Elliott has inside track as Bombers No. 2 QB

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:10 PM ET

The first hints had already come from the GM.

Monday, as the Blue Bombers hit the practice field for the first day of mini-camp, the head coach basically confirmed that Joey Elliott has the inside track on the No. 2 quarterback position, ahead of Alex Brink, who’s coming off a serious shoulder injury.

“I feel comfortable with Buck or Joey playing,” Paul LaPolice said, after it was suggested he doesn’t have two potential starters this year, the way he did last season.

Pressed about Brink’s status, the coach cracked open the door, slightly, for the man who appeared to championed by GM Joe Mack last season.

“Joey’s just played more than Alex,” LaPolice said. “And one’s coming off an injury. So it’ll be an open competition. But if I were to peg them tomorrow, that’s how I’d peg them.”

Obviously, it’s a little early to worry about pecking orders.

Elliott and Brink simply appear happy to be at a place where either one could be a play away from starting, a situation created when the Bombers traded Steven Jyles to Toronto.

“It sent the signal that us young quarterbacks were doing the right things, and heading in the right direction,” Brink said. “Joey and I both know that doesn’t mean we’ve made it, by any means. We both have to go out and show that we’re getting better.”

For Brink, improving on his one and only CFL start, a nightmarish outing against the B.C. Lions, shouldn’t be difficult.

“I had certainly some rough times last year,” he said. “That’s only made me better. That’s something about playing quarterback, the tough thing is you get banged around sometimes out there, but you get better. You get to bounce back from it, as long as you have the right attitude. And I know I do.”

Attitude may as well be Elliott’s middle name.

“Feels good. Sun’s shining. Glad to be here,” the confident 24-year-old said. “It’s a great opportunity for any of the quarterbacks here in Winnipeg. Obviously, Buck Pierce is our starter and we’re all trying to learn from him. Steven was able to get traded and have an opportunity to go there and start... that’s his ultimate goal, talking to him last year.

“Alex, Justin (Goltz) and myself are trying to come together and learn as much as possible.”

Forced by injuries into two starts last season, Elliott showed some late-season flashes. Whether or not they were a football version of fool’s gold remains to be seen.

“Obviously I played two games last year and got a little bit of experience, and it was positive vibes that Joe Mack and the staff thought I did enough to come back in training camp and keep learning,” he said.

paul.friesen@sunmedia.ca


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