Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 6/6/2009 (2910 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
THE quarterback carousel just keeps on spinning for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Not long after Ryan Dinwiddie had finished clearing out his locker Saturday morning after being released, another QB was apparently en route.
Sources tell the Free Press that former Hamilton Tiger-Cats pivot Richie Williams is headed to Winnipeg and could be on the field as soon as this morning when main training camp opens.
The 26-year-old former Appalachian State star was released by the Ticats this winter, but completed 60 per cent of his passes for 11 TDs against nine interceptions in spot starts and mop-up action over the last three years.
The Bombers apparently see Williams as a better fit than Dinwiddie for their offence, an attack that figures to feature more roll-outs and mobility from its quarterbacks than the predominantly straight drop/shotgun used by Kevin Glenn & Co. over the past 4 1/2 seasons.
"We had plenty of time to take a look at him, the five (rookie-camp) practices, and I really felt that the ability to get the ball from Point A to Point B (quickly) was a little bit stronger with the other four guys," said head coach Mike Kelly. "I certainly like him as a young man and he gave everything he could to the organization in an effort to impress, but at the end of the day I just don't think some of the skill sets I was looking for are there.
"We're going to be on the field playing in 11 days (in the first pre-season game against Hamilton on June 17). We have to make decisions, we have to trust our decision-making process. This wasn't a one-man decision; I talked it through with all the coaches and (personnel director) John Murphy. We want to get our guys narrowed down and pinpointed as soon as we can to get the team ready for that date with the Edmonton Eskimos (July 2, regular-season opener).
Williams would join the four other QBs still on the roster: Stefan LeFors, Bryan Randall, James Kilian and Darrell Hackney. And while the starting job still seems to be LeFors' to lose, the improving play of Kilian was also said to be a factor in Dinwiddie's release.
"I've got mixed feelings right now," said Dinwiddie. "I enjoyed my time here, the community, the fans. But it's a business decision and it's happened to me before. I just got to pick up and move on. Everything happens for a reason. Their offence didn't play to my strengths, which are different than the other quarterbacks, but I do have different intangibles which I think can be effective.
"They went out and got their guys and I understand that. But I don't think my career is done by any means and I'm excited to continue on."
BLUE NOTES: As previously reported, the Bombers made official on Saturday a contract extension to receiver Terrence Edwards that will keep him in Blue and Gold through 2011. Edwards has 156 catches for 2,290 yards and 16 TDs in 33 regular-season games for the Bombers... Also released Saturday were defensive back Derrick Strait and linebacker Bryan Wilson, both imports, along with Canadian wide receiver Ivan Birungi... DB/LB Jonathan Hefney has had passport problems but is expected to arrive on Monday, about the same time OL Kelly Butler may arrive.