Blue Bomber Report Record: 3–15–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Maybe new talent will help

Burke, Mack consider fresh players, consultant

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Help might soon be on the way.

Bombers head coach Tim Burke and general manager Joe Mack had a lengthy, animated discussion on the field at Canad Inns Stadium during practice Wednesday, the second time in as many days Burke and Mack got together.

On Tuesday, Burke told reporters the two didn't discuss anything "important." But asked after practice what Wednesday's discussion was about, Burke got right to the point.

"We were just talking about possibly bringing some players in... not in time for this week, just in the future," Burke said after a cold, brutally windy two-hour practice, the last full run-through the 2-9 club will have this week before they face the 4-7 Hamilton Tiger-Cats at home Friday evening.

Asked what areas of his team the club is considering an airlift of talent to help, Burke clammed up: "I'd rather not say."

He did expand on it a little later in his media availability. Asked if he was also considering bringing in help for his coaching staff, he said he might, but it wouldn't be an actual coach.

"We talked about it, but right now there's nobody available that you would want to have on your staff that we know," he said. "But we might look to bring in a consultant who's got CFL experience."

While not specifying what kind of consultant they're considering, it's hardly a secret the Bombers' offence hasn't scored a touchdown in over three games and that CFL rookie offensive co-ordinator Gary Crowton has struggled to find any traction on offence this season.

Bombers linebacker Jovon Johnson was unusually frank in his comments to the media after practice Wednesday.

A sampling:

-- On the recent blowouts: "We assembled a team to come here to win and it just seems like we have no fire. I don't know what the reason is, but guys need to start getting it together. This is a business and everyone's job is on the line, and we know that for sure."

-- On frustrations he and other teammates expressed on Twitter last winter regarding the team's failure to re-sign some key veterans from last year's team: "Guys were more in disbelief that we let that happen. I think that the best way to win and win championships is to keep a consistent team, a team built around each other that has chemistry. And that's what we had and that's what we're lacking right now."

-- On the club's decision to cut former SAM linebacker Clint Kent out of training camp: "He's a smart guy and he knew the defence inside and out. And it shows. That's why we had three different guys playing in his spot, trying to make up for the things that we lost with him."

-- On whether his comments should be interpreted as a criticism of the team's general manager: "That has nothing to do with criticizing the GM. My comments were... I feel in my heart that in order to constantly win games and go to championships, you have to have chemistry. And we don't have that right now."

FIELD NOTES -- Defensive backs Brandon Stewart and Alex Suber returned to practice on Wednesday, as did slotback Terrence Edwards and tailback Chad Simpson... Receivers coach Markus Howell gathered the offence mid-practice and lit them up for dropping so many passes... Conditions were bad Wednesday, which might explain some of the lack of execution, and not just on offence. But it was the same story Tuesday too, when the weather was better but the execution just as poor.

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 20, 2012 C2

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