WHILE the Winnipeg Blue Bombers players were resting during their CFL bye week, much was going on above their heads.
So, did last week's firing of CEO Garth Buchko and GM Joe Mack, and the installation of Wade Miller as acting CEO cause any job-security issues when the team returned to practice Monday?
"If it doesn't, it damn sure should," said veteran offensive lineman Glenn January. "This is a business (where) they're going to do whatever it takes to win. If that means firing your butt and bringing somebody else in, it's going to happen.
"I think that every one of us needs to understand that if the president and GM can get fired, why are we special? Why can't we get fired?"
Veteran receiver Terrence Edwards said that big organizational decisions came sometimes rattle players.
"I think guys start to look over their shoulder a little bit," Edwards said. "But you've got to block everything out because a lot of stuff is not in your control. I tell people all the time I don't control who's playing quarterback, I don't choose who's in the lineup.
"The only thing I control is how I play and how my group plays. That's all I worry about and I try to relay that message to my guys."
January said some of the zest of Monday's practice could be attributed to the job-security question, or, "Just the reset after the off-week, realizing that we haven't been playing up to our full potential and we're re-dedicating ourselves."
He wants to see more of that.
"I've always said, whatever your motivation is in this sport, you've got to figure it out and run with it," January said. "If you're here to win games, then practise hard to win games. If you're here to make money, then practise hard to make money. If you're here for the chicks, you're going to have to get on the field and that involves practising hard, playing hard and getting on the field. Whatever your motivation, I don't care what it is as long as you're coming to work every day and proving your worth."
WHEN they meet the Tiger-Cats at Investors Group Field on Friday with Max Hall as the starting quarterback, Edwards said the Bombers' offensive players have one job to worry about.
"Whoever's playing quarterback, he gets our full attention," Edwards said. "We have to go out there and help him make plays, make his job easier. I think a lot of people have been placing a lot of the blame on the quarterback, but it's all of us."
HEAD coach Tim Burke made a point to tell reporters Monday that the team's current leadership, after Friday's announcements, is a good fit between himself, acting CEO Wade Miller and assistant GM Kyle Walters.
"I think right now with Wade and Kyle and myself, we've got a great collaborative effort going forward here, with the best intentions of getting the Bomber organization to compete competitively on a consistent basis," he said. "Just the little bit I've had a chance to work with Wade, it's been great. Obviously I've known Kyle for the time I've been here, so it's been really great."
-- Tim Campbell