Bombers hope to shake off losing skid
By KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency
|Blue Bombers quarterback Alex Brink during practice at Canad Inns Stadium in Winnipeg, Man., July 15, 2012. (JASON HALSTEAD/QMI Agency)
TORONTO - While one Bomber quarterback was facing the media back in Winnipeg, another was doing the same in Toronto on Tuesday.
Could the scrum in Winnipeg for Buck Pierce, who is out for at least a month with torn ligaments and a torn muscle in his left foot, have been his last as the Bombers’ starting pivot? And was the press conference in a downtown Toronto hotel the first of many for Alex Brink as the team’s No. 1 gun?
“Honestly I’m not really focused on the starting job at this point,” Brink said at the team hotel. “We have such an important game against Toronto (Wednesday). More importantly, I want to focus on going out and beating the Argos.”
No team is dealing with as much upheaval as the Bombers are right now. They are 0-3, they have six injured starters, they’ll be playing their fourth straight road game on Wednesday at Rogers Centre, and their quarterback situation is unsettled, to say the least. Pierce can’t stay healthy, and Brink has yet to prove he can win. Same with third-stringer Joey Elliott.
All the Bombers can do is throw Brink out there against the Argos and see what he can do. If he can’t, then it’s Elliott’s turn. The bottom line is this team needs a win, and it needs one fast.
“A win would be huge for us coming into a big home stand, four in a row,” Brink said. “Any time you don’t have a win you’re looking to get that first one out of the way, because it’s just a monkey on your back.
“So we are looking to get that monkey off, and we’re going to try and build on that and find an identity for ourselves.”
The Argos (1-2) are still determining their identity after an off-season of big changes. The Argos have shown they have the potential to be an offensive juggernaut under new head coach Scott Milanovich and quarterback Ricky Ray, but they’re not there yet.
“Right now, if we can find a way to score a couple more touchdowns, we’d be pretty good,” Ray said under the sweltering southern Ontario heat.
So as far as opportunities go, this is one where the Bombers might be able to steal a victory. A win would be huge for three reasons: It would snap the losing streak, it would come on the road against an East Division opponent, and it would be with Brink at the helm.
“We need to make sure he feels comfortable, but we’re comfortable with him taking the snaps,” left tackle Glenn January said. “He’s a great quarterback. He’s done well whenever he’s given the opportunity, and he’s proven that, especially during his time in university, that he can put up some great numbers.”
He has yet to do it in the CFL, though. Brink is 1-6 as Winnipeg’s quarterback of record in two-plus seasons as a backup, and he has failed to guide the Blue and Gold to victory during any of his three previous starts. He should get ample opportunity to prove his worth, however, as GM Joe Mack is a big fan of his talents.
Now is his chance to make Bomber fans feel the same way.