Blue Bomber Report Record: 6–6–0

Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Coach bitten by flu bug and other notes from Steeltown...

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HAMILTON -- Arrived here Friday night with Bob 'Knuckles' Irving. Hot, steamy, muggy -- gladly take it after the nasty stretch of rain back home...

The Bombers touched down in Toronto then bussed to Hamilton this afternoon -- minus head coach Paul LaPolice. Apparently he's got the same flu bug that was working through the team last week and was so ill he couldn't get on the plane. According to team officials, he was to take a direct flight to Hamilton later today and will be on the sidelines for Sunday's final preseason contest.

***

Bob and I went to the Hamilton walk-through practice this morning. Interesting that unlike a regular-season game hardly any media was present -- The Hamilton Spectator doesn't publish on Sundays so my compadres Drew Edwards and Steve Milton weren't there -- and only Chris Schultz of TSN, one TV cameraman, a girl from Ticats TV and Hamilton play-by-play crew Rick Zamperin and John Salavantis were present.

By the time the Bombers rolled in for their afternoon walk-through, only Bob and I were around to talk to defensive co-ordinator Kavis Reed, who was filling in for LaPolice in facing the media. Way more media types would be around if this was a real game.

***

Spoke to Kevin Glenn for awhile and he seems very happy and contented. Also said hi to Ticat QB coach Khari Jones and there just seems to be a real positive vibe around this club, a complete 180 from years past when there was so much doom and gloom around this organization.

***

The Ticats, like the Bombers, still have a lot of questions to get resolved with their roster, particularly in the secondary where Geoff Tisdale and Jykine Bradley are locks at the corners with Dylan Barker and Sandy Beveridge likely to share the safety spot. Former Argos Jason Shivers and Will Poole are in a fight for the halfback jobs with four or five contenders.

***

Word is Bison DT Eddie Steele has had a good camp, but may be sent back to the U of M because, according to one insider, 'he's just not ready yet.'

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Brandon product Chris Bauman has also stepped up his game and may now be ready to take that step from prospect -- he was the first overall pick in 2007 -- to regular starter.

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A would-be Bomber I'll be paying close attention to on Sunday is kick returner Travis Shelton. He's got amazing speed, but has been limited in practice. We're told he's not 100 per cent yet, but the coaches just can't wait any longer for him to strut his stuff.

***

We'll also be monitoring what happens along the O-line -- who starts where -- and in the secondary where Jason Tate and Alex Suber are here to try and lock up work. I don't think it's any coincidence, though, that Brandon Stewart and Clint Kent were left back in Winnipeg. We'll have more stuff on the game in Sunday's On7.

***

Tune in to CJOB tomorrow as I get the treat of working the broadcast with Knuckles, the best in the CFL. The game is also on Shaw TV as they are picking up the feed from Hamilton cable company Cogeco.

--Ed Tait

 

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