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Edwards can't solve Bombers mystery

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MONTREAL -- The beguiling -- and maddening -- mystery that is the 2012 Winnipeg Blue Bombers hasn't been solved by Terrence Edwards.

With almost six complete seasons as the Bombers' marquee slotback now under his belt -- including two of those seasons as a CFL all-star -- Edwards was surrounded by media hungry for some answers Sunday afternoon at a downtown Montreal hotel.

Edwards started his CFL career here with the Alouettes and the Montreal media -- just like everyone else -- were hoping the slotback might be able to explain why a Winnipeg team that played in the Grey Cup in 2011 is just 3-10 heading into the club’s game against the Alouettes Monday afternoon at Stade Molson.

Edwards had no good answer to that question -- nor to a couple others he’d thought up on his own.

"You never get used to losing," Edwards told reporters shortly after his team’s arrival in Montreal. "I don’t know why some of these things happen. I don’t know why we start off slow, I don’t know why we have to be down 21 points for us to start playing, I don't know why none of it happens. I’ve been here long enough to know (but) I don't understand why."

There is one thing Edwards says he knows definitively, however. Asked by a local reporter whether he ever had any second thoughts about his decision to leave Montreal after two seasons and sign as a free agent with the Bombers before the 2007 season, Edwards didn't hesitate before replying.

"I played in two Grey Cups (with Winnipeg, in 2007 and 2011) since I left," Edwards replied. "I think I had a great career. I think that was the best thing for me to showcase my talent. So I have no regrets at all."

It is an interesting hypothetical, however: Edwards and the Bombers lost in both their two Grey Cup appearances, while Montreal won Grey Cups in 2009 and 2010.

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Bombers slotback Cory Watson was looking forward on Sunday to having Thanksgiving dinner with his family here in Montreal.

Watson grew up in the Montreal area and played university football at Concordia. He returns to Montreal this weekend, however, off what has so far been a season as disappointing for him personally as it has for the team in general.

"It starts with me personally," Watson said. "Regardless of what the team is going through, I have to find a way to up my game and better my game. The difficulties I've come across this season are difficulties I need to learn from.

"I won’t use it as an excuse, but it is early in my career and I have to learn from it and grow from it and try to be a better professional."

After a breakout sophomore season with the Bombers in 2011 -- 69 catches for 793 yards -- big things were expected from Watson in 2012.

But after missing the first four games of the season with an injury, Watson has mustered just 32 catches for 315 yards and one touchdown in nine games since then.

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Montreal head coach Marc Trestman was asked at his pre-game news conference on Sunday if playing a 3-10 Bombers team on Monday had the potential to be a ’trap game’ for his squad.

"I've been asked that question different ways this week and my answer is, No. 1, I wouldn't insult my players by talking about the Bombers in that fashion. And I wouldn't insult the Bombers by addressing that issue. We’ve faced this football team enough to know games are always close for the most part."

Montreal quarterback Anthony Calvillo also batted down any suggestion on Sunday that his team might be overconfident against the Bombers.

"Overconfident? Right now, we’re trying to get back on track for ourselves," said Calvillo.

The Als played poorly in a 41-28 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats last weekend and are plagued by injuries to their offence, including a season-ending ACL tear for tailback Brandon Whitaker and a bruised knee that will keep leading CFL receiver S.J. Green out of the lineup this week.

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The Bombers coaching staff aren't the only fans of Winnipeg tailback Chad Simpson.

The consensus in the Montreal dressing room on Sunday was that with Joey Elliott once again filling in at starting quarterback for an injured Buck Pierce this week for Winnipeg, the Bombers are likely going to lean heavily on Simpson and the running game against Montreal on Monday.

"Our point of emphasis has to be on that," Trestman said of the need to stop Simpson. "He’s a good runner and he’s explosive and he’s a tough kid who doesn't go down easy. So it has to start there and then we’ll work our way to the quarterback."

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