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Former Cougar Max Hall has more competition for Winnipeg's starting quarterback job

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 12 2014 4:30 p.m. MST

Former BYU quarterback Max Hall and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers struggled through a 3-15 season in 2013, prompting plenty of changes.

Last week, another hurdle was added for Hall to retain his starting job in the CFL, as Winnipeg acquired quarterback Drew Willy from Saskatchewan.

That leaves three quarterbacks currently on Winnipeg's roster, including Justin Goltz.

According to the Winnipeg Free Press, first-year head coach Mike O'Shea already has his opinion who the Blue Bombers' starting quarterback will be.

"Drew's the starting quarterback," O'Shea said during Willy's introductory press conference Friday.

General manager Kyle Walters wasn't so definitive on a starter, though he left it open for the team, which lost out on signing veteran free-agent quarterback Henry Burris, to continue searching for answers at the position.

"Am I comfortable? I'm comfortable with our quarterback situation right now," Walker said, according to the Free Press. "Am I going to try to improve it? Yes, like I'm going to try to improve every other position we have. And what happens between free agency potentially and exploring all trades? — I've said all along that's the way you try to improve your team and that's what I'll be trying to do between now and the start of training camp."

That isn't a ringing endorsement for Hall, who became the starter for the Blue Bombers after a pair of other quarterbacks — Buck Pierce and Goltz — failed to live up to expectations, and Pierce was traded. Hall was listed at the top of the depth chart the final seven weeks of the season and finished the year with one win as a starter, 34-27 against Montreal when he threw for 233 yards and two touchdowns.

Hall finished the season with 1,999 passing yards, nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions while completing 57.1 percent of his passes.

Hall joined the Blue Bombers last season and was reunited with former BYU head coach Gary Crowton, who was Winnipeg's offensive coordinator until he was fired by the team in August last year. Crowton is now the offensive coordinator at Southern Utah.

Willy will be entering his third league in the CFL in 2014. In two seasons, he's thrown for 1,182 yards, nine touchdowns and five interceptions while completing 68.7 percent of his passes. He had a 2-2 record in his two seasons with the Roughriders.

Email: bjudd@desertnews.com; Twitter: @brandonljudd

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