Bombers

Winnipeg Free Press - Section D - - HOCKEY -

The Stam­ped­ers will al­most cer­tainly leave the 34-year-old for­mer Bombers QB un­pro­tected, with the cur­rent think­ing be­ing John Huf­nagel and com­pany are most likely to pro­tect Cal­gary backup Bo Levi Mitchell, who has been sen­sa­tional in the limited play­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties he’s re­ceived.

Would the Bombers be in­ter­ested in Glenn? Well, they cer­tainly weren’t last win­ter when they could have had him in ex­change for their first-round pick in the 2013 CFL Draft. And how did that work out?

Well, Glenn has pro­vided very ca­pable re­lief in Cal­gary in 2013, boast- ing six TDs to two in­ter­cep­tions and the fifth-best QB rat­ing in the league. And the Bombers? Yeah, you al­ready know how that’s worked out for them.

Then there’s Cal­gary QB Drew Tate. Touted last sea­son as the Next One in Cal­gary, a litany of in­juries to Tate over the past two sea­sons has taken the shine off his ap­ple and the bet­ting is Cal­gary leaves him un­pro­tected.

So, would Tate be the so­lu­tion to the Bombers trou­bles? It de­pends on whether you think the se­ries of in­juries that have side­lined him the past cou­ple sea­sons has been a string of un­re­lated flukes or a pat­tern for a guy who can­not stay healthy?

Does that cal­cu­la­tion sound fa­mil­iar? It should be­cause that’s been the same de­bate about Buck Pierce over the years. The Bombers bet four sea­sons ago that it was the for­mer — that Pierce was just un­lucky, not in­juryprone. They were wrong.

And it’s pre­cisely be­cause they were wrong that the Win­nipeg front of­fice would be very re­luc­tant to head down that same path with Tate.

So who else is out there? Well, if you want a re­ally, re­ally vet­eran starter, you’ve got to fig­ure the Mon­treal Alou­ettes won’t be pro­tect­ing An­thony Calvillo after this dis­as­trous sea­son. On the flip side, it’s hard to imag­ine Win­nipeg pur­su­ing him at age 40 — and you’d have to fig­ure Calvillo would sim­ply re­tire rather than take on the chal­lenge of a new team, es­pe­cially one as mired in the muck as Win­nipeg.

Saskatchewan backup Drew Willy? He’s 86-of-124 with a 102.4 QB rat­ing in re­lief of Du­rant the last two sea­sons, but his sam­ple size is so small you’d ba­si­cally be play­ing a lot­tery ticket.

Ditto for Ar­gos backup Zach Col­laros, who is 58-of-83 with a 114.3 QB rat­ing and five TDs to just one in­ter­cep­tion in limited re­lief of Ray in Toronto the past two sea­sons.

Ed­mon­ton’s Matt Ni­chols? He’s got Tate’s prob­lem — gets hurt way too of­ten — and he’s hardly played. A bad com­bi­na­tion.

B.C. backup Thomas DeMarco? Who?

Hamil­ton’s LeFevour? Again, a small sam­ple size. And it de­pends what Hamil­ton does about Bur­ris.

Mon­treal will have to leave at least one of their two cur­rent back­ups — Josh Neiswan­der or Tan­ner Marsh — un­pro­tected. Marsh looked great in lead­ing Mon­treal to vic­tory last week, just as long as you didn’t mind his four in­ter­cep­tions and two fum­bles. Neiswan­der, mean­while, has 33 life­time pass­ing at­tempts in the CFL.

Put it all to­gether and you’ve got a col­lec­tion of men who come with is­sues, in some form or another. But after wan­der­ing the desert for a decade look­ing for a vi­able quar­ter­back, the good news for the Bombers brain trust is they’ve got some vi­able can­di­dates from which to choose.

The ques­tion now is whether this time, the Bombers will fi­nally choose well.

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