WINNIPEG - The young up-and-comer went from jeers to cheers in just two CFL starts.
In his first crack at starting last year, Winnipeg quarterback Alex Brink was booed off the field. In his second, he almost led the Blue Bombers to a comeback victory over the defending Grey Cup champion Montreal Alouettes.
"Part of being a professional is having an opportunity to prove yourself," Brink said Monday. "Last year, after the first start I had, I felt like I had definitely put myself in a hole in that regard. So, I've been fighting a little bit of an uphill battle.
"But I felt like I had a good camp and have been progressing, and I've been able to show in the limited time this year that I can be an option and be a good player in this league."
Brink completed 24 of 40 passes for 326 yards and one touchdown, with two picks, in the 32-26 loss to Montreal on Friday. He had 20 yards on five carries, but was stopped twice trying to score the winning TD from the Montreal one on the last two plays of the game.
But the outing could have been disastrous for Brink, who had two passes picked off after they were tipped by defenders.
"I still felt in the first half, I was seeing things well," he said. "Two tipped balls that got picked were kind of freak plays that happen throughout the course of a game, which were unfortunate and put us into a tough situation. At the same time, I thought I was making good decisions with the football. I was going to the right places at the right times. In the second half, we got into a real nice rhythm and were going down the field a little bit more making plays.
"It makes me feel good to know where my comfort level's at on the field. At no point did I feel flustered or out of place or anything. Even after a couple of turnovers and we were backed up in the second quarter and everything, I always felt like I had control of the game … and when I had to make some good throws, I made some throws."
NO RETURNS: Tim Brown has become the man of no punt returns. The Bombers will hand those duties over to either receiver Clarence Denmark or back to cornerback Jovon Johnson, who relishes that role.
"We just didn't perform as well as we needed to back there," said Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice, adding that Denmark's 13-yard punt return average is the highest on the team.
BROWN BACK: Veteran defensive tackle Doug Brown, who missed the last game with a shoulder injury, practised Monday. A number of other Bombers sat out of practice with nagging hurts, including MLB Marcellus Bowman, DB Alex Suber, WR Cory Watson and LG Brendon LaBatte, but are expected to practise Tuesday.