Pencil Pencer in
After two years in the Bombers system -- though he spent 2012 on the injured list -- Tyson Pencer will finally get his chance to start at right guard. The 6-7 British Columbian was originally pegged as the sixth offensive lineman for Saturday's game in Edminton against the Eskimos, with newly acquired Marc Parenteau getting the start. But on Wednesday, the coaching staff had a change of heart and picked the "tough guy" Pencer instead.
"Sometimes, the best way to become a good player is just by playing," said head coach Tim Burke. "We as coaches, we always want to put somebody in there that we know can get the job done to a certain extent. Sometimes we're not quick enough to put a new body in there who hasn't played enough. So let's see what we can learn."
Pencer, 24, was elated by the news, saying he's been working hard on cleaning up his game. "I feel like I've got to prove a lot," he said. "Not only to myself, but to everyone else that I can compete and I can have a starting spot on this offence not just (for) now but for a long time coming."
- Whether or not newly acquired receiver Akeem Foster sees action against the Eskimos will depend on how Jade Etienne is recovering from his concussion, Burke said. Foster is cool with things either way. "These guys are coming off a big win," he said. "I'm not trying to do too much. I'm just going to try to do what the coaches ask me and execute at a high level."
One thing's for sure: The jovial Foster is likely to be a media fave during his time here. He said he knows he can't replace the community presence Buck Pierce left, but he does want to let Winnipeggers know he's "a good guy, a community guy." He's also a dedicated reader and used to be an avid writer in college. That's not usual for a football player, is it? "That's why I'm not a football player, I'm an athlete playing football," he quipped.
- Linebacker Henoc Muamba and defensive ends Kenny Mainor and Mathieu Boulay sat out Wednesday's practice with various aches and pains, but they are expected to be back on the field today. Jade Etienne practised Wednesday and did not experience any symptoms from his latest concussion, Burke said, but they are waiting to see if he wakes up symptom-free today before declaring him ready to suit up for Saturday's game in Edmonton.
-- Melissa Martin