Blue Bomber Report Record: 7–11–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Burke wants to come back

Coach of 2-12 squad excited about future

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On the one hand, his record couldn't be much worse -- 2-12 this season and 6-18 in total as head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

But on the other hand, Knute Rockne himself would have had a hard time prodding wins out of the motley collection of sadsacks that have been the 2012-13 Bombers.

And so the question was put to Tim Burke Wednesday -- do you think you've done enough to earn the chance to try again next season as field boss?

"I think so," he said. "But that's not up to me to make that decision. But yeah, I do...

"Certainly, I don't think I will go through any more adversity than I did this year. So I think if I stayed strong through this, I will be a better head coach in the future."

Burke also said he's excited about a rebuilding program that's been initiated by acting CEO Wade Miller and acting GM Kyle Walters and would like to be around to see it bear fruit.

"I think the great thing is all three of us work together well. And I feel like it's more of a collaborative effort. Hopefully, we all hang around together and move forward. Because I think we have a great plan moving forward."

In other Bombers news Wednesday:

  • It was all quiet at the Bombers offices at Investors Group Field as the 2013 CFL trading deadline came and went Wednesday afternoon.

"I don't think there's been any feelers or anything," Burke said earlier in the day. "I'm sure Kyle has emailed or talked to other GMs. But I don't think anything is happening."

The 2-12 Bombers have four games remaining and have been all but eliminated from post-season contention. Winnipeg's only remaining route to the playoffs would require wins in all the four remaining games and have the Montreal Alouettes four straight.

  • Burke said newcomer Patrick Neufeld, the offensive lineman the Bombers acquired in the Alex Hall trade on Sunday, will not likely play Monday in Montreal.

"He's got a little bit of a shin problem, but probably just can't get him ready fast enough."

  • Burke also made his first public comments about the trade that shipped Hall -- the CFL's sack leader this season -- to the Riders.

"I hate to see Alex go. Not only was he a real good player but he was a real good person, too," said Burke. "And probably initially, it bothered quite a few guys on the team, specifically in his position group... But for the long-term outlook of the team, I think it's a good trade."

  • On the injury front, Burke said defensive back Marty Markett sustained a foot injury in the loss in Calgary and is done for the season. Burke said defensive back Demond Washington and slotback Terrence Edwards, who both missed the Calgary game, are also question marks again this week.
  • Burke was asked if he has spoken to pending free agent Henoc Muamba, who has thus far resisted all the team's attempts to re-sign him this year:

"We joke about it, but that's about it. I say, 'You're way too embedded in the community to leave.' Stuff like that. 'You're not going to get a truck like that somewhere else."

Muamba drives a free truck supplied by a local car dealership.

The Bombers return to the practice field today for the first time since Saturday's loss in Calgary. Twitter: @PaulWiecek

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 10, 2013 D4

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