Blue Bomber Report Record: 6–3–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

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1. More from Max

Bombers quarterback Max Hall got the Bombers out to a strong start, building a 20-point lead before throwing a pick just before half that started the slide downwards. Hall was horrible, along with the rest of the Bombers offence, in the second half and didn't finish the game, suffering a suspected concussion. The book on Hall is fairly evident. He thinks the game well but isn't the most athletic of quarterbacks, with limited mobility and an average arm. Quarterback of the future? Unlikely but there is something to like about Hall and he might prove to be a useful backup. He's auditioning for an off-season contract.

 

2. Welcome home, Buck

Here's hoping the former Bombers quarterback gets to see some action for his new team. Lots can be said about Pierce and his time with Winnipeg, but his heart was almost always in the right place where this team and community were concerned. Pierce deserves one more moment in the spotlight where Bombers fans can pay him back. Pierce won't start but it there's an opportunity for Lions coach Mike Benevides to get him in the lineup it would be a nice touch. One wag suggested the other day the best storyline would be for Pierce to come in and throw for 300-plus yards and finish the game. Certainly that wouldn't make Bombers fans feel very good but the way this season has played out, it wouldn't be a shock to see events unfold as such.

 

3. More QB envy

The Lions will roll in with another young quarterback at the helm and if Thomas DeMarco can have a solid game one can imagine how Bombers fans will feel about the disparity at that position where their team is concerned. Montreal, Calgary, Toronto and now B.C. have all had top-end starting quarterbacks go down this season only to be replaced by wildly successful young pivots. Meanwhile, the Bombers have been terrible at the position, going through three starters and still not getting any answers. GM Joe Mack infamously told former CEO Garth Buchko he would fix the quarterback problem in Winnipeg. He didn't and it still is the club's biggest deficiency. If there was ever a time for the Bombers to get a qualified quarterback expert on their staff, it is now. Hiring a former quarterback such as Calgary offensive coach Dave Dickenson to have a major say in the Bombers decisions is a no-brainer. But can the team's management make this happen? Biggest question of the off-season.

 

4. Fan-o-meter

Looks like there will be right around 30,000 fans at the stadium tonight and that's a little below the 31,000 the team has budgeted for in its revenue projections. Fans have stuck with their club for the most part to this point. Good for them. The weather has been favourable for the club and other than the horrible team on the field there has been no reason to stay away.

 

5. Coaching

The Bombers continue to struggle with either game plan or halftime adjustments. The old maxim in football is it's a 60-minute game and that goes for the players and the coaches. Winnipeg's coaching staff needs to put together an effective game plan to keep their group in the match to begin and then they need to make the right tweaks at halftime to stick close in the second half. The CFL is supposed to be like the NBA, where games are won and lost in the final seconds, but too often this season the Bombers are done before they get to the stretch. Head coach Tim Burke has come under fire for having his quarterback take a knee at the end of a half or, as he did last week, just prior to the start of overtime. The feeling among fans is that he's playing not to lose rather than playing to win. The team is 2-10. There's nothing to lose now. Roll the dice, coach. Maybe something good will happen.

gary.lawless@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @garylawless

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 27, 2013 C9

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