Blue Bomber Report Record: 3–15–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Bombers' brass trying to play by the numbers in makeover

Harried back shop still has a 27 and 41

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THEY have completely remodelled the Winnipeg Blue Bombers by tearing down the 2008 version and rebuilding it for 2009.

And now it seems the club's new brain trust will ease off the gas pedal and coast until rookie training camp opens two weeks from today. No more dramatic deals. No more shocking departures.

Well, at least until a rival GM comes calling with another offer...

"What's left to do? We have to make sure all these new guys can find their way to Winnipeg," Bombers' director of player personnel John Murphy chuckled Tuesday. "We were joking around the office because (Bomber equipment ace) Brad Fotty and the PR people are saying one minute we're going in one direction and the next we're going in another. They're trying to get the media guide done and we keep adding new bios and they're trying to get locker placards and jerseys done and we keep making changes.

"I tried to tell them the silver lining to all this is (Kelly) Malveaux got traded and (Anthony) Maggiacomo was released, but we helped them out because Fred Perry is No. 41, which was Maggiacomo's number, and Malveaux was 27, which is Lenny Walls' number. They didn't see it that way."

There are always the last minute tinkerings to any training-camp roster at this time of year, but in an off-season of dramatic change, the Bombers have only a couple of minor adjustments to make before rookies hit the field on June 3. The most intriguing, as always, revolves around the quarterback position, where the squad hopes to add a fifth pivot for their QB school on May 31 to join Stefan LeFors, Ryan Dinwiddie, Bryan Randall and James Kilian.

The two leading candidates are former Jacksonville Jaguar Quinn Gray and University of Utah star Brian Johnson, who had a look-see from the Green Bay Packers this spring but has yet to sign an NFL deal.

"Quinn is making a decision all on his own, weighing the family stuff and the NFL...

"And my perspective on Brian is I don't want to do something short-term with that guy. It's in his best interest to exhaust the NFL first, and then when he makes his decision, to come to the CFL. It's an all-in situation. That's the same thing with Quinn Gray."

BLUE NOTES: The Bombers are taking a pass, for now at least, on import receiver Greg Prator and homegrown linebacker/end Adrian Baird, who were both recently released by the Edmonton Eskimos... Massive import OL Kelly Butler (6-foot-8, 317 pounds) is close to signing with the Bombers. The former fourth-round draft pick of the Detroit Lions is the future considerations in the deal that sent Anthony Malbrough to the Esks.

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 20, 2009 C2

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