EDWARDS: GOOD TO GO
HAMILTON -- Winnipeg slotback Terrence Edwards was still wearing a walking boot when the team bus arrived at Ivor Wynne Stadium Friday afternoon for a light practice in advance of today's critical CFL contest between the Bombers and Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Edwards removed the boot and limped his way through practice on his bad ankle, but he was clearly not comfortable. Still, Edwards insisted afterward he will play today in a game that will see the loser eliminated from playoff contention. "I'm going to play. I'm better than I was last week. It's a little sore but I'm just protecting it so I can be ready for tomorrow," said Edwards, who missed last week's win in Toronto because of the injury.
Edwards needs just 11 more yards to go over 1,000 yards receiving for the fifth time in his career, but he insisted the milestone -- and contract bonus that will surely come with it -- has nothing to do with his insistence on playing and everything to do with keeping his team's playoff hopes alive.
"I've had 1,000-yard seasons and what has that gotten me? Nothing so far," said Edwards, referring to the lack of league championships on his eight-year CFL resumé. "I'm out here for my team and trying to put my team in a position to win. So, 12 yards, 11 yards, whatever it may be, it doesn't really matter to me."
While the immediate future of the Bombers will depend on the outcome of today's game -- Winnipeg needs to win its last two games and have Edmonton lose their last two to make the playoffs -- Edwards said he thinks the bigger picture for the Bombers is bright even if it hasn't always looked like it during a trying 5-11 season.
"We have the right people in place," Edwards said when asked what direction the Bombers should take in the upcoming off-season. "I think Mr. Mack (Bombers GM Joe Mack) should stay. He has brought talent here. Look at the young guys we got -- look at (receiver) Chris (Matthews), look at (running back) Chad (Simpson). I think coach (Tim) Burke has done a hell of a job at keeping this team together when it could have imploded a long time ago.
"So I think the people are in place to do what we want to do -- and that's win multiple Grey Cups. So I hope the people who make the decisions keep this intact... regardless of what happens tomorrow... Just look at the progress we've made in a tough situation. Coach Burke has done a great job at keeping this team together and I think he'd be the right man for the job."
SIMPSON'S NO. 1 FAN
TIGER-CATS middle linebacker Rey Williams thinks Bombers tailback Chad Simpson is the best running back in the league.
"I want to say he's the best back in the league -- he's really good," Williams said Friday morning following a light practice at Ivor Wynne Stadium. "He has great strength, he's shifty, he's got good speed... I do like Chad. He's a good back. He's a good competitor. I've got a lot of respect for the guy. He's a handful."
Simpson didn't disagree with Williams' assessment that he's the CFL's best running back.
"Taking nothing away from nobody, but I feel that I am," said Simpson, who has 1,003 yards on just 168 carries this season. "I didn't get to show everything I can do this year because of my (injured) foot obviously, but I feel I am the best."