Blue Bomber Report Record: 3–15–0

Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Blue and Gold taking a relatively green bunch to Montreal

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As expected, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will be a young and inexperienced bunch when they travel to Montreal Wednesday morning.

 The preseason game against the Alouettes, which goes Thursday night at Molson Stadium (6:30 p.m., 68 CJOB), should give the coaching staff a chance to see how far the rookie and first-year CFL player class has come since the start of training camp.

 Head coach Paul LaPolice said he’ll take something from the game as far as evaluation, but won’t give the contest a lot of weight in the overall picture for a specific player.

 The coach had a clear message to his players after practice Tuesday.

 "Understand that when the lights go on we want to see you making plays at this level, but if you think that this is how you’re going to make the team – game by game – you’re going to be in trouble," he said. "I told them I was evaluating today’s practice – and I will. They have to do it collectively all (through) training camp and the two (exhibition) games."

 Only a handful of veterans will be on the 54-man roster, the club determined Tuesday morning. According to the team, defensive vets making the trip will be linebackers Clint Kent and Pierre-Luc Labbe, the latter battling for the middle spot against second-year Henoc Muamba (who is also going).

 Defensive backs Jonathan Hefney, Deon Beasley and Johnny Sears are also slated to participate, as are defensive lineman Dorian Smith, Jason Vega, and Kenny Mainor. Vega and Mainor, both in their second years in the CFL, count as experienced hands on the relatively green Blue and Gold team. Rush end Rodney Fritz is also on the roster but didn't practice Tuesday, putting his status in doubt.

 On offence, quarterback Buck Pierce won’t make the trip, leaving Alex Brink, Joey Elliott and Justin Goltz to run offensive co-ordinator Gary Crowton’s new attack. Other starters not going to Quebec include receivers Cory Watson, Terrence Edwards, Clarence Denmark, and Kito Poblah; running back Chris Garrett; and starting tackles Andre Douglas and Glenn January.

 Both Douglas (hip) and January (leg) are currently working through minor injuries.

 Among the position battles the coaches will be monitoring: The starting job at middle linebacker between Labbe and Muamba; the centre position between Chris Kowalczuk, Justin Sorensen and Steve Morley; and the punter spot, which will see Mike Renaud continue to work against Eric Wilbur.

 Both punters are going to Montreal, with the two alternating kicks throughout the game, LaPolice said.

 The Bombers made three cuts Tuesday morning, releasing receiver Victor James, offensive lineman Jean-Sebastien Laberge and defensive lineman Rob Jubenville.

 

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