Blue Bomber Report Record: 3–1–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Changes coming for trip to Left Coast

Matthews back in lineup, Anderson wins DT slot

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ANOTHER week, another swack of changes for a Winnipeg Blue Bombers side trying to stop the bleeding of a three-game losing streak and get healthy at the same time.

The Bombers don't have to declare their official roster for Monday's game in Vancouver until Sunday afternoon, but expect a handful of lineup adjustments.

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Wide receiver Chris Matthews returns, as does nickelback Desia Dunn, who steps in for Demond Washington, while defensive tackle Mathieu Boulay will replace Ryan Lucas on the roster. Defensive back Jeremy McGee will also make his 2013 debut. Linebacker Rene Stephan was getting a lot of work with the special teams and may also be activated.

Bomber head coach Tim Burke confirmed that rookie Zach Anderson has now officially taken the starting defensive tackle spot once owned by J.T. Gilmore.

"He's progressed really well," Burke said of Anderson. "He's got more facets to his game than J.T. does. The other thing is J.T. has missed so much, Zach's moved ahead of him. He's got all the repetitions in practice and in games, and so he's naturally just moved ahead of him. They're not totally dissimilar athletes."

Burke was equally effusive in his praise of Marty Markett, who is adjusting to his halfback spot.

"Marty's gotten better every week," Burke said. "He's a very intelligent guy and he learns quickly. That's one good thing about him and Desia and Ian Wild: Those guys go out there and football is really important to them. They really study the game, they spend extra time at it. They come in and get extra coaching and it really shows in their improvement.

"That's what we want from all of our players. That's why they're playing as young guys, because they really take it seriously."

FYI: The Bombers are 1-4 to start the year for the third time in the last five seasons.

-- Winnipeg was held to a CFL season-low 21 minutes and 45 seconds of possession last week, the club's lowest since Sept. 20, 2009 in Montreal (21:27).

-- The Bombers were nailed for 23 special-teams penalties in the first four weeks but were not flagged once against Calgary. The Bombers averaged 12 penalties for 106 yards in their first three games, but that has dropped to 8.5 and 67.5 per game over the last two weeks.

-- Travis Lulay has averaged 240 passing yards per game in 2013 and has gone six straight starts without a 300-yard game.

TACKLING MACHINE: Henoc Muamba ranks fourth in the CFL with 32 tackles, and after racking up 10 against the Stamps last week, is now on pace for 115. The club record is 112, set by Barrin Simpson in 2007.

HARRIS MAGIC: Winnipeg's Andrew Harris, the Lions' starting tailback, has 351 rushing yards after five games and has posted back-to-back 100-yard efforts for the first time in his career.

The last Lions RB to post three consecutive 100-yard rushing games was Juan Johnson in 1998.

Harris is also on pace for 2,041 yards from scrimmage, a clip that would eclipse the club record held by Willie Fleming (1,873, set in 1963).

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 4, 2013 B3

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