Blue Bomber Report Record: 6–6–0

Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Willy says he backs players, demurs on what could follow strike vote

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Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Drew Willy will be firing passes for the opening of rookie camp Wednesday night at Investors Group Field.

Where he gets his work in after that – thanks to the uncertainty revolving around the soon-to-expire collective-bargaining agreement – remains a mystery.

"It’s definitely a little uncertain," Willy said Wednesday afternoon in a pre-practice media availability. "But I fully respect the process both sides are going through. I’m 100 per cent behind the players. I really don’t have much else to say about it.

"Obviously we want to play football. Being a first-time starter I need all the reps I can get but also I understand it is a business and I back the players."

The current CBA expires at 10:59 p.m. Thursday. And while the two sides are meeting today in Toronto, many are expecting the scheduled opening of main camp on Sunday to be affected.

Asked if he would follow the CFL Players’ Association's lead and strike if that was their decision, Willy said:

"I’m not going to comment on that, none of that has come out yet. That’s between us as a union. But if there was something to happen I’d make sure we were getting the guys together in Winnipeg making sure we were getting our work in... obviously not in the building, but somewhere around Winnipeg.

"Back in 2011 with the (New York) Jets I kinda went through the same thing when I was there. (Quarterback) Mark Sanchez got all the guys together. Whoever is in the area, we’ll get all the leaders and make sure we get all the guys together. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that."

The Bombers expect to have 45 players on the field Wednesday, including Willy and the other quarterbacks: Max Hall, Brian Brohm, Robert Marve and Jordan Yantz.

Ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @WFPEdTait

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