Erik Meyer will start at quarterback when the Spokane Shock face division rival Arizona on Saturday.
While head coach Rob Keefe hopes Meyer plays well and grabs the job by the throat, Keefe cautioned that the appointment is for one game. Kyle Rowley, the starter last year and most of this season before suffering a shoulder injury, will be the backup.
Quarterback Bill Stull, who started the Dallas game, was released. Spokane, which recently lost Greg Orton and Markee White to the UFL, also signed receiver Brandon Thompkins. He was released by the B.C. Lions of the CFL last week.
“Every week we’re probably going to have these conversations (at quarterback),” Keefe said. “I think everybody expects (that) because we chose Erik, that’s he’s going to be the starter every week. That’s not the case. We have two quarterbacks capable of helping us win. With the defense we’re going to see, the pass rush we’re about to see, we felt Erik gives us the best chance to win.”
Spokane, with Rowley at the helm, defeated Arizona (13-2) 70-69 in late April.
“We’d love to have continuity, but we’re in this situation and we want somebody to separate themselves,” Keefe said. “But they’re so close it’s going to be hard to separate themselves. What’s going to separate them is how they play in games and Erik is getting the first go-around. If something goes wrong, we’re not afraid of putting Kyle in because we believe in him, too.”
Meyer is 2-0 as the starter with 12 touchdown passes and two interceptions in just more than six quarters of action. The former Eastern Washington Eagle was acquired in a trade when Rowley and Stull were on injured reserve.
Rowley “wasn’t happy, but he understands we’re going to make it fair,” Keefe said. “I love the passion he has and we’re very honest with each other. He really cares about this team and he believes in himself and he believes he should be the starter. That’s what we want. We don’t want guys who are content with being the backup. I think this is just the beginning of the quarterback battle.”