Blue Bomber Report Record: 7–11–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

CB Johnson denies having 'lost a step'

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BOMBERS cornerback Jovon Johnson says he's every bit as fast this season as he's ever been.

Johnson showed up to training camp this season bulked up and weighing seven pounds more than he did last season, leading to speculation the extra weight has slowed him down and made it more difficult for him to cover speedy receivers this season.

Johnson -- the 2011 CFL defensive player of the year -- has looked vulnerable in the Bombers secondary at times this season and was beaten cleanly for a touchdown in last week's loss to Toronto.

"Have I lost a step? Heck no. Absolutely not," Johnson said following practice at Investors Group Field on Tuesday.

In fact, Johnson said he's lost all that extra weight he brought with him to camp -- he says he's decided he didn't need it -- and now weighs exactly the same, 185 pounds, as he has the past couple of seasons.

What Johnson doesn't dispute, however, is that he isn't playing as well this season as he has the past couple years. "No, there's been situations where I could have made better plays," Johnson said. "But at the same time, some of the situations I've been in would have been tough on anyone. And I'm not the only one that's given up plays.

"It's not that I've lost a step. It's just that teams are scheming us and they've got a great game plan going in against us."


QB mystery to end

THE Winnipeg Blue Bombers' starting quarterback situation will be resolved Wednesday morning.

Bombers head coach Tim Burke said Tuesday that whoever takes first-team reps in practice at Investors Group Field this morning will get the nod behind centre Friday evening at IGF against the Calgary Stampeders.

Backup Justin Goltz once again on Tuesday handled all the first-team reps at practice, while Buck Pierce -- who was knocked out of last Friday's loss to Toronto when he got hit in the abdomen -- was restricted to light throwing for the second practice in a row.


Poblah likely to play

THE revolving door of the Bombers infirmary continues to spin this week.

The good news out of practice on Tuesday was that non-import receiver Kito Poblah continued to practise without incident. Bombers head coach Tim Burke said Poblah's now very likely to play this Friday in what will be the first regula- season action of 2013 for the Bombers' supplemental draft pick in the 2011 draft.

Burke said Poblah will likely be on the roster this week as a backup, but will also probably see some action.

But even as Poblah readied on Tuesday to return, import wide receiver Chris Matthews -- who missed last week's game with a sore back -- had a setback on the same day he returned to practice, pulling up lame about halfway through.

Burke said Matthews is now unlikely to play on Friday.

-- Paul Wiecek


Expect to see diminutive returner Aaron Woods in the Bombers lineup Friday evening. Woods, a standout special teams player in the UFL, has been getting lots of special teams reps in practice this week...Even though he had a standout game on Friday versus the Argos, import Bombers receiver Clarence Denmark was getting second-team reps at practice on Tuesday until Matthews went down.


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 24, 2013 D3

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