Blue Bomber Report Record: 3–15–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

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IT can be a cutthroat business, pro football. Max Hall knows that as well as anyone.

And the former NFL quarterback -- now taking the snaps behind centre for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers -- also has a pretty good understanding of what the lay of the land looks like for a 3-12 football team.

So, as much as people want to complicate the current and future Bomber QB picture with discussion on possible free agents, the Ottawa RedBlacks expansion draft and trades that may or may not be percolating, Hall dumbs it all down this way:

"All I control is how I play," he said with a shrug after practice Wednesday. "And if they like how I play, they'll keep me. If not, then they won't. I just want to put my best foot forward and play the best that I can."

That much is starting to come for the former BYU star and one-time Arizona Cardinals' starter. Hall threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns in the Thanksgiving Monday win over the Montreal Alouettes and, with more time to go through his progression of reads courtesy his offensive line and the blocking of running back Will Ford, made smarter decisions in delivering the football.

"The more reps you get, the slower things seem to happen," said Hall. "I'm seeing the field better and making reads faster so I definitely feel more comfortable.

"I'm making progress. I'm not at the level I'd like to be, but I think I'm heading in the right direction and getting better. I made some good steps forward in the last game against Montreal and I've just got to keep on going."

If nothing else, the Bombers have learned about two positives in Hall's game: his ability to adapt and his mental/physical toughness. After all, in the course of just a few weeks he went from third to first on the depth chart and has already worked with two different offensive co-ordinators.

"I fully anticipated having a year to sit with Buck (Pierce)and Justin (Goltz) in front of me at the start of the season," said Hall. "But I got thrown in there and it's an opportunity. So, yeah, I've made some mistakes and I had to learn, but I am thankful for the reps I'm getting because I am getting better and learning the CFL game. If I keep going in the direction I'm going I think I can be a really good CFL quarterback."

 

WILD ABOUT WILD: Bombers coach Tim Burke was asked about the bright light that linebacker Ian Wild has been this season. And the boss gushed in offering his praise.

"He's a real good player, he makes a lot of plays. He's versatile... long-snapping, free safety... he's durable, he's smart and he's got a lot of football sense. He doesn't look that big, but when he's out on the field he has a lot of power. We're pretty happy to have him. I would think he'll be around for a long time. He's very young, right out of college, and he should have a long-term future.

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 17, 2013 D3

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