Winnipeg – In the weeks since Matt Nichols took over from Drew Willy as the Blue Bombers starting quarterback there has been plenty of speculation over the salary cap implications and whether or not the Bombers can afford to carry on with their highest paid player as a backup. General Manager Kyle Walters laid all those concerns to rest when he appeared on 680-CJOB’s pre-game show in Regina on the Labor Day Weekend. Said Walters “The salary cap is always a concern and it’s my job to stay on top of it. But there is nothing imminent happening with Drew Willy. We are set up capwise to keep rolling. We went into the season understanding we might need two quarterbacks and Nichols has rewarded our faith in him.” Walters added “Matt came in last year and convinced us he could win games. He had a great training camp and there was lots of discussion during camp as to just who our starting quarterback should be. So we are not surprised at how well he has played. He is protecting the football(7 touchdown passes and only 1 interception in 5 starts), our defence is forcing turnovers and special teams are playing at a high level. That’s why we are winning.”
Walters added that the Bombers know they can still count on Willy to go in and produce if the need arises. And he very accurately stated that the vast majority of the fans have no interest in the salary cap. They care about only one thing, and that’s winning. The Saskatchewan Roughriders exceeded the CFL cap in 2013 but their reward was a Grey Cup victory. And Walters sounded like he was prepared to do the same if that’s what it takes to bring Winnipeg it’s first Cup since 1990.
Walters went on to heap praise on the offensive line saying it’s the best O-line play the club has had in his 3 full years as General Manager. He said kicker Justin Medlock has been everything they expected him to be when they gave him a big chunk of free agent money. And he said running back Andrew Harris has exceeded all expectations. Said Walters “Harris has been unbelievable. Beyond his obvious skills of running hard, breaking tackles, making people miss, what you don’t see is the leadership he is providing. He is pushing everybody, hanging out with the offensive line, and has earned the respect of the entire team.” Harris has rushed for 655 yards and caught passes for 368 more in the Bombers first 10 games. In the Bombers five game win streak, Harris has 90 carries for 449 yards.
Bombers have their next two games at home. First it’s the rematch with the Riders on Saturday afternoon, a game which could feature the return of receiver Ryan Smith and cornerback Chris Randle to the lineup. Then it’s a visit from the Toronto Argonauts the following Saturday. The final 6 games will be a real grind as they are against Calgary, Edmonton, B.C. twice and Ottawa twice.