- Free Agency
WINNIPEG — At 10:50pm ET on Thursday, right about the time when Winnipeg had just about stuck the final fork into the Toronto’s proverbial steak, Blue Bombers fan Nic Audette took to his Twitter account to let everyone know what he thought of quarterback Drew Willy’s Blue and Gold debut.
“Drew Willy for Mayor!” tweeted Audette, who was just one of many Bombers fans who were jubilant with the play of their new man behind centre.
In what was his first start following a highly-maligned off-season of questions and doubts, Willy answered every single one, completing 19 of his 27 passes for 308 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception.
The former Saskatchewan Roughriders backup quarterback was equally pleased with his performance.
“I kind of thought I could do it but I’m a confident guy,” said Willy to the Canadian Press. “knew if I went through my reads and did everything possible things would go right…We got off to a good start. It was nice on the first drive to score.”
Willy spearheaded a Blue Bombers offence that racked up 459 total yards on the evening, with tailback Nick Grigsby chipping in with a solid 122 of his own on 21 carries.
But while the headlines might have Willy’s name adorned across them, the night also belonged to Winnipeg head coach Mike O’Shea, who made his debut as a sideline boss after a16-year career spent both as a player and a coordinator, the majority of which with the Argos.
O’Shea was excited to see his newly-minted starting QB pass his first test.
“He just ran a good game. The No. 1 thing quarterbacks have to do, what they’re in charge of, is winning,” said O’Shea. “He went out there and he helped win the game for us.”
O’Shea also recognized how big the win was for the city of Winnipeg.
“As much as the players that have been here the last few years need this win, so did the fans and our players appreciate that,” said O’Shea.
“This community needs this. The players needs to understand that it’s bigger than them too.”
With files from The Canadian Press