YARDS haven't been coming easy for the Bombers' offence this year, so penalized 19 times for 161 yards during Saturday's game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats didn't leave head coach Tim Burke too pleased.
Especially since some of them were, ahem, a little on the sloppy side, such as the two offside penalties on the punt team.
"That's ridiculous," Burke said. "We know where the line of scrimmage is... I understand an aggressive penalty. You're going after somebody and you grabbed him, I can understand that. But you line up offsides, and kick the ball out of bounds? That's unconscionable."
Penalties aren't usually the biggest factor in the outcome of a game, Burke said, but by the coach's count the team was minus 96 yards on Saturday through penalties compared to the Ticats. "We gave up some big plays on defence, we didn't have enough on offence, and we had all these penalty yards, a whole football field worth," Burke said. "The margin between victory and defeat is like... that much."
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How can Burke deal with a mistake by a kicker, like the bad Jason Palardy boot that went out of bounds in the second quarter of Saturday's game for a 26-yard loss?
"Well, you tell 'em they did a crappy job," the coach said, with his typical frank candour. "And if they continue to do a crappy job, then you replace 'em. We're not going to sit there and play with that kind of kicking. There's other guys out there."
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Long snapper Chris Cvetkovic left practice Tuesday with a sore calf. While it wasn't clear if that meant anything for Friday's game -- Burke promised an update today -- the coach did say that rookie linebacker Ian Wild, who is coming in for the injured Terrell Parker, is also a fine long snapper.
"It's unfortunate for us that Terrell Parker got hurt, fortunate for us that Ian Wild is the next player in," Burke said. "If (Cvetkovic) can't go, (Wild) is a very capable guy."
If Wild can't go, practice-roster fullback Carl Fitzgerald can zip it back as well.
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Chad Simpson can dance with the best of them on the football field. But he won't try to elude questions about the Bombers' offence.
"There's a lot of misunderstanding. We've just got to get things together and make plays. That's it. Offence is a little bit more technical than defence. Defence you're out there running around playing... offence, if one guy messes up it throws off the whole play."