December 7, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
WINNIPEG -- Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Tim Burke said this morning he's more than willing to live with Thursday night's 52-0 exhibition thrashing by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats because it helped him accomplish one of his biggest goals of the CFL pre-season.
"I'm more concerned about us being healthy and fresh going into the first game against Montreal," Burke said, having just returned from Guelph, Ont., site of the one-sided loss in which the Bombers used nearly a full roster of only hopefuls, depth and bubble players.
"I don't think it'll leave a mental mark on our team because our starters were all left at home. They had nothing to do with it."
Burke said that examination of Thursday's events didn't leave any kind of hopeless feeling.
"I've watched the offensive film and I thought all three quarterbacks had some really good moments, particularly Justin Goltz," the coach said. "I thought he moved the team pretty well."
Goltz, too, was quick to write off Thursday's outcome.
"The pre-season doesn't determine where we'll be at the end of the season," he said, having played the entire first half on Thursday. "It has no (bearing) on how our playoff chances turn out, anything like that.
"At the same time, you'd like to take away positives, you'd like to see a lot more positives for the fan base and the organization and we didn't give them a lot to be hopeful about.
"Hopefully we'll turn things around in the next couple of weeks with our full team."
With Thursday's game video front and centre, Burke and staff will spend the next day or so making their roster decisions and starting the preparations for next Thursday's season-opener against Montreal at Investors Group Field.
"Some guys definitely aren't going to make it, we feel like there are guys that are going to make it and then we feel like there are guys right on the bubble and those are the guys we'll be talking about all day long in our meetings," the coach said.