Blue Bomber Report Record: 7–11–0

Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Training camp report: Day 5

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: DB Lenny Walls continues to hold out in a contract dispute, but... "We’re a lot closer than where we were," said director of player personnel John Murphy. "I would expect it will get done soon."

DIEHARD ALERT: There may be playoff hockey at the MTS Centre and on the tube, but here’s the Friday sked for the Bomber faithful who are here rain or shine: 9:45 a.m. walk-thru; with the Blue-Gold scrimmage scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.

GEEZER DAY: New head coach Mike Kelly appears to be doing everything in his power to win over the troops. Case in point: ‘Geezer Day.’ Any player born in 1979 or earlier got Thursday afternoon’s practice session off while Kelly, through one of former Bomber Wade Miller’s many side ventures, served them Booster Juice drinks from his outlet.

All told, the Bombers have 17 players who qualified for ‘Geezer Day’, although OL Ryan Donnelly and Lenny Walls aren’t here yet. The others are: Derick Armstrong, Kelly Bates, Doug Brown, Romby Bryant, Ike Charlton, Terrence Edwards, Luke Fritz, Shawn Gallant, Dan Giancola, Riall Johnson, Jon Oosterhuis, Fred Perry, Barrin Simpson, Joe Smith and Tyrone Williams.

NEW BLUE BLOOD: The Bombers have brought in import OL Andrae Townsel (6-4, 300, Howard), who was cut this week by the Saskatchewan Roughriders, for a look-see. Also new is LB Johnny Baldwin, an Alabama A & M product who was a fifth-round draft pick of the Detroit Lions.

Kelly Butler — the big tackle acquired in the Anthony Malbrough trade — remains in Oklahoma and is dealing with some family issues. He might not be brought in at all if the Bombers like what they see at the position in next week’s preseason game against Hamilton.

RIDERS-ESKS DEAL: A deal that came down Thursday afternoon: the Roughriders have traded OL Joe McGrath back to the Edmonton Eskimos – McGrath left the Esks as a free agent, but…

Here’s the Rider press release that, by the way, includes a shot at the Bombers near the bottom:

Saskatchewan Roughrider head coach Ken Miller announced today the Roughriders have traded non-import offensive lineman Joe McGrath to the Edmonton Eskimos in exchange for Edmonton’s first round selection in the 2010 CFL Canadian Draft and a player off the Eskimo negotiation list.
"A few days ago, Joe approached us saying he was having a case of buyer’s remourse," stated Miller. "He apologized profusely, but said, for a combination of personal and professional reasons; he wanted to return to the Eskimos.  Obviously, this is not what we had envisioned when Joe accepted our offer in February; but, in football, as we do in life, we adapt and go forward."
"Some might suggest we should have played hardball with Joe, but having an unhappy player in your locker room is not conducive to success.  We have tremendous depth, and I believe in our men, and, also, in the goals we have set for this season.  And, with this trade, combined with our previous deal with the Bombers, in which we could receive an additional first or second rounder, we are well positioned for future success, too.  Based on how things unfold in Winnipeg this season, we could easily have three very early selections in next spring's Canadian College Draft."

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