WINNIPEG — When they’ve been picked apart so thoroughly in the last three weeks, Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Tim Burke is hesitant to be too happy about anything concerning his defence.
Calgary Stampeders’ third-string quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, for instance, was 29 for 33 throws last week against Winnipeg.
But Burke was holding up some hope today after practice at Investors Group Field that things could be looking up, in particular because injured defenders Desia Dunn and Jeremy McGee will return to the lineup for Monday’s game in Vancouver against the B.C. Lions.
Dunn has missed two games for the 1-4 Bombers. McGee has been out since Week 1.
"Definitely Dunn," Burke said today. "I think Desia is playing as well, best of all the DB’s, either the best or second-best. So having him back, especially in a critical position like nickel, which involves a lot of different skillsets, also a lot of mental work, he’s done a great job when he’s been in there.
"That’s fabulous for us to get him back. Then to get Jeremy McGee back, that gives us a guy with a little more experience, a little more physicalness to him, than some of the younger guys."
After the 37-24 loss to the Stamps, their third straight, Burke spent a couple of off-days mulling over some of the poor elements to the team’s defence. He expressed public dissatisfaction with one or two defensive backs, but wouldn’t name them, and the defence’s proficiency in general.
Any better this week?
Clearly, the coach is still pretty stingy on praise.
"After yesterday’s practice, I’d say yes," Burke said. "I don’t want to say after today’s because we let a couple of deep balls go and I don’t know how that happens. So we’ll see."