Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Burke uses game film to wake up laughing Bombers

  • Print

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers held a unique video session before practice Monday, a film study that straddled the line between comedy and horror.

Interim head coach Tim Burke, desperate to get any response from his team following another blowout loss on the road in Calgary last Friday, showed clips of the TSN broadcast to his team, a move designed to give the players a sense of how their play is being received across the country.

The highlight reel didn’t just stop with players laughing on the sidelines of the 44-3 loss to the Stamps, either. Brandon Collier – the easily amused defensive lineman in question – was a starting point for the head coach, but he wasn’t the only one.

"There were other guys laughing on the sideline," Burke told reporters Monday. "Obviously, I addressed that. I showed them a video of the TSN broadcast, what they were saying at halftime, and then during the latter part of the game and said, ‘This is your resume. This is what people in the outside world are thinking about you. And so you’ve got to figure out how you’re going to respond to that. Are you going to do that with pride or are you going to tuck your tail and run?’ So, we’ll see how they respond."

Winnipeg has been outscored 121-27 in the last three games (all losses) and at 2-9 and in last place in the CFL, appear to be playing out the string this season. This question of pride was evident to Burke, who as it turns out was just getting warmed up.

When asked why he showed the video, his response was in line what with many Bomber fans are thinking about their club these days.

"Because it’s embarrassing," he said. "I mean, (these are) professional athletes. We should act in a professional manner. You’re getting paid to play as hard as you can play. We did not play as hard as we could play. That’s evident. Everybody in the stands, everybody watching on TV – we didn’t play hard enough to win, and it’s inexcusable. The good people of Winnipeg pay good money to come watch them play, and this is an attendance driven league. Their salaries are being paid by the fans of Winnipeg, so they deserve more than what they’re getting."

That the players need to be shown what others are saying about them speaks volumes of how out of touch they are to what’s going on this season (that it has to come to being shown a TSN broadcast is mind-boggling, when you think about it), but the pictureshow did serve its purpose.

"It’s an eye-opener on how things are perceived," receiver Cory Watson said. "No one wants to be ridiculed when you’re doing something that you love and you come out here and work hard for. It’s a tough one to swallow, yeah."

Why has it come to this point? Burke said the Bombers are too young, a reality that was evident long before he stepped in the head coaching chair. That team make-up falls to GM Joe Mack, though Burke was quick to defend his boss from bringing in the young talent at the sacrifice of older veterans. Mack has made some needed changes, Burke says, but wasn’t about to throw his Mack under the bus.

There are still future employment opportunities to consider.

"We all know there’s a lot of good players that played in Winnipeg who weren’t here when Joe took over," Burke said. "You can try to put the blame on him all you want, but he’s brought in good young players, we’ve drafted really well. Our Canadian talent before he got here was horrendous and now it’s getting better. I mean, we’re almost up to a top level."

Burke was asked if players were concerned enough about their own jobs. His answer, once again, traces back to the youthful roster and its own ability to recognize what’s going on – both on the field and in the community. If players aren’t worried about their own jobs, they should be.

"Professional players have the mindset that they’re the best player on the field, and when you’re talking to them about (mistakes), they think you’re talking about the other guy," Burke said. "There probably isn’t enough fear there. It’s like I told them, if this all goes south and everybody gets fired, guess what? Some of you guys are getting fired, too. People are going to say, either they aren’t talented enough or they don’t care enough.

"We’ve got to prove to everybody that we are more talented and that we do care."

Other notes from Bomberland Monday:

- As expected, quarterback Buck Pierce will get the start Friday night against Hamilton. He took all the first-team reps Monday. Pierce was all business during his time with reporters after practice, too, believing Winnipeg will see a different club this week than the one that showed up (or didn’t show up) in Calgary.

video player to use on WFP

- A number of Bombers didn’t practice Monday. Linebackers Henoc Muamba and Marcellus Bowman were limited, joining defensive backs Alex Suber and Brandon Stewart, along slotback Terrence Edwards, on the sidelines. All are expected to play Friday, Burke said.

- Winnipeg has issues in the middle of its defensive line right now. Jake Thomas (undisclosed) was ruled out by Burke, while the previously-mentioned Collier (lower body) was put on the nine-game injured list Monday. To help fill those spots, the Bombers signed defensive lineman Andre Caroll. He was training camp fodder in 2011 and 2012. Offensive lineman Jordan Taormina was also ruled out for Friday’s game.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Doug Speirs trains for role in Nutcracker

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • A red squirrel peaks out of the shade in a tree in East Fort Garry, Sunday, September 9, 2012. (TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Will you watch The Interview?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google