Blue Bomber Report Record: 7–11–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

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PLACEKICKER Justin Palardy had a rough go of things on Saturday, including twice booting the ball out of bounds, which prompted head coach Tim Burke to say the club wouldn't tolerate that level of play.

But Palardy doesn't "read that stuff," he said on Wednesday, and insisted he was "cool and calm" even as his eyebrow twitched in the tension of the media scrum. "I forgot about that game right after it ended," he said. "Just staying the course, keep doing what I've been doing... Stuff happens. Gotta move on."

-- -- --

Defensive back Jovon Johnson didn't know he'd set a new Bombers record for all-time punt-return yards on Saturday -- he's hustled out 2,769 -- until a team staffer tweeted about it two days later. That's normal, though.

"I never really thought about it," Johnson said of his growing legacy in Blue and Gold. "It's just me going out and playing football. They bring (records) to my attention if they come up. I just go out and try to play and help my team."

-- -- --

Wideout Doug Pierce stands out on the field with his towering 6-5 frame, but get him after the game and the 26-year-old product of cozy Arp, Texas doesn't put himself above anyone. When asked to compare himself to Chris Matthews -- for whom he'll likely fill in on Friday -- Pierce kept it humble.

"Chris is more technical, better route running... (better at) the details," he said. "I'm more of a playmaker, if you throw it.. It might be ugly getting to the ball, but as soon as I get there I'm gonna attack it and get it." Isn't he selling himself a bit short? "Just being honest," he laughed.

-- -- --

Despite the obvious issues that have led to the Bombers' 1-2 start, quarterback Buck Pierce said he isn't feeling any competitive anger just yet. "Everybody around us wants to push panic buttons, and tell us how we're struggling," the pivot said after practice Wednesday.

"I don't believe that at all. I believe it's a long season... We're doing things this time of the season we weren't able to do last year, and I feel we're more mature."

-- -- --

The 2013 Grey Cup is a sellout.

The CFL and Grey Cup organizers made the announcement Wednesday, more than five months before the game is scheduled to be played.

This year's CFL championship game will be played Nov. 24 at Mosaic Stadium in Regina.

-- Melissa Martin, with files from The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 18, 2013 D3

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