Irving: Bombers have a tough decision to make at QB | | Official Site of the Canadian Football League

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers head into the 2013 Ottawa REDBLACKS Expansion Draft with only three quarterbacks under contract.

And like the Calgary Stampeders, they have a difficult decision to make regarding who they should protect, and who they deem to be expendable.

Mock Protection List

How does new coach Mike O'Shea see his roster shaping up?  How much does that affect Winnipeg's list?  Which quarterback does Winnipeg hang on to. Bob Irving weighs in with his take.
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This decision will ultimately be made by General Manager Kyle Walters, along with his staff comprised of Assistant GMs Danny McManus and Ted Goveia, as well as new head coach Mike O’Shea, who will be looking to begin steering the Bombers back in a winning direction.

That said, this decision is a pivotal one for the Blue Bombers.

Here’s a look at why the Bombers should and shouldn’t protect one of Max Hall, Justin Goltz and Jason Boltus.

Max Hall:

Hall should be protected because his play improved steadily during the second half of the 2013 season.  He was the starter for most of the second half and proved to be exceptionally tough while also cutting down on his interceptions total.  

The Brigham Young product finished with a completion percentage of 57, 1,999 passing yards, nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions.  

At 28 years old, he’s a good leader with a good amount of upside.

On the flip side, Hall should not be protected because his arm strength is marginal at best.  

Justin Goltz:

Goltz should be protected because his young age leaves room for him to improve with added experience. At 26, his physical skills, along with his six-foot-five, 205-pound frame and underrated athleticism make him a real person of interest.

However, Goltz should not be protected due to a visible lack of progress last season. After being handed the QB reins early in 2013, Goltz showed some improvement under centre, but appeared to plateau at some point.

He finished with a completion percentage of 55, and threw just two touchdown passes compared to seven interceptions. It’s also worth noting that he appeared to lose the confidence of the coaching staff in the process.

Jason Boltus: Lastly, Boltus should be protected because he has a big, strong throwing arm.

But, the 27-year should not be protected because, albeit in limited playing time, he showed little signs of being a player that is capable of leading an offence throughout an entire season. In brief appearances in 2013, Boltus completed just eight of his 25 passes for 91 yards and three interceptions.

WILDCARD: The Bombers also had a quarterback on their practice roster when the 2013 season ended. Levi Brown was a 7th round draft pick of the Buffalo Bills out of Troy University in 2010.  He spent most of the 2012 season with Saskatchewan, and some of their coaches were very high on his potential.  He may or may not be brought back in 2014.

About Bob

Bob Irving has covered the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for CJOB Radio in Winnipeg since 1973. Bob is the Sports Director at CJOB and is in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, reporters division. Follow Bob on Twitter @BobIrvingCJOB

Fan Comments
Oh, Bob. I think this article should be about who the Bombers should or shouldn't release. I do think the Bombers should give Levi Brown a better look - he showed promise in Sask, but yeah - the Bombers need to push hard for Collaros.
December 12, 2013 - 9:44am
Seriously? This has to be the ultimate in idle speculation - not unlike my wondering how I will spend the $50M lotto max. If the bombers are conflicted with this decision (I doubt they are) they are in worse shape than I thought. Really, the Bombers should be allowed to trade their protection spots because they don't have enough players worth protecting.
December 11, 2013 - 9:02pm
If the Bombers go with any of the QB's they had last year it will be another long year for the Bombers. Why did they not trade for a QB with agood potential is puzzling.
December 11, 2013 - 7:30am
Why trade and give up someone when they can go after someone in free agency? Protecting one QB will give them a backup with some experience but I agree, none of the present QBs look the like the permanent answer.
December 11, 2013 - 10:00am
als rule
does it matter who they protect?!! not really!!
December 10, 2013 - 10:31pm
It's too bad they couldn't elect to protect another import and leave all of these guys unprotected. Ottawa would not be dumb enough to pick any of these guys anyway.
December 10, 2013 - 9:17pm
I don't see the RedBlacks going after the Bomber QB's, so IMHO it doesn't matter who they protect at QB
December 10, 2013 - 8:38pm