Bombers will regret Jyles trade

TED WYMAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:01 PM ET

Steven Jyles may not have won a lot of games for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers last season, but he sure seemed to show a lot of promise as a starting quarterback.

Many observers of the Blue Bombers saw something impressive in Jyles’ skill set when he started 10 games in 2010 and posted a solid quarterback rating while leading a struggling team to a 3-7 record.

Toronto Argonauts coach Jim Barker saw it.

Blue Bombers general manager Joe Mack apparently did not.

Mack traded Jyles, who was his No. 1A quarterback last season, to Barker’s Argos on Wednesday for a couple of draft picks, providing a division rival with a potential starter while exposing his own team to a potential depth problem.

Mack has already anointed the oft-injured Buck Pierce, who won a grand total of one game last season, as the starter in 2011. The team will head into training camp with unproven backups Alex Brink and Joey Elliott, who each got a chance to start games last season due to injuries to both Pierce and Jyles.

While Pierce certainly showed flashes of brilliance as a starter before he went down with first a knee injury and later a season-ending arm injury, it’s almost impossible to imagine him taking every snap in 2011.

The Bombers had a pretty nice situation last year when Jyles was available to step in and replace Pierce, but they will likely have no such luxury this year.

Mack’s faith in Brink and Elliott is admirable, but longtime observers of the CFL know it takes more than a couple of appearances for a player to show an aptitude for starting in the three-down game.

Experience and durability are key when it comes to the quarterback position in Canada.

Right now the Bombers have an issue with both — an experienced starter who’s anything but durable and a pair of green backups.

Sure the Bombers are sitting pretty heading into the draft with the first and fourth picks, but our guess is they will come to regret the day they traded Jyles.

GOLDWATER UPDATE: This just in: The Goldwater Institute is still opposed to the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes from the NHL to Matthew Hulsizer with the financial help of the City of Glendale.

OK, these days that hardly qualifies as news, but Goldwater did reiterate its position that the deal is bad for taxpayers and used the New York Yankees as an example.

Goldwater intends to sue the City of Glendale over its plan to sell $100 million in municipal bonds and hand the money over to Hulsizer so he can complete the deal with the NHL. In exchange for the $100 million, Glendale gets parking rights to Jobing.com Arena for the next 30 years.

To emphasize their position, the Globe and Mail reports Goldwater is pointing to the Yankees, who received $102 million from a bond sale when the new Yankee Stadium was built — money which was supposed to be recouped through parking rights.

However, Goldwater says the Yankees’ parking revenue is 40% below projections and the team is not coming close to covering the yearly bond payments.

If the richest sports franchise in the world can’t do it, how in the world does Glendale think the Coyotes can?

QUICK HITS: Our condolences go out to a good sports guy, Joe Aiello of 92 Citi FM, who lost his wife Alanna to cancer this week ... Belated birthday wishes to Mr. Hockey, Gordie Howe, who turned 83 yesterday. Hard to believe it’s been 32 years already since he last suited up in the NHL and scored 15 goals at age 51 ... For what it’s worth, Goldwater CEO Darcy Olsen told the Phoenix Business Journal there may be other owners ready to step in and keep the Coyotes in Phoenix if the deal with Hulsizer falls through. One of the names she heard mentioned was Jerry Reinsdorf, who twice tried already to buy the team, but failed. What a circus.


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