Winnipeg – Shortly after the Winnipeg Blue Bombers announced that running back Andrew Harris would be a game time decision prior to their 1pm Saturday showdown with the Toronto Argonauts at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg, quarterback Drew Willy took to the podium in the Blue Bomber media room and in as relaxed and upbeat an exchange as Willy ever had with Winnipeg reporters, Willy said the trade from the Bombers the previous weekend is behind him and he is embracing his future with the Argos.
“Yeh, I’m over it, happy to be an Argo now. There might be some emotions tomorrow(Saturday) but I’ll get over that quickly. I met with a ton of my former teammates last night at Earl’s. Good to see most of them so I could get that part of it done with and go out there and compete” said Willy.
Willy admitted the trade was a shock at first but he is now taking a philosophical view of it. “Sometimes that’s how it goes in life. Maybe this was my calling to get to Toronto somehow and be able to go out there and compete for the Argos and do great things. I have a lot of respect for everyone in the Winnipeg organization, had a lot of good times here for sure and now I’m looking forward to being in Toronto.”
Argos coach Scott Milanovich literally gushed about what he believes Willy will bring to the Argos. “The guy is good at what he does, a talented football player, circumstances don’t always work in the first try. He’s got great size, a good delivery, he’s accurate, he has the ability to stand in the pocket when somebody is closing in on him and deliver the ball off his back foot. Those are things you can’t teach. The fact that he didn’t have the success that this organization wanted him to doesn’t bother me a bit. I’ve had my eye on him for a long time, longer than you could imagine. I was here for his first start when they played us years ago and I watched him tear us up. I just like his skill set, his demeanor and the way he throws the football. Obviously we gave up a lot to get him, but no price is too high for an elite quarterback. I don’t worry about those things, people said we paid too much for Ricky Ray too.”
Milanovich said Willy “could” play against the Bombers, but Dan Lefevour will start at quarterback with Logan Kilgore backing up. It’s likely that Milanovich doesn’t want to throw Willy to the wolves after just three practices with the Argos, three practices in which Willy took no reps.
Matt Nichols will make his 7th straight start at quarterback for the Bombers but he may not have his primary offensive weapon. Harris has not practiced all week as he nurses a presumed ankle injury(presumed because the Bombers are more secretive about injuries than Donald Trump is about his tax return–did I use that line already??) Harris will be a game time decision and if he can’t go, Timothy Flanders will take his place. That would create some ratio juggling for head coach Mike O’Shea as Flanders is an American, Harris a Canadian. If Flanders plays, Canadian Julian Feoli-Gudino will be one of the starting receivers. Bombers have already made one switch at receiver bringing Clarence Denmark back onto the active roster in place of injured Ryan Smith. The Bombers leading tackler, linebacker Ian Wild, will miss the game with what is “presumed” to be a shoulder problem. Second year linebacker Tony Burnett will take his place while veteran cornerback Chris Randle will return from the 6-game injured list to take over from rookie Terrence Frederick.
The 7-4 Bombers can move into a second place tie with 8-3 B.C. with a victory. Argos are 5-6 and in a fight for their playoff lives in the East Division.
Game time Saturday is 1pm, and the broadcast on 680-cjob begins at 11am with the pre-game show.