Blue Bomber Report Record: 4–1–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Burke brings no-nonsense attitude

Short on words, big on intensity, competition

  • Print

He's the rarest of breeds -- a 58-year-old rookie.

Tim Burke, announced on Saturday as the interim head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, has spent his professional life in football, but he'd never been a head coach until Saturday when he was given the Bombers' reins following the sacking of Paul LaPolice.

Burke -- the team's defensive co-ordinator -- had just taken his seat in front of reporters when he noticed an immediate temperature change. "This is my first chance," Burke smiled, "at the hot seat."

It will only get hotter for Burke, who has a formidable challenge in figuring out how to turn into a playoff contender a 2-6 motley crew who played in a 20-17 loss to B.C. on Friday night with all the discipline of a 16-year-old with his first case of beer.

Burke is beloved by the defence he has molded in his own image and he said Saturday that he intends to bring some of his no-nonsense attitude to the entire team.

"I'll probably do some things different than Paul did, because it fits my personality," said Burke. "As most of you know, I'm not a long-winded guy and usually go right to the point. And that's the way I coach. You'll see some changes in how we do some things in practice and make them a little shorter and more intense and a lot more competitive. So hopefully that translates to the way we play on game day."

We'll find out soon enough. The Bombers take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Regina this Sunday, the first of the annual home-and-home series that culminates the following Sunday in the Banjo Bowl at Canad Inns Stadium.

The Bombers know very well what a coaching change can mean for a team at this time of year. The Riders fired their head coach, Greg Marshall, at exactly this point in the season last year -- they were 1-7 -- and promptly beat the Bombers in back-to-back games before then reverting to form and finishing the season at 5-13.

What's more, with a 17-10 loss to the Calgary Stampeders on Saturday, the Riders will head into the annual Labour Day Weekend clash having lost their last five games in a row.

Burke will have to make a major decision immediately. With QB Buck Pierce expected to be back and fully practising this week after missing five games with a foot injury, Burke will have to decide whether to rush him back into the lineup in Regina or simply go with Joey Elliott, who is 1-1 in his two starts for the Bombers.

Elliott was the CFL player of the week with a 406-yard performance Aug. 16 in a win against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, but the Ticats have the worst defence in the league and all eyes were on Elliott again when the Bombers faced the B.C. Lions and the league's best defence on Friday.

Elliott's output declined markedly. He finished the night 20-of-42 for 256 yards and an interception.

Burke was noncommittal on who he'll start next Sunday.

Burke said one of the first changes he will be bringing to the Bombers will be shorter practices that will be much more intense and competitive in a bid to get the club closer to practicing how they play.

"We gotta have a greater sense of urgency, and we've got to play with that relentlessness that we need to win in the CFL," Burke said.

Burke is a proven winner -- his defences have played in each of the last four Grey Cups, winning two of them -- and Bombers' GM Joe Mack paid Burke high praise in announcing him as the team's new interim head coach.

"I think a lot of him as a person. He has strong character. He has a lot of respect in the locker-room, I know that," said Mack. "And our defences have been some of the best defences, even though we had some struggles this year...

"They play their hearts out, and that's indicative of what Tim brings to the table. The players will respond to that."

Bombers slotback Terrence Edwards -- who said he was stunned to hear LaPolice was fired after the team had seemed to show improvement over the last month in going 2-2 after an 0-4 start -- said Burke might be well known to the defence but he is an unknown quantity to the players on offence.

"I have no idea what he'll be like. I really don't interact with coach Burke. I'm kind of excited to see myself."

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca

 

Tim Burke's resumé

2011-present: Defensive co-ordinator, secondary coach -- Winnipeg Blue Bombers

2008-10: Defensive co-ordinator, secondary coach -- Montreal Alouettes

2007: Defensive co-ordinator -- Calgary Stampeders

2005-07: Secondary coach -- Calgary Stampeders

2004: Defensive co-ordinator, secondary coach -- Indiana State

2003: Defensive co-ordinator, secondary coach -- Tennessee-Chatanooga

2001: Defensive line coach -- Kansas

2000: Secondary coach -- Kansas

1997-99: Secondary coach -- Purdue

1995-96: Secondary coach -- Wyoming

1992-94: Defensive co-ordinator, secondary coach -- Ball State

1989-91: Secondary coach -- Ball State

1986-88: Defensive co-ordinator, secondary coach -- UND

1982-85: Defensive co-ordinator, secondary coach -- South Dakota

1981: Assistant coach -- Appalachian State

1980: Assistant coach -- Gardner Webb

1977-79: Assistant coach -- Minnesota

video player to use on WFP

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 26, 2012 B4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Keri Latimer looks for beauty in the dark and the spaces between the notes

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 070619 LIGHTNING ILLUMINATES AN ABANDONED GRAIN ELEVATOR IN THE VILLAGE OF SANFORD ABOUT 10PM TUESDAY NIGHT AS A LINE OF THUNDERSTORMS PASSED NEAR WINNIPEG JUST TO THE NORTH OF THIS  SITE.
  • MIKE.DEAL@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 100615 - Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 The Mane Attraction - Lions are back at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. Xerxes a 3-year-old male African Lion rests in the shade of a tree in his new enclosure at the old Giant Panda building.  MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

 

Poll

How surpised are you by the Bombers’ 4-1 start to the season?

View Results

Ads by Google