Blue Bomber Report Record: 7–11–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Kelly in as injury sidelines top-receiver Moore

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Blue Bombers quarterback Drew Willy will have another variable to deal with Thursday night when his team meets the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Ron Joyce Stadium on the campus of McMaster University.

The Bombers will be without receiver Nick Moore, who is hobbled by a foot injury.

Head coach Mike O'Shea confirmed Moore's absence this week, even though the receiver was at practice as an observer both Monday and Tuesday this week.

Moore is the team's leading receiver this season, with 22 catches for 320 yards. He is one of only three CFL receivers who have exceeded 300 yards so far this season.

He had seven receptions for 99 yards in last week's victory against B.C.

"Thankfully we've got Aaron Kelly to step in and the chemistry he was developing with Drew Willy (was good)," O'Shea said after Tuesday's practice. "Aaron's going to make sure we don't miss anything."

Kelly missed last week's game in B.C.

O'Shea also said defensive lineman Jason Vega will play on Thursday. Vega missed Monday's practice but was on the field on Tuesday.

Offensive lineman Chris Greaves is also returning to action this week after missing three-plus games with a knee injury.

Defensive lineman Kashawn Fraser (hand) and offensive lineman Dan Knapp are both out this week.

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To hear linebacker Ian Wild tell it, the first four weeks of the CFL season were an on-the-job orientation for new defensive co-ordinator Gary Etcheverry's schemes

Then last week, the Bombers defence really settled in and in a hostile environment in Vancouver, showed how they can control an opponent.

The Lions, you may recall, had 41 points the week before meeting Winnipeg.

"We have a lot in and we're finally fine-tuning everything," Wild said on Tuesday. "We're not blowing as many coverages. We're getting our assignments a little sharper. We had a lot in from the beginning and maybe you're thinking about what you need to do instead of (watching) what the other team is doing and now it's just natural.

"We know what we're doing and we can key on what they're doing and react in a certain way."

Of course, the CFL season is a weekly test, and this week's will be against the Tiger-Cats, who are going with understudy quarterback Dan LeFevour while starter Zach Collaros is on the injured list.

LeFevour is the league's offensive player of the week, after scrambling and being unpredictable in winning in his first career start last week against Ottawa.

"We definitely compare him to (Edmonton's) Mike Reilly," Wild said. "He's a similar quarterback, he runs just as well if not a little faster. That's just something we need to focus on this week, containing the quarterback and really being aware of where he's at, from the D-line to the linebackers."

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O'Shea isn't sure if Dan LeFevour will copy Reilly's methods from Edmonton's 26-3 win over Winnipeg two weeks ago.

But O'Shea agrees this week's game against the TiCats will be a whole lot different than last week's in B.C.

"I think defensively you pretty well know where (B.C.'s) Kevin Glenn is going to be, in the pocket," O'Shea said. "With Dan LeFevour, that's not the case.

"Obviously they (Hamilton) look at film and see the Edmonton game and that Mike Reilly had some key runs and some big yards on us. I'm sure our defence is looking to atone for that. When you look at missed tackles -- nobody wants to miss a tackle. If we tackle properly, I'm sure we'll take care of it.

"They're a different opponent. Their quarterback can use his legs like Mike Reilly, but they're a different opponent, a different offence."

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NOTES: The Tiger-Cats have won five in a row over Winnipeg, including all four games in 2013... Hamilton exploded for 551 yards of net offence with LeFevour at the controls last Saturday... Through four games, the Tiger-Cats have averaged 13.8 penalties per game, second-worst in the CFL. Winnipeg, after an undisciplined first two weeks, suddenly leads the league in this category, averaging just 9.4 penalties per game.

 

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 30, 2014 D2

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