Willy can throw, so Willy will go

Barring unforseen, No. 1 quarterback will be back at helm Saturday against Lions


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There may be a fascination with Robert Marve -- just as there was with Brian Brohm a week ago -- but the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will turn the offensive controls back to the man who has led them to all six of their wins this season.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/10/2014 (3083 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

There may be a fascination with Robert Marve — just as there was with Brian Brohm a week ago — but the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will turn the offensive controls back to the man who has led them to all six of their wins this season.

Drew Willy tested his hand during a throwing session Monday and, after missing last Saturday’s loss to the Calgary Stampeders, is expected to start this weekend against the B.C. Lions.

“Drew looks good. He threw today,” said head coach Mike O’Shea during his media briefing Monday. “It’s getting better and better.

“As I’ve said before, this is Drew’s team and if he’s able to go he’ll be going as the No. 1.”

O’Shea did confirm Brohm, who started the Calgary loss, suffered a broken thumb banging his throwing hand off of Stampeder defender Juwan Simpson’s helmet. The injury required surgery, effectively ending Brohm’s season.

That means Willy will start Saturday at Investors Group Field and be backed up by Marve and Josh Portis.

To recap, Brohm was 14-of-23 for 194 yards with no TDs or interceptions before being injured in the third quarter. Marve entered the game with the Bombers trailing 23-7 and completed five of 10 passes for 64 yards while rushing for 36 yards on five carries as the Bomber rally fell short.

What those numbers don’t show is the energy he brought to the huddle — and to the stadium.

“He provided some excitement for the fans, especially,” said O’Shea. “It was interesting to see him run around out there because people hadn’t seen him since training camp.

“He certainly made some plays with his feet that looked different than our other quarterbacks. And then if you asked him, I believe there are a few plays he would have liked to have stuck around the pocket a little longer than he did. That just comes with experience and understanding how much time he has compared with how much time he thinks he has.”

O’Shea said slotback Nick Moore and defensive back Demond Washington were to see the doctor Monday after suffering injuries in Saturday’s loss, the Bombers seventh straight.

Guard Patrick Neufeld should return to practice, but the status of right tackle Glenn January is still uncertain although there is hope he will be back on the field.

The Bombers are 6-10 and not yet officially eliminated from the playoff picture. O’Shea wasn’t sugar-coating the club’s loss against Calgary, but admitted he did see a better response from his squad compared to the team that was outscored 83-29 the two previous weeks in losses to Ottawa and Edmonton.

“I think we saw some progress in this last game and it just bumped us off that level where we were getting a little stagnant,” he said. “I wouldn’t say we progressed enough to beat Calgary, although there were some opportunities there on film. Just like (Stamps coach John) Hufnagel says, it should have been a more lopsided score out there.

“I think we progressed this week over the previous two, but it’s still not good enough, obviously, to get the win.”

SOLID DEBUT: The Bombers liked the work of Jace Daniels at left tackle Saturday. Pressed into duty with January’s injury, Daniels — who has been in Winnipeg less than two weeks — has picked up the CFL game quickly.

“I just needed to get that first series out of the way and get the jitters out and get the first couple of hits in,” said Daniels. “But once I settled in it felt good. Playing with these guys helped… there was good communication out there.

“Once the game started flowing it just felt like a regular football game. That game made me a lot more hungry. We’ll see what happens now.”

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

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