WINNIPEG - Joey Elliott and Alex Brink have a combined three CFL starts between them, so their inconsistent performances in Thursday’s pre-season opener shouldn’t be surprising.
That doesn’t mean head coach Paul LaPolice is going to give them a pass, however.
Elliott completed seven of 18 attempts for 84 yards and an interception in the 27-15 loss to Montreal, while Brink was good on five of 12 passes for 64 yards. There were three or four drops, according to LaPolice, but the coach still wanted to see more from the two pivots who are trying to earn the backup job behind Buck Pierce.
“We had a very rookie receiving corps, so if that was with Terrence Edwards and all the guys they’ve been practising with every day you may have some concerns, but we gotta get better,” LaPolice said. “We just gotta make sure they continue to see everything and continue to get better.”
Elliott, who went into camp at No. 2 on the depth chart, overthrew his intended target three times, but he doesn’t think that was an abnormally high number.
“If I played the full game there those three throws you wouldn’t even know. But whenever you play two quarters those three throws get magnified by a lot,” Elliott said.
Brink, who played for the first time since breaking his collarbone last October, was much more calm on Thursday than he was in his disastrous CFL debut against the B.C. Lions last fall.
“That’s part of growing up, being a second-year player,” Brink said. “You learn some of the nuances of the league. I still got a lot of work to do, but it was good to get back out there, be healthy and enjoy the time.
“There were some good things. There were some things I can get better at.”
UP FOR GRABS: LaPolice said several players stood out at defensive end against the Alouettes, but no one took a stranglehold on Phillip Hunt’s old job.
“I saw them all do good things,” LaPolice said. “(Kenny) Mainor, I saw good things. (Jason) Vega, I saw really rushing the passer well.”
Remond Willis, who had Winnipeg’s only sack against the Als, is another contender to replace Hunt, who signed with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles in the off-season.
LATE HITS: Rookie linebacker Henoc Muamba (knee) and long snapper Chris Cvetkovic (calf) left Thursday’s game, but their injuries aren’t believed to be serious … Winnipeg has 76 players in camp. It has one week to get down to its 46-man roster and seven-player practice squad … The Bombers will have one practice on Saturday, a two-hour session at Canad Inns Stadium that begins at 9 a.m.