December 6, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Justin Goltz will get his first-ever professional start at quarterback when the Winnipeg Blue Bombers host the Calgary Stampeders Friday night at Investors Group Field.
A club spokesman tweeted the news this morning just as the players were making their way out on to the field for practice.
Bombers head coach Tim Burke had said Tuesday that whoever took first-team reps at practice on Wednesday would be Winnipeg's starter this week.
Goltz has taken all the first-team reps in practice this week after Buck Pierce injured his abdomen in a loss to Toronto last Friday.
Burke said after today’s practice that Pierce will dress but will be the No. 3 quarterback for Friday’s game.
"He’s not completely healthy and we only have three quarterbacks on the roster so that’s the least-likely place where he could be re-injured. It would take a lot to get all the way to your third quarterback."
Max Hall will be the team’s No. 2 on Friday.
Goltz said after practice today that he relishes this chance.
"It feels good that I’ve lasted this long and finally getting the opportunity," Goltz said. "There’s pressure there but I don’t think one person coming in is going to change the whole face of the franchise. I’m going to do everything I can to be the spark that we need. I think that our team definitely needs that spark and I’m confident I can provide that spark."
Burke was asked if Goltz can win the starting job this week, rather than just being Pierce’s fill-in.
"Maybe," the coach said.
For tackle Glenn January, not a lot’s going to change from his spot on the field, he said today.
"It’s not necessarily different in a good or bad way," January said. "You just have to change small things whenever you have any quarterback back there. We’ve talked about this in past years, when we had the carousel with Buck and (Alex) Brink and (Joey) Elliott, everybody has a little bit of preference. Some of them like to fade a little bit when they drop back. It’s just little things you have to know and take into account whenever you go out there and play the game but there’s no drastic changes needed for us now."
January said there is an eagerness to see what Goltz can do in a main role.
"We’re excited for him to get out there and get a chance," the veteran lineman said. "You have to feel for Buck right now with his lingering after-effects of last week but that’s what we’re going to do.
"We’ve had a whole week to work with him. We’ll see how it goes."
-- with files from Tim Campbell
Updated on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 3:07 PM CDT:
Adds quotes from after practice.