Blue Bomber Report Record: 6–6–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Doe out to look strong at weak-side 'backer

Bowman likely a lock as starter, but he's hurt and absent

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THANKS to an injury to Marcellus Bowman, Dustin Doe will get the start at the weak-side linebacker spot for the Bombers against the Alouettes at Molson Stadium tonight.

It's doubtful the Florida product will be able to unseat the third-year Bowman from his starting spot when the season opens later this month -- head coach Paul LaPolice said as much earlier this week -- but that mountain hasn't deterred Doe.

"I feel like this is my coming-out party, this is my opportunity to show the coaches that their faith in me was warranted," Doe said. "If Marcellus was here, I might not get this chance, so I'm going to try and make the most of it."

Bowman has missed most of camp with an undisclosed lower-body injury, opening the door for Doe to get in a lot of time at the position. A special-teamer last season (he dressed for three games), the 24-year-old impressed coaches with his athleticism, earning a contract extension in the off-season.

Doe knows the club still favours Bowman at weak-side linebacker, but that doesn't mean he can't give them something to think about with a good showing in Montreal.

"Right now, Marcellus is the starter, and I get that," he said. "Hopefully, the pressure I can put on him right now will make him that much better and make our defence that much better. Everybody knows competition is the best coach."

For the record, LaPolice gave Doe's chances to beat out Bowman a rousing "we'll see" this week, adding he would have to be "unbelievable" to force the coaching staff to make the change.

-- -- --

Paul Hubbard isn't putting a lot of stock in the Bombers' depth chart for the game against the Als.

The 6-foot-4, 214-pound rookie is one of four pass-catchers -- Chris Matthews, Doug Pierce and Kurt Adams are the others -- looking to grab the final starting-receiver spot in Winnipeg.

Hubbard has taken the majority of first-team reps in camp this past week, but he isn't reading a lot into that. The Bombers have moved different receivers through the first-team offence in camp. It's just his turn, he said.

"The depth chart, by no means, is solidified at this point," he said. "We're still in camp, and none of us take it that way. This trip to Montreal is the perfect stage for us to go out there to showcase our skills and our talents.

"Whatever happens after that, happens."

Matthews appears to have the upper hand in the competition, with Hubbard and Pierce close behind. Adams is a long shot, but he's shown some good hands at camp.

adam.wazny@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 14, 2012 C3

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