Bombers re-sign backup Elliott'This is the place to be,' QB says
By KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency
|The Bombers re-signed backup quarterback Joey Elliott on Wednesday. (Marcel Cretain/QMI Agency/Files)
WINNIPEG - Under normal circumstances, Joey Elliott would have been concerned about tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the option year of his CFL contract.
Bombers GM Joe Mack put any of Elliott’s fears to rest a couple weeks after the quarterback went down in the third game of the 2011 season.
“When you hurt your leg going into your contract year it doesn’t look very promising,” Elliott said Wednesday at the Bomber office on Maroons Road. “But that’s why I really wanted to come back here, because literally two weeks after I got hurt Mr. Mack was talking to me on the football field and said, ‘Hey, we want you to be here next year.’ And Mr. (Jim) Bell, the (former) president, was a hundred percent behind that.
“I felt that support as much as anything else, and that really persuaded me. That’s why I’m here today. I wanted to come up here, get the deal done, and I want to be a Bomber forever.”
Elliott signed a new contract with the Bombers on Wednesday. He was eligible to become a free agent on Feb. 15 but had no desire to test the market.
“This is the place to be,” he said.
The Bombers like Elliott’s leadership skills, but he hasn’t been on the field enough for the team to really know what it has. Elliott started the last two games of 2010 and came on in relief of No. 1 gun Buck Pierce last July 14 at Canad Inns Stadium against Calgary. He got hurt making a touchdown-saving tackle after receiver Terence Jeffers-Harris fumbled. If there were any questions about the 26-year-old’s toughness, they were answered a few minutes later.
“He tore his ACL and then drove us the length of the field to put us in a position to win the game at the end of the game,” head coach Paul LaPolice said.
Elliott said his knee is “100%” healed and that he could start a game today if required.
“It was just a setback,” Elliott said. “I’ve had a few setbacks in my career.”
The Purdue University product, who entered the 2011 season as Pierce’s backup, doesn’t have the same assurances this time around, although he is the only Bomber pivot with a contract for 2012. Pierce and third-stringer Alex Brink are both eligible to become free agents later this month.
“We’ll see,” LaPolice said when asked if Elliott will be No. 2 on the depth chart again. “Certainly they’ll all get a chance to compete, and we’ll figure it out from there.”
Elliott has appeared in four games for the Bombers since arriving in July 2010, completing 45 of 91 passes for 522 yards and two touchdowns and three interceptions.