Blue Bomber Report Record: 7–11–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Past is gone, forget about it

Blue Bombers look to future with new optimism, some desperation

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The Bombers were back at work Saturday afternoon, not wanting to talk about the past.

 

The 1-5 record remains next to their name in the standings after the bye week, but the focus as the players returned to the practice field was one of looking through a clean windshield at the road ahead.

Some even suggested the team has ripped off the side and rear-view mirrors, just to ensure they don't look back at the wreck that was the first six weeks. Linebacker Marcellus Bowman said the coaches had one message: It's time to meet expectations.

"They put the cards on the table and they told us 'This is how it is, this is where we're at, this is what we need to do and this is how we're going to approach the rest of the season,' " Bowman said, expressing a more serious tone within the group.

Head coach Paul LaPolice told reporters his message was a simple one: "Win a game," he said. "We have to get better. I don't care about where the standings are; it's time to win a football game this week."

Though they've been off since the 36-26 loss to Montreal, other clubs in the East Division have failed to distance themselves from the Bombers.

Both Toronto and Hamilton suffered losses since Winnipeg fell to 1-5, creating a logjam atop the division with three clubs (the Argos, Tiger-Cats and Alouettes) all tied with 3-3 records.

The Bombers host the Ticats Thursday night (7 p.m.).

 

Four no-shows

A full seven days still wasn't enough time for some Bombers to make it back to Winnipeg in time.

Defensive backs Alex Suber and Jonathan Hefney, along with linebacker Henoc Muamba and defensive end Jason Vega all were absent from the workout, as they ran into various flight delays trying to get back to Manitoba.

Even more shocking than players on a 1-5 team not making plans to be back in Winnipeg a day before they have to was the coach's reaction when asked about it.

"(I'm) disappointed at the airplane people. I have four guys with airplane issues," said LaPolice with a shrug when asked if he was disappointed in those players for not being back for work.

 

Buck won't dress

It's been a while since we've had an injury update...

Quarterback Buck Pierce -- remember him? -- worked with a helmet and was running around the field Saturday.

He was showing no signs of discomfort with his left foot, but his availability was immediately shot down by the Bombers.

LaPolice confirmed that it was unlikely that he would even dress for Thursday's game.

Running back Chad Simpson and receiver Chris Matthews both sat out practice, but should be fine. LaPolice expected Suber (leg) to be OK for practice this week, too, but the same couldn't be said for linebacker Brandon Stewart and safety Ian Logan.

Both did some running Saturday, but the their statuses won't be updated until later this week.

The Logan situation is one worth watching.

With backup safety Brady Browne done for the year with an Achilles injury, Winnipeg is dangerously short at the position.

If Logan can't go, the club will consider two scenarios: Rookie Canadian Dan West will line up in the position or defensive back Jovon Johnson will shuffle over from his cornerback spot, with the club using another Canadian at linebacker or on the defensive line.

Translation: It would be best if Logan was healthy and ready to go.

Twitter: @wazoowazny

GREEN BACK

The club signed Canadian fullback and special teamer James Green to the practice roster Saturday. Green was released by Winnipeg during the off-season (he suffered a foot injury working out and wasn't going to be available for camp), but is back vying for a roster spot. He led the club with 17 special teams tackles in 2011.

 

NUMBERS GAME

The Bombers have scored 127 points and have given up 199 points through six games -- two marks that are last in the CFL. How low has the defence fallen? Look over to Edmonton, where the Eskimos have surrendered just 99 points in six games. That's an incredible difference at this early stage of the season.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 12, 2012 B2

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