NOT TO SOUND COCKY, BUT... The most foolproof way to protect a quarterback ever invented is to have him simply hand off the football to a running back long before harm ever gets near.
And so it is that one of the single best guarantors of Buck Pierce's health will be the play of the man who will line up right behind him, running back Chad Simpson.
Simpson will be Winnipeg's starting tailback when the Bombers take to Investors Group Field tonight for the start of the 2013 CFL regular season and much will be expected of the ex-NFLer.
Simpson rushed for 1,039 yards in just 14 games in his CFL rookie season and he believes he's capable of a whole lot more this year now that a foot injury that nagged him in 2012 has healed.
Simpson had this to say when he was asked Wednesday if he has what it takes to win a rushing title in 2013 in a league that includes powerhouse backs like Calgary's Jon Cornish, B.C.'s Andrew Harris and Saskatchewan's Kory Sheets.
"I'm pretty sure I could," said Simpson. "In fact, I'm almost certain I will, but I don't want to say it like that and sound too cocky."
"At the end of the day, none of that really matters to us. We've been written off before. I don't think anyone expected us to win in 2011 either."
-- Bombers cornerback Jovon Johnson, noting that just like this year, oddsmakers also didn't like his team's chances prior to a 2011 season in which the Bombers won the East Division and go to the Grey Cup.
TSN host Brian Williams, a Winnipeg native, will do up River City in tonight's preview show. Williams will take an in-depth look at Investors Group Field, including an interview with the main architect Ray Wan and also a larger look at the architectural renaissance going on in Winnipeg -- from the stadium to the Manitoba Museum of Human Rights. He also looks at highlights of the old stadium, including the Pan Am Games, three Grey Cups and more.
SIX former member of the University of Manitoba Bisons have cracked CFL rosters: DL Don Oramasionwu and Eddie Steele in Edmonton, LB/LS Cory Huclack in Saskatchewan, the Bombers' Teague Sherman, OL Landon Rice and DL Louie Richardson, both on the injured list in Hamilton.
EAST IT IS
CFL commissioner Mark Cohon told Global TV the Bombers will likely remain in the East Division when Ottawa returns next season.
"(The board of governors) don't want a lot of movement back and forth," said Cohon. "They want to really see what our long term vision is. If we get to a 10th team -- that would be the right time to make a move."
-- The Alouettes are 59-31 in the regular season since 2008, a league-best .656 winning percentage.
-- The Als have won at least 10 games a season in all but two years since they rejoined the CFL in 1996.
-- Wiecek, Ed Tait