Blue Bomber Report Record: 7–11–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Another first-timer in at centre

Sorenson replaces Kowalczuk on O-line

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MONTREAL -- The revolving door that is the Winnipeg Blue Bombers offensive line continued to turn Thursday as the Bombers arrived in town in advance of their game tonight against the Montreal Alouettes.

Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice told reporters at a news conference Thursday that offensive lineman Justin Sorenson will replace Chris Kowalczuk at centre tonight.

Sorenson has never started a game at centre in his professional career and LaPolice was asked if he was reticent about tossing in yet another first-time starter on an offensive line that already had three of them last week and is the subject of a massive renovation right now because of injuries and off-season changes.

"Part of change is you have to figure out what's best and certainly those guys (Kowalczuk and Sorenson) were very close in training camp," said LaPolice. "We wanted to get a feel for how Justin will handle the situation."

Kowalczuk had won the starting centre job coming out of training camp but his reign lasted just one game -- a humbling 33-16 defeat to the B.C. Lions in the regular-season opener last Friday that saw the Bombers give up four sacks in the first half and starting tailback Bloi-Dei Dorzon rush for just four yards on five carries.

Much of those troubles tracked back to an O-line that saw tackles Paul Swiston and Jordan Taormina as well as Kowalczuk all making their first CFL starts, while guard Chris Greaves was making just his fourth start.

The Bombers are hoping that with the switch this week to Sorenson at centre and the return of injured left tackle Glenn January, they can plug some holes at the line of scrimmage while opening up others to develop a ground game that was almost completely non-existent against the Lions.

Sorenson played lots of guard and tackle while he was with the B.C. Lions during the 2009 and 2010 seasons. LaPolice said that extra in-game experience also helped tip the balance to him this week.

"We wanted to give him the opportunity after evaluating the film and evaluating all of the week's practices," said LaPolice.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 6, 2012 C2

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