December 19, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
GUELPH, ONT. -- Here's a sentence you've never read before:
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are in Guelph.
The Bombers arrived in this southern Ontario city just before 2 p.m. eastern time Wednesday in advance of their history-making pre-season game tonight against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
The game will be the first CFL contest to be held in Guelph, which is serving as the temporary home of the Ticats in 2013 as the club completes construction of a new 24,000-seat stadium on the site of their longtime former home in Hamilton, Ivor Wynne Stadium, which has been demolished.
The game will be played at tiny Alumni Stadium, the home of the Guelph Gryphons of the CIS. The stadium has permanent seating for about 7,500, but the addition of temporary seating will push total capacity for CFL games this season to about 13,000 spectators. That will still be, by far, the smallest seating capacity in the CFL this season. The next smallest is Stade Percival Molson in Montreal, which holds 25,012.
Bombers head coach Tim Burke was asked if the new and unconventional location for Hamilton games this season -- the Bombers also travel here twice during the regular season -- adds a new element to his club's preparations in 2013.
"I won't know until after we've played a game," Burke said during a media availability shortly after the club's arrival here at their hotel. "But for me it's exciting. I get to see another town in Canada that I've never been to.
"I think it's kind of neat."
TICATS head coach Kent Austin said veteran QB Henry Burris will get the start against Winnipeg, but there's no set plan on how long Burris will remain in the game.
"We'll see how it goes," said Austin. "He needs to get enough work to feel comfortable. Not just with the plays we're running, but getting personnel groupings in and out of the huddle, managing the clock and hopefully get into a couple situations that are different than just get to the line of scrimmage and snap a play.
"As long as we experience with Henry multiple situations like that, then we'll be pretty confident that he's prepared."
BURKE was asked Wednesday to reflect on his first training camp as a head coach.
"I've done it as a co-ordinator, but to do it as a head coach is a little bit more involved," Burke said.
"Just the organizational part. I found myself organizing things a lot more than what I had to do before, taking input from all three co-ordinators in terms of what they need."
Alas, the best-laid plans... "I went into this with this grand scheme that we'll do this on this day and this on that day," said Burke. "And as soon as we got through two practices, we started changing it already."
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 20, 2013 D3