It’s kind of like playing second fiddle and it’s not something Bo Levi Mitchell is used to, and certainly not something he likes.
The Calgary Stampeders’ quarterback was pulled in favour of sophomore pivot Jake Maier during his football team’s Week 11 win over the Toronto Argonauts and remained on the sidelines in Thursday’s loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the team that currently sits at the top of the CFL standings.
“It’s boring — boring sitting out there doing nothing,” Mitchell admitted during Thursday’s practice after taking second-team reps. “It’s tough. I believe in myself and I want to be the guy.
“I want to be out there at all times. But I believe in all three quarterbacks we have in the room and the guys that are making the decisions up top.”
The 10-year Stampeders veteran seemed poised for a bounceback year after a strong training camp and early season showing that saw him overtake Henry Burris as Calgary’s all-time passing yards leader.
Then, things started to slip.
Maier is also expected to lead the Stamps’ offence in Monday’s Labour Day Classic against the Edmonton Elks.
The two-time Grey Cup MVP wants to earn the starting job back and believes he can be that guy.
What he doesn’t want is for the quarterback controversy to become a distraction for the rest of the team with a prime chance to climb the CFL standings just ahead.
At the same time, Mitchell acknowledged his future isn’t exactly crystal clear.
“We’re a successful team right now,” he said. “We’re doing well. We’re not where we want to be, but we can definitely get there.
“As far as, you know, my future, I’ll deal with that when it comes. There’s obviously always things I’ve got to think about. But I don’t get to control — technically — if you put me on the field, or if I’m here or not.”
Stampeders head coach Dave Dickenson said he has faith in all his quarterbacks and promises not to leave the longtime face of the franchise in the dark.
When asked what he would want if he was in Mitchell’s position, Dickenson said it was pretty simple.
“Basically, whatever I say is not going to be what he wants to hear anyway,” Dickenson said. “My opinion is I’d want honesty. Just give me a little integrity — what you say, do it. That’s it. That’s all I’d really want.
“I know Bo really well, and I know he’ll be ready to go when we call him, when we get him back on the field.”
For his part, you won’t catch Mitchell sulking on the sidelines.
He said he is identifying what he can work on to retake the reins of the Stampeders’ attack by studying Maier.
“He was very accurate,” Mitchell said of Maier’s performance against Winnipeg. “On the short throws, he was efficient… I kind of did the same thing, self-assessment, whenever (former Stampeders quarterback Nick) Arbuckle played for a couple of games that I was out.
“When you have a guy out there for the same offence… and see something he’s doing and doing well, you realize, ‘OK, there may be some things there that I can work on to continue to get better so that when it’s my number called, the offence runs smoothly.”
The Stamps’ clash with the Elks gets underway at 2:30 p.m. on Monday.