Blue Bomber Report Record: 6–11–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

More time to shine for QBs

O'Shea confirms all Bomber pivots will line up vs. Calgary

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It'll be one more time this Saturday, hopefully with plenty of gusto, for the four current Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterbacks.

Head coach Mike O'Shea said Wednesday starter Drew Willy along with Max Hall, Brian Brohm and Robert Marve will all get snaps when the Bombers visit the Calgary Stampeders.

"I haven't got that far but all four will be there and all four will play," O'Shea said, asked how he will divide the playing time.

Presumably, Willy, as the team's No. 1 pivot, will need the most time in the pre-season game, but the coach said he couldn't be specific when asked how much Willy needs to play.

"My opinion is that he needs to play as long as he needs to play," he said. "If he gets into a rhythm and feels quite comfortable, then I believe the way it'll work is we'll approach that rep count we allot for him, whatever the number is. If he feels good a little sooner, or if he needs a few more, that's what we'll give him."

Willy, who went six-for-12 with one TD throw in Monday's pre-season home loss to Toronto, fielded the same question.

"Good question," he said. "You see all different techniques around the league. That's a decision for Coach. I back him in his decision. I'll get as much work as he wants me to get. If it's a lot, it's great. If it's not a lot, it's great, too. Whatever he decides is best for the football team is what I'm behind."

Willy was also asked to give a review of his work Monday when he played the first 26 minutes.

"Any time you play press-man (coverage) you've got to beat 'em, you've got to take advantage of them being so aggressive," Willy said. "I think we did that on a few plays but we also left a few out there that we've got to convert.

"I had a couple of throws that I'd probably like back, but overall we did some good things and there's stuff we've got to clean up before Calgary."

The off-season acquisition said he's feeling good about his absorption rate on the playbook.

"We're installing stuff each day here so there are always some new concepts," Willy said. "We've got the basic concepts that we've gotten pretty strong at. I just need to keep going mentally through different reads, different defences that I'm going to see.

"Our defence does a good job of showing a bunch of different looks each practice, so you get good work there. I just need to keep improving, the consistency in your reads and making the right throw at the right time."

Bombers receiver Clarence Denmark, who hauled in a 47-yard throw from Willy on Monday, said there is good progress on the chemistry question with the team's new quarterback.

"I think we're moving along pretty good," Denmark said Wednesday after practice at Investors Group Field. "That's what training camp is for, that's what pre-season is for, to get that chemistry going and that's as a team, not just a quarterback and receiver."

Apart from Willy's touchdown throw, the Bombers' only other major came from the arm of Marve to Donovan Kemp. But O'Shea said he saw valuable things from each of the other three quarterbacks.

"They each took their turns making plays," he said. "When I watched the film and specifically watched quarterbacking play, when Max was out there, he didn't necessarily have the opportunities that the other guys got, that there were a few breakdowns here and there, and at times guys just weren't open. It wasn't the ideal day for Max to shine, either, and some of it was through no fault of his own.

"I thought each took turns doing some things."

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 12, 2014 D2

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