Winnipeg Blue Bombers in middle of full blown quarterback controversy
For the first time in a couple of seasons the Winnipeg Blue Bombers have a quarterback crisis.
The Bombers are now in the midst of a bye week after being handed a fourth straight loss by the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Saturday at Investors Group Field. So the coaching staff has at least a week to make a decision on their starting QB after Matt Nichols got the yank at halftime in the Banjo Bowl.
If they didn’t have a quarterback controversy on their hands before, they sure do now.
Nichols has carried the label as a “game manager”, nothing too flashy, but enough to get the job done while protecting the football. But all three of Nichols’ interceptions in the Banjo Bowl were very uncharacteristic of him, trying to force passes into tight coverage. That’s led many to speculate if he’s just trying too hard after hearing the boos just a few weeks ago.
“I don’t feel like I was doing anything different. I don’t know,” Nichols said. “Just making a couple decisions here and there that are not what I normally do.”
“I think you got a guy who really wants to make big plays and good plays for his teammates,” head coach Mike O’Shea said. “You got a guy who wants to help his team win.”
Nichols has thrown 12 picks in just nine games this season, already surpassing his interception totals in all of first three seasons in the blue and gold. But despite Nichols recent struggles O’Shea wasn’t ready to proclaim rookie Chris Streveler his new starter.
“It’s not an easy decision to make,” O’Shea said. “I think our intention right now is to just take a deep breath and look at the film. I don’t think Matt was off on everything.”
“That’ll obviously be coach O’Shea’s decision,” Nichols said. “I would love to be. I feel like — obviously with the way I’ve played in this league — I feel like I’ve turned this thing around, but ultimately it’s out of my hands. If I am, I’m going to be fully ready to go. If I’m not, I’ll be fully ready to support Chris.”
WATCH: Raw Matt Nichols Post Game Interview
Reading between the lines, it sure sounds like O’Shea will turn back to his veteran QB after Streveler tossed two interceptions of his own against the Riders.
“He deserves another chance to play,” O’Shea said of Nichols. “And lead this team to victory because he’s done it so many times.”
But a decision is likely not imminent. Their next game is a week from Friday against the Montreal Alouettes at Investors Group Field.
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