December 8, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
THE losses continue to pile up and the meatiest issue hovering around the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will remain for at least another week:
Who will take the first snap in the Banjo Bowl?
Justin Goltz finished Sunday's Labour Day Classic completing 18 of 29 passes for 182 yards and ran for two touchdowns, but also tossed two fourth-quarter interceptions. He started 9-of-9, but was good on just nine of 20 attempts for just 31 yards passing in the second half.
"I'm extremely disappointed," Goltz said. "I feel like I put my team at a disadvantage in the second half.
"We had some receivers who stepped in and did a great job. I thought our defence played with a lot of heart. I put them in a short field twice with two mistakes that I'm not very happy about.
"I thought (offensive co-ordinator) Marcel Bellefeuille called a helluva game and both (interceptions) I had a short, easy throw, but I took it upon myself to try and get more. That's what happens when you force stuff. It comes with making smart decisions."
Bomber head coach Tim Burke tipped his hat to Goltz for taking the blame afterwards, noting not many players show that kind of accountability. But he wouldn't commit to naming Goltz his starter this weekend -- knowing Max Hall and Buck Pierce may be healthier after taking beatings in Hamilton.
There's also another possibility in a season in which three different pivots have started games: newcomer Jason Boltus, who worked under Bellefeuille in Hamilton, might also be worth a look soon.
"We have to sit down and talk about how long can we afford to develop somebody, or do we have to play somebody who we think can get us a win right away," Burke said. "Justin may be that guy in both cases... He did some good things today."
OUCH UPDATE: The Bombers exited the Labour Day Classic with three injuries and there were no updates available Monday: right tackle Andre Douglas -- who missed all of last year -- injured his hamstring on the second play of the game and could be lost for awhile; kick returner Aaron Woods pulled up lame with a bad foot, while Jade Etienne was tackled hard around the head in the first half and did not return.
SAME OLD, SAME OLD: Burke criticized the work of the Bomber secondary in Sunday's loss after Darian Durant completed 24 of 35 passes for four touchdowns against one interception. It marked the sixth time in the last seven games a team has passed for over 300 yards against the Bombers. During that stretch opposition QBs have also completed 74.5 per cent of their passes for 18 touchdowns and just three interceptions.
"I was disappointed with our secondary," said Burke. "We matched up with their wide receivers really well and we have in the past, but we didn't today. When we got into man-to-man situations they won more of the battles than we did. That was very disappointing.
"I'm kind of at a loss right now," Burke added. "We've been able to play good man coverage in the past and it just doesn't seem like we can any more."
UGLY: During the seven-game losing streak the average margin of defeat for the Blue has been a whopping 14.4 points.
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Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 3, 2013 0