Blue Bomber Report Record: 6–3–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

League lowers boom on Gavins

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The Canadian Football League has dropped the hammer on Ottawa Redblacks defensive back Jerrell Gavins for a late, low hit on Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Drew Willy last Thursday.

"This type of play has absolutely no place in our game," said CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon in a statement Monday. "It was unnecessary, extremely dangerous and will not be tolerated."

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Gavins was penalized on the play, in which he hit Willy below the knees and late, and he was fined the maximum amount under terms of the new collective bargaining agreement. Depending on how much Gavins earns -- he is a CFL rookie -- that fine could be in the neighbourhood of $1,400-1,500.

"I don't think he meant to do it, but it didn't look good. Let's just say that," said Willy on Monday, prior to the fine being announced. "It's football. We're good about it. We've moved on and we're getting ready for Montreal now."

All CFL coaches, Bomber coach Mike O'Shea included, regularly send video clips to CFL VP of Officiating Glen Johnson. Johnson and his crew were already on this one when O'Shea checked in with questions about the play on the weekend.

The CFL also announced Edmonton Eskimo defensive lineman Odell Willis was fined for delivering a high hit on Hamilton Tiger-Cat quarterback Zach Collaros, which sent the pivot from the game.

FAMILY FIRST/BOMBERS CLOSE SECOND: So there was Bryant Turner, Jr. and his wife and newborn daughter Kennedy Jordan -- their first child -- last Thursday, all hanging out at a hospital in Alabama. Turner, Jr., the Bombers all-star defensive tackle, decided he'd watch his teammates battle the Redblacks on his iPad.

"We watched the game in the hospital," said Turner, Jr. "And when Demond (Washington) scored (on a kickoff return) I got pretty loud and the nurse came in. It was funny, me and my wife and baby watched the game together."

Turner, Jr. said his new daughter weighed in at eight pounds, five ounces and while initially the plan was for him to return in time for the Ottawa game, there were some complications.

"It was kind of scary for awhile," he said. "We were in the hospital until Saturday. But everything right now is completely fine."

HOMEGROWNS GET EXTENDED: The Bombers announced Monday morning Canadians Teague Sherman, the University of Manitoba product, and defensive tackle Jake Thomas have both been signed to contract extensions. There could be more, too, as the Bombers work to lock up more players with the increased salary cap.

"There's a bunch of guys that I'm sure (GM) Kyle (Walters) is going to be talking to over time," said O'Shea. "They're important pieces to our puzzle. Good Canadian players."

"I'm just absolutely thrilled," said Sherman. "I love this city, I love the organization, I love this team."

Thomas, an Acadia product, is in his third year with the Bombers and is now earning more time as a regular along the D-line.

"I really like this organization and the direction it's going in," said Thomas. "To see they want me to be a part of the future is a good feeling."


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 8, 2014 C3

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