TIM BURKE says it comes as news to him that the club might be about to bring in a new offensive tackle.
"I don't know anything about it... Really," the Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach said Wednesday afternoon after practice at Canad Inns Stadium.
Burke was responding to reports on Twitter this week that 6-7, 305-pound offensive tackle Lee Barbiasz -- a recent cut of the Jacksonville Jaguars -- is about to join the Bombers.
The reports appeared to originate with Barbiasz himself. A tweet on Tuesday from an account registered in the player's name stated: "Well, it's official... I'm heading up to Winnipeg to play some Canadian football."
But Burke said the first time he'd heard Barbiasz's name was when reporters asked about him Wednesday afternoon.
Barbiasz, 24, played college football at Northern Colorado and was in training camp with the NFL's Jaguars this year before being released.
The CFL practice rosters expand next week and Burke has said previously that he and GM Joe Mack are actively engaged in trying to bring in some new players.
But there doesn't appear to be any urgent need for tackle help at the moment.
Veteran Glenn January has the left tackle spot locked down. He missed practice on Tuesday but was back on the field Wednesday, taking all the first-team reps.
And the right tackle position is a battle right now between Shannon Boatman and Jordan Taormina.
Taormina is back practising this week after missing the last two games with a pinched nerve. But Boatman, who filled in for Taormina, is continuing to receive all the first team reps and it appears he will get his third straight start when the 3-9 Bombers host the 6-6 Toronto Argonauts Saturday night.
Also Wednesday, slotback Terrence Edwards returned to practice after missing Tuesday, but defensive back Johnny Sears sat out his second straight day.
Burke said Sears is expected to practise today. Demond Washington has been filling in at cornerback for Sears.
A Spring in the Step
"I think there's a little more confidence. And that's what we needed more than anything else. There's more spring in the step. Guys are really hustling in practice. I was really happy with today's practice and yesterday's practice."
--Bombers head coach Tim Burke on the new attitude he's seen in his team since they snapped a four-game losing streak with a win over Hamilton last Friday
Kid in the Hall
"He came to us and we knew he was a good pass rusher. When he was in the NFL, he was known just as a pass-down guy. And we felt he just had to improve his run defence. And he has."
--Bombers head coach Tim Burke on defensive end Alex Hall, whose 8 sacks ties him with BC's Keron Williams for the CFL sack lead but who is impressing his own coaches more with his run defence.