August 2, 2012
Can Brink bring another W?Lucky Number 7
By KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency
WINNIPEG - David Alex Brink will make his third consecutive start on Friday night, and he will attempt to lead the Bombers to something they haven’t done in more than 11 months.
That would be win two games in a row.
It’s been that bleak for the Blue and Gold in the last calendar year, even though they made a trip to the 2011 Grey Cup. Their failure to win back-to-back games since last Aug. 26, when they capped a five-game winning streak, includes last November’s post-season.
But this being the CFL, where six of eight teams make the playoffs, the Bombers are not out of it this season at 1-4. Far from it. If they can beat the Montreal Alouettes (2-3) at Canad Inns Stadium, they would move into a tie for third place in the East Division.
“Early in the season we need to jockey ourselves into a position to stay in the East Division for first place,” head coach Paul LaPolice said. “We’re playing a four-point game. If we win the game we’re tied with them and in third place. I’ve told our players all week that’s important, especially a team you play four times. You don’t want to go down two nothing on them.”
This is one the Bombers need, especially when their two opponents after the bye week are the high-flying Hamilton Tiger-Cats and B.C. Lions. It’s strange to consider the Alouettes, who beat the Bombers 41-30 a month ago, being the easiest chance at victory among those three squads, but that’s the case right now.
Meanwhile, the quarterback who goes by his middle name — “It’s really embarrassing when you’re nine years old,” Brink said — is the most interesting subplot to Winnipeg’s final game before its bye week. If Winnipeg loses, there is still plenty of time for it to catch up. If Winnipeg wins, there is still plenty of time for it to fall back.
If Brink wins, however, it will add a little spice to a story that right now isn’t a story. Brink hasn’t done enough to show he can be the No. 1 quarterback in town, but if he wins two in a row he might be on to something.
No. 1 gun Buck Pierce is out with a foot injury, and it’s probably no coincidence he’s telling everyone who will listen he’ll be back before you know it. The coaches and training staff, meanwhile, are saying it’ll be September.
Interestingly, Pierce has put together winning streaks only twice in his two-plus seasons at the helm in Winnipeg. He had three- and two-game winning streaks, respectively, last season, and he is 10-8 overall.
Brink claimed he hasn’t been thinking about the No. 1 job, but that’s what you’re supposed to say when you’re the backup quarterback.
“I haven’t really thought about it that much,” Brink said. “This is such an important part of our season right now. We need wins. We need to get back on track if we want to have the type of season that we set out to have from the beginning. I’m focused on that. The rest will take care of itself.”
LaPolice likes what he’s seen lately from Brink, who completed a career-high 26 of 38 attempts for 294 yards in last week’s 23-22 win over the Edmonton Eskimos.
“I don’t think his confidence has changed too much,” LaPolice said. “I would say this: The confidence of the people around him has changed, and that’s what a quarterback’s job is. A quarterback is supposed to get everybody to believe and believe he’s going to take you to the promised land.”
Brink might be getting a break, as the Alouettes were delayed nearly 11 hours at Montreal’s airport on Thursday due to flight cancellations and delays. They weren’t scheduled to arrive in Winnipeg until about 8 o’clock on Thursday night.
On the other hand, the Bombers will be without defensive tackle Bryant Turner, who has gone home to Mobile, Ala., for his grandmother’s funeral.
So call him David Brink, or call him Alex Brink. If he beats the Alouettes on Friday night, we might be one step closer to calling him Winnipeg’s starting quarterback.