Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Tim Burke said Tuesday afternoon he has already informed 27 players that they have won a roster spot on the 2013 Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
With just one pre-season game under his club's belt and one more still to play -- on Thursday in Guelph, versus the Hamilton Tiger-Cats -- Burke told reporters following practice on Tuesday that over one half of his team's 46-man regular season roster has already been determined.
That number no doubt includes the overwhelming majority of the club's projected 24 starters on offence and defence, which have almost all now been determined.
Still, Burke said there are jobs still to be won by the mostly rookie squad that he is taking to Guelph this week. "There's a handful of guys who have opportunities to be starters and if they do really well in this game, they might be starters," said Burke.
Burke was asked if he'd care to specify which starting jobs can still be won. "No, I'd rather not. Because I don't want them to read it in the paper. No offence -- I just don't want them knowing that I know."
If Burke is feeling the pressure of putting the final touches on a squad that will open the regular season just nine days from now -- at home vs Montreal -- he's hiding it well.
The Bombers field boss was playful with the media on Tuesday, at one point patting himself on the back for dropping the word "plethora" into an answer, only to blame his junior college education a moment later when he was unable to spell it when challenged.
In other Bombers news Tuesday:
- Linebacker Henoc Muamba returned to the practice field for the first time in awhile. Muamba had been nursing a bad hamstring.
- DB Demond Washington missed practice again with a bad hamstring. Burke said it's not serious.
- DB Johnny Sears is still a question mark for the opening week of regular season. And Burke said he's doubtful about SB Terrence Edwards's assurances that he'll be ready for the regular season opener. "I'm watching him and I don't think he looks ready to go."
- Burke continued to be complimentary of the play of local receiver Brett Carter, but said it's unlikely he will make the team because of the team's "plethora" of good receivers.
"See, you guys didn't know I knew some big words."