December 6, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Tim Burke says he’s feeling a lot better today about his football team -- and, in particular, his quarterback situation -- than he was a week ago.
"I thought our quarterbacks were really sharp. The new guys picked up the offence really well and Buck looked really good," Burke said today at the Winnipeg Indoor Soccer Complex after his team wrapped up the final session of their three-day mini-training camp.
"I’m very happy with where we are offensively right now... I thought we did pretty well this camp."
Burke said he likes the new -- and leaner -- Buck Pierce that he saw at camp this week and thought the two new CFL rookie QBs that are auditioning to back up Pierce this year -- Max Hall and Chase Clement -- progressed beyond his expectations.
"I really feel much more comfortable after mini-camp than going into mini-camp (with the quarterbacks)," Burke said. "Not that I wasn’t comfortable, but now I feel a lot better...
"Seeing them in our offence throwing against CFL defences. That’s the thing I thought they picked up really well. I’m kind of surprised really that they picked it up so well."
Burke said Pierce lost weight over the winter. "This off-season, he really ate healthy and tried to lose some weight so he’d be quicker in the pocket. So yeah, I think he’s in tremendous shape."
On the injury front, Burke confirmed that defensive back/SAM linebacker Johnny Sears Jr. -- who was in camp this week but did not take part in drills -- is continuing to recover from off-season knee surgery and isn’t expected to be ready for the start of training camp, but should be good to sometime during it.
And Burke said safety Cauchy Muamba -- who crumpled to the field near the end of practice today and was still in apparent agony a half-hour later on the sideline -- suffered back spasms. Burke said the episode isn’t considered to be serious.
Burke said running back Chris Garrett -- who’s recovering from a torn achilles tendon that cost him all of the 2012 season -- rested near the end of practice after complaining of soreness.
The Bombers are now done with team workouts until late next month. Rookie camp will run May 29-31, followed by the start of full training camp on June 2.