Elliott moves into starting role
By KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency
|Joey Elliott. (Winnipeg Sun files)
WINNIPEG - The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are making a change at quarterback going into this week’s game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
After returning to the field following the bye week, the 1-5 Blue Bombers announced Saturday that Joey Elliott would be replacing Alex Brink.
“As I’ve said way back when we came through camp, those guys were neck and neck, like a two and a 2A,” said Blue Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice. “During the bye, I watched every throw from preseason to every game and we want to see what Joey can do. Alex has done okay, but we want to see if a change helps us in our pass game. It’s fairest to give (Elliott) a full week of prep.”
Elliott, a third-year pro, is excited to make his third CFL start and first since late in the 2010 season.
“It’s an opportunity, that’s all you want as a quarterback, to be able to go out and compete,” said Elliott. “Hopefully, we can get us a win.”
Brink admitted he was blindsided by the decision, but said he would continue to do whatever he can to help the Blue Bombers get things turned around.
“Obviously, I’m disappointed. It’s every kids dream to be the starting quarterback of a professional football team and it’s frustrating when that gets taken away from you,” said Brink. “I would say blind-side is a good word. Coach made a decision to go in a different direction based on here we’re at as a team. I’m here as a Winnipeg Blue Bomber and I’m here to support the team in whatever capacity that is and we’ll go forward from here.”
Speaking of quarterbacks, Buck Pierce was more involved in the workout and showed better mobility than at any previous time since suffering a foot injury in Week 3 against the Edmonton Eskimos, but LaPolice said he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to dress this week.
LaPolice said he expects defensive back Alex Suber to play this week, but the status of safety Ian Logan (who did some running on Saturday) remains up in the air.
Linebacker Brandon Stewart did some running as well, but isn’t expected back in the lineup this week.
The Blue Bombers also made a change at right tackle, inserting Shannon Boatman for Jordan Taormina, but LaPolice said that battle would be ongoing throughout the week as evaluations continue.
Suber was one of four Blue Bombers (Jonathan Hefney, Jason Vega and Henoc Muamba were the others) who had travel issues on Saturday and were unable to make it back to Winnipeg in time for the workout.
LaPolice said he was upset with the airlines and not the missing players for the travel difficulties.
The Blue Bombers also added non-import fullback James Green to the practice roster to help offset the loss of Brady Browne.
Green was released by the Blue Bombers during the offseason, but is back in the mix after his broken foot healed.