Blue Bomber Report Record: 6–10–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Hall says he'll be ready if Bombers need him

Elevated to No. 2 QB role, CFL greenhorn welcomes spotlight

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HE is now one accident or cheap shot away from the hot seat but nothing in backup quarterback Max Hall's words or body language suggests he's impatient about getting the ball.

The 27-year-old native of Mesa, Ariz., moved up the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' depth chart to the second slot this week with the injury to starter Buck Pierce and the promotion of Justin Goltz to take control of the offence tonight at Investors Group Field against the Calgary Stampeders.

Hall said Thursday he's just doing what he always does -- soak up as much knowledge as possible and get ready.

"No, nothing's different," Hall said, when asked about the week of practice just completed. "I realistically try to prepare every week like I'm playing. And you have to, because any given week you could play.

"There's a better chance this week, being the No. 2, but you know, I've said since I got here, just get better every day and just be prepared if an opportunity came. And if it comes, I think I'm ready. I think I could step in and play."

Goltz will be running all the looks tonight, including short yardage and there was no plan to platoon Hall as Goltz subbed in for Pierce in some situations.

"Justin's going to start and I'm going to do everything I can to help him while he's in there," Hall said.

Hall, who had three starts for the NFL's Arizona Cardinals in 2010, spoke frequently during June's training camp about absorbing the CFL game and all its nuances.

The snaps he took in the Bombers' unremarkable pre-season performances were just as unremarkable, but Hall believes he's progressed well past that stage of CFL experience, even though he's yet to see the field through four regular-season games.

"I feel great," he said. "I feel a lot more comfortable. Even though I haven't got a lot of reps with the offence, I've gotten to run the scout team and get reps that way. I just feel better every day.

"I feel a lot more comfortable than I did in the pre-season."

Comfort is going to be a key element should the need arise for his services.

And Hall said that make no mistake about it, he welcomes the attention that would come with a tap on the shoulder.

"I enjoy that," he said, smiling. "You have to enjoy it. That's kind of one of the things about being a quarterback, that you enjoy that spotlight, enjoy being the man.

"So I feel natural in that situation. I enjoy it. I want to be that guy. Everybody wants to be that guy playing. Whether my time's tomorrow or farther down the road, we'll see."

 

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 26, 2013 C7

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