June 17, 2014

Still vying: Marsh, Brink gunning for backup job

Rogerio Barbosa/Montreal Alouettes

CFL.ca Staff

SHERBROOKE, QC — The Montreal Alouettes witnessed a heroic quarterback performance in their pre-season opener against Hamilton.

The only problem was that it belonged to Jeremiah Masoli, who unfortunately for the Als, plays for the Tiger-Cats.

With expected starting QB Troy Smith nursing a sore knee (he’s since recovered, and is expected to play against Ottawa this week), Tanner Marsh, Alex Brink, and Colin Klein each had a chance to improve their chances at being the undisputed number two pivot.

However, none were fully able to stake their claim.

“The two of them (Marsh and Brink), we know that they are very competitive. They went out, and there are things that they did that we are extremely pleased with and there is others that you’re going…ok,” said head coach Tom Higgins.

Statistically, Brink put together the strongest performance, completing seven of his 10 passes for 85 yards, with one touchdown pass and an interception. Marsh, meanwhile, completed six of his 11 passes for 54 yards and a pick.

Klein, who has since been released by the team, connected on four of his 10 passes for 57 yards and an interception.

The battle is far from solved in Montreal and the two leading candidate for the spot know that they missed an opportunity to take the lead.

“Timing-wise there were some things we’d like to clean up,” said Brink, who joined Montreal after being released by Winnipeg last season.

“I missed one or two that I’d like to have back but at the same time, I hit some too. There was some good, some bad. It was definitely back and forth. We had some turnovers, which you never want as an offence but at the same time I don’t think we were 100% by any means as far as personnel.”

Marsh also realized that he missed an opportunity to cement his spot.

“I got to get those balls. That very first pass was horrible. The fade-out route to (Eric Deslauriers), I have to give him a better ball,” Marsh said after the game.

“I missed a few throws you know. I was probably thinking too much, trying to be too perfect. I have to continue doing that and just make the throws I know I can make.”

After one pre-season game the picture is no clearer for the two pivots. And with one game left before the real season begins, you can be sure that Higgins will be keeping a watchful eye over the two hopefuls.

“I love to see when they’re faced with adversity…to see how they respond.”