Blue Bomber Report Record: 3–1–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Bombers' goal is to win, not audition quarterbacks

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EVEN if you've had it up to here with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' quarterback quandary, it's still the compelling storyline this week.

Buck Pierce is out, Joey Elliott is banged up, Alex Brink is OK and Justin Goltz is waiting in the wings.

If Elliott is too banged up to start on Saturday in the last regular-season game against the 11-6 Montreal Alouettes, a game that is meaningless save for the fact it is expected to be the last Bombers game at Canad Inns Stadium, would Bombers head coach Tim Burke start Goltz?

Not likely, Burke said as he spoke with media on Monday at Canad Inns Stadium. Burke said he's not going to turn the game into one giant audition for jobs that will change over the winter anyway.

"Our goal is to win the game, that's our No. 1 goal," Burke said. "Guys who haven't played, we're not going to play them just to see if they can play. We're going to play the best guys that we have left on our team who can win a football game for us."

Burke said Pierce is a definite scratch for the last game of 2012 with a shoulder injury and, since Elliott is questionable after being "banged in the knee" in last week's 28-18 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, third-string pivot Alex Brink would be next in line to start.

He said Goltz will see the field against the Alouettes.

"If Joey can't go, or if he's banged up, it'll be Alex," Burke said, noting Elliott will miss today's practice. "If (Elliott's) banged up where he's going to have some mobility problems, he would be in a backup role," Burke said.

" (Goltz) will get some (playing time). He'll definitely run our wildcat package for sure this week. We might throw him in there in some other downs."

As the 5-12 Bombers were eliminated from post-season play after last Saturday's loss to the Tiger-Cats, Burke said his message to the players this week will be to not squander their last chance this season to work together as a team.

"There's going to be some change," he said. "There'll be draft picks added that'll make the team, there'll be guys brought in that'll make the team, there might be guys who decide not to come back who are free agents. Obviously, the coaching situation is in flux at this point in time.

"This is the last chance for us as a team to... play together and do it for each other. So that's going to be my message."

Oh, and one more thing. Burke said "yeah, we might" when asked if quarterback RJ Archer could come off the practice roster for the game.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @WFPAshleyPrest

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 30, 2012 C1

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