Blue Bomber Report Record: 7–11–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Bombers hard-pressed to make room for Hall

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THE Winnipeg Blue Bombers do not appear to have much interest in re-signing former club sack leader Alex Hall now that the defensive end has been released by the NFL's Carolina Panthers.

"You never say never but I don't think so. I think we've got a pretty good thing going and I don't know where he fits," O'Shea told reporters Monday morning, just prior to his club teeing off for its annual golf tournament at Southwood Golf and Country Club.

"Whose spot is he going to take, really? I like the way our guys are playing. Defensively up front, I think we're doing a good job."

Hall -- released by the Panthers on Sunday -- had 24 sacks in 28 games with the Bombers the past two seasons before he was traded to the Saskatchewan Roughriders last fall in exchange for offensive lineman Patrick Neufeld.

O'Shea also said Monday there'd been no decision yet on whether the Bombers would be a serious bidder in the sweepstakes now underway for the services of receiver Weston Dressler, a former all-star with the Roughriders who was released by the Kansas City Chiefs Monday morning.

"Didn't he just get released? We haven't had a chance to chat about that," O'Shea said. "I'm sure there's going to be nine teams calling Weston Dressler."

Dressler was a longtime Rider and Saskatchewan is widely regarded as the most likely destination for him if he cannot land an NFL job with another team.

O'Shea also provided an injury update Monday morning. Defensive end Jason Vega, linebacker/defensive back Johnny Sears and middle linebacker EJ Kuale -- who each missed Winnipeg's 24-16 win over the Montreal Alouettes -- are all expected to practise this week, suggesting they will be in the Bombers lineup when they play the Riders in Regina Sunday.

O'Shea said the status of Neufeld, injured during the game against the Als, is less clear. "He's in at treatment this morning so when I get back, I will get an update on that," said O'Shea.

Asked if the injury to Neufeld was serious, O'Shea replied, "I don't think so."

O'Shea was also asked if he'd like to guarantee a win over Saskatchewan as Lions president Dennis Skulsky did last week, only to have the Lions lose to the Riders Sunday night at BC Place and now face the prospect of having to give away over 33,000 free tickets to an upcoming Lions game.

O'Shea laughed. "I'm not touching that one."

Riders starting QB Darian Durant injured his throwing hand in the win and did not play the second half, making way for backup Tino Sunseri. Durant was to undergo treatment Monday and today and will attempt to practice on Wednesday to see if he can go this week.

O'Shea said he will prepare his team this week to face either Saskatchewan pivot. "They're both good quarterbacks, obviously. And Sunseri looked good out there...

"You practice for their system... and whoever is pulling the trigger is pulling the trigger." Twitter: @PaulWiecek

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 26, 2014 D3

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