everybody's gotta pick their game up to pick his game up, get him comfortable in there."

Khan said the offensive line still has to learn Brink's cadence and get a feel for how long he holds on to the ball. Then when the game starts, their goal will be to keep him on an even keel.

"He's a young guy. We gotta keep him calm. I gotta try not to yell at him as much as I yell at Jyles and the other guys," Khan said with a chuckle. "He'll do fine."

There was a moment during Thursday's practice that impressed LaPolice. The offence was working on blitz pickups when one of the scout team members didn't come as fast as he normally would in a game.

Brink told him to bring it next time.

"That's good leadership," LaPolice said.


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