Bombers still have QB questions

Bombers QB Alex Brink (left) talks to coaches on the telephone as Joey Elliott, the Bombers backup...

Bombers QB Alex Brink (left) talks to coaches on the telephone as Joey Elliott, the Bombers backup pivot, looks on. (Fred Greenslade/REUTERS)

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:32 AM ET

WINNIPEG - So many questions, not nearly enough answers for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

The aim was to head into the bye week on a winning note and move into a third-place tie in the East Division standings with the Montreal Alouettes.

Instead, the Blue Bombers turned in a mostly uninspired perfromance in a 36-26 loss to the Alouettes on Friday night before a rain-soaked crowd at Canad Inns Stadium.

Make no mistake, the scoreboard flattered the Blue Bombers, who packed on a few points once the game was out of reach to keep the score respectable.

After taking some major strides last week against the Edmonton Eskimos, quarterback Alex Brink looked rather ordinary against the Alouettes, at least for the better part of three quarters.

Once again, fans in attendance were calling for head coach Paul LaPolice to summon Joey Elliott from the sidelines.

LaPolice admitted he was tempted to do so, but those calls ultimately went unanswered and Brink did a nice job padding his stats during garbage time.

The numbers themselves were solid, as Brink finished 25-of-38 for 311 yards, with two touchdowns and perhaps most importantly, no interceptions.

He added three carries for 13 yards, including a one-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

“I started off a little slow, I would have liked to be better early on,” said Brink. “They did a few things differently than we expected and it took us a little longer than we would have liked to adjust.

“We are certainly reeling a little bit from this one. We had a lot of confidence coming off of last week. We felt comfortable coming back at home and thought we’d come up with a better performance than what we’ve had. We have to regroup all around, in all phases, especially offensively and pick up our play in the second half (of the season), no doubt.”

For what it’s worth, confidence in Brink seems to be on the rise, despite his 1-2 record as a starter this season and 2-8 as the quarterback of record during his CFL career.

“He goes out and does what he can, he can’t do it by himself,” said Blue Bombers defensive back Jovon Johnson. “We’ve got to protect better, he’s got to make better reads on some of his throws. That’s just the way the game goes.

“We’ll be fine and I believe in him all the way until the end of it.”

Still, you have to wonder who will be behind centre when the Blue Bombers return to practice next Saturday after the bye week.

Buck Pierce was moving around much better this week and has been telling people who will listen that he’ll be good to go sooner than later.

Some might call it wishful thinking, but those who know Pierce understand how determined he is to actually make it happen and salvage the season.

We’re not suggesting that the Blue Bombers give up on Brink after only three starts in 2012.

He’s making progress, but as we’ve said before, right now Pierce gives this team its best chance to win games.

And as long as he’s back at or very close to full health, Pierce should be at the controls.

In a league where six of eight teams qualify for the post-season, 1-5 is not an insurmountable record to overcome.

With 12 games left to go in the regular season, there’s still time to turn the ship around.

But the sands of the hour glass are starting to flow quickly and if things don’t turn around soon, there will come a time when the Blue Bombers shift to Brink and maybe even Elliott to see if they have what it takes going forward.

However, until that time comes, the Blue Bombers would be best served by having Pierce behind centre.


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