Tim Burke, straight shooter that he is, could spit out the same line uttered by coaches everywhere in the days leading up to the first preseason game.
But he won’t.
"It’s kinda funny, coaches are always thinking, ‘I wish I had another week. I don’t know what we’re going to look like,’" began the Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach after practice Sunday. " I think we’re in pretty good shape.
"The offence is a little bit ahead of the defence right now, but I feel pretty good about where we’re at. I just want to make sure we get the bodies to the game so that we can take a look at as many guys as we can."
The Bombers are a week into main training camp and are now tapering practices in the days leading up to the first exhibition game -- and first football test run for Investors Group Field – this Wednesday against the Toronto Argonauts. With the injured list long, Burke & Co. won’t push the receivers and quarterbacks too hard in the next couple of days so that they are fresh, and can be properly evaluated, on Wednesday.
Asked if the week of practice has revealed any potential needs on his depth chart, Burke said:
"There’s a couple of positions I feel we’re thin at. I don’t really want to go into them, but there’s a couple of positions."
The preseason game should help the Bombers come to some concrete roster decisions as camp progresses, including the kick returner job, along the offensive and defensive lines and in the secondary. Some coaches seek perfection, Burke knows that’s unrealistic -- especially in the preseason.
"We’re going to make some mistakes," he said. "Defensively getting lined up wrong or reading our keys wrong, especially with the young guys. Offensively, we’ll have a young guy run the wrong route or maybe change a protection up front and somebody won’t hear it. Those are the things that concern me a little bit going into the first game. But we’re progressing to where I think we’re getting close to where we should be by the first game."
Meanwhile, the Bombers hope to have slotback Cory Watson (hand) further evaluated by Monday but the expectation is he won’t be out for long.
"I think he’ll be fine. That’s just my gut feeling," said Burke.
The Bombers are practicing again Monday from 11:20 a.m.-12:45 p.m.