Bombers defensive end Greg Peach will shoulder much of the pass-rush load against the Montreal Alouettes on Monday, as Alex Hall is now wearing Saskatchewan green.
The trade, which sent Hall and a 2014 second-round draft pick to the Roughriders in exchange for Canadian offensive lineman Patrick Neufeld and a 2015 fourth-round pick, sent ripples through the Bombers locker room on Sunday. It stunned Peach, who said he’d never seen a trade quite like that in the CFL before. "It’s just the business," said Peach, 26 and in his fifth year in the CFL. "I’ve seen crazy things happen before."
Nothing quite like this, of course, what with the biggest possible shoes to fill. "It’s a weird situation," Peach said. "I’ve never jumped into a starting role because the best pass rush defender in the league got traded… I’m going to do the best I can. I guess I am a little happier if I can get some more snaps."
After practice today, Bombers head coach Tim Burke described Peach as a "try hard, carry your lunch-pail to work" type of player who the team trusts to keep marching forward.
"It’s going to be hard to replace Alex’s ability and his production," Burke said. "But Greg will go hard all the time, and that’s how he gets his sacks."
The Bombers also expect to get new import defensive end J.D. Griggs some game reps before the year is over, as they start looking to players they may want to bring back next year. Burke said Griggs, who was released by the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars in August, reminded him of Hall, but that Griggs may bring more brute strength to the job. "He’s probably a little bit stronger than Alex," Burke said.
The same goes for Cordaro Howard, an American offensive lineman the Bombers added on Thursday, and defensive end Michael McAdoo. Howard played 10 NFL games with the Buffalo Bills in 2010 and even earned four starts before an injury ended his season. He was cut by the Bills the next season, and played under Marcel Bellefeuille with the United ootball League’s Omaha Nighthawks last year.
On the injury front, defensive back Demond Washington is still struggling with an ankle injury, and appears doubtful for Monday’s game. Slotback Terrence Edwards will likely be ready to go, however. And while defensive tackle Zach Anderson was absent from practice on Thursday, he was just battling a sick bug and should be back soon.