By Judy Owen, The Canadian Press
WINNIPEG – Robert Marve is feeling more pumped now that he’s not on borrowed time.
Blue Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea said this week the former third-string quarterback will get his second pro start when Calgary visits on Saturday — and be the guy for the foreseeable future.
“It’s nice when you hear that from the boss man,” Marve said Friday after the team’s walk-through practice.
“But more than anything, I’ve been here for a year and a half. I want to play well for my teammates, I want to play well for the city and getting some wins can get some movement going towards the playoffs.”
Marve is replacing starter Drew Willy, who suffered a serious knee injury Aug. 9 and is out six to eight weeks. O’Shea gave Marve his first start the following week over backup Brian Brohm, but the debut was a 27-20 home loss to Toronto.
The Bombers (3-5) take on the Stampeders having lost two in a row and four of their last five games.
The Stampeders (6-2) are on a three-game win streak and lead the CFL West Division.
Winnipeg is coming off a bye week and Marve, 26, stayed in the city to go over film and the playbook with the coaches.
“I thought I played well looking back at the film,” Marve said. “You got to play better to win games and I’m not the one to have any type of excuses.”
He said he now knows what it’s like to play all four quarters and that should benefit him in trying to be more consistent.
His confidence has been infectious for his teammates, who noticed a difference in Marve this week.
“I think it’s just that confidence knowing you’re going to be the guy and having a full week to prepare,” Bombers receiver Clarence Denmark said.
He likes Marve’s demeanour in the huddle.
“He’s loose. He always plays loose and he’s always talking to the guys, keeping us in the game,” Denmark said. “And I just love that confidence in a quarterback.”
Winnipeg has five changes to its roster from the loss to the Argonauts, most notable another switch on its offensive line. Right tackle Jace Daniels is injured and will be replaced by Patrick Neufeld.
The offensive line may also be without veteran centre Dominic Picard, who’s seeing doctors this week because of an upper-body injury. He’ll be a game-time decision, O’Shea said. His replacement would be Matthias Goossen, the second-overall pick in the 2014 CFL draft.
Former Stamps linebacker Jasper Simmons, who was cut last week and picked up by Winnipeg, won’t dress for the game.
Calgary is making four changes, including losing defensive lineman Charleston Hughes (back), who’s tied for the league lead in sacks with six.
Stampeders receiver Eric Rogers has caught touchdown passes in six straight games, the first time for such as a string since Weston Dressler in 2012.
Bombers defensive back Bruce Johnson could spend some time covering the slotback, who has seven TDs overall and a league-high 660 receiving yards off 39 catches heading into this week’s CFL games.
“We respect each and every receiver,” Johnson said. “We’re going to go out there and play our game and make him adjust to what we have to do instead of us adjusting to what he has to do.