Blue Bomber Report Record: 5–3–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Elliott puts it together

QB shows flashes of brilliance for second time

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MONTREAL -- This was, of course, not the first time Joey Elliott has shown flashes this season of being a bona fide starting quarterback in the CFL.

But the difference this time -- what makes Elliott's 335-yard, three-TD performance on Monday a whole different animal than his 406-yard, one-TD performance in mid-August -- is that this time it didn't come at home and this time it didn't come against a truly bad Hamilton Tiger-Cats defence.

Montreal is nothing like the Hamilton doormat that Winnipeg has beaten six times in a row going back to last season. And the degree of difficulty of the challenge Elliott faced at Stade Percival Molson was summed up in the pregame statistic 6-1 -- the Alouettes home record coming into Monday's game.

And so while Elliott's huge performance in a win against Hamilton Aug. 16 proved to be anomalous -- followed, as it was, by a six-week personal touchdown passing drought heading into Monday -- there is some reason to hope in Bomberland that this time around, the tiny speck of light off in the distance following a 27-22 victory over the Als really might be the end of the tunnel.

Elliott -- whose confidence in his own ability has been unshakeable in even the darkest of moments this season -- said there really wasn't anything that extraordinary underlying a victory that TSN's Jock Climie instantly proclaimed the biggest upset of the 2012 season.

"In the red zone, we were able to make plays. We didn't have nearly as many mental mistakes as we've had in the past," said Elliott. "And that's what our offence is capable of if we don't shoot ourselves in the foot."

Of course if it was as easy as that, the Bombers wouldn't be 4-10 this morning. But Elliott was adamant that what the Bombers put on display Monday really is more indicative of who they are and what they are capable of than the dog's breakfasts they have been serving up all season.

"I prepared just like I would any other week," said Elliott. "The past few weeks, the ball just hasn't bounced our way. I think today, our defence came up and made some big plays. And we were able to find touchdowns instead of field goals. That's a big difference -- and that was the difference in the game."

Elliott was just one of three quarterbacks the Bombers used against Montreal. Backup Alex Brink also assumed his usual role in short yardage, but the big wrinkle was the insertion of third-stringer Justin Goltz on three plays in a "Wildcat" package that gives Goltz passing and throwing options on mid-yardage situations on second down.

Goltz ran around the left end for a first down the first time the Bombers tried it, but they got called for illegal procedure the next two times he came in. "It feels great to be on the field and have an impact on the game," said Goltz. "Just to be part of this team and a part of the win feels great."

Goltz was asked if the new Wildcat package means he will now take on a similar role with the Bombers as Tim Tebow does in coming in off the bench for the New York Jets. "I hope I have some Tebow magic in me. But two procedure calls, that's the kind of messed up part of the situation. We have to fix that as a unit and I will take responsibility to do that this week.

"But hopefully we can keep adding to that package and just keep the wheels turning with our offence... The theme of this week for our team was just to go out and have fun. And we did that today and we came out with the win."

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 9, 2012 C3

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