Blue Bomber Report Record: 3–1–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Riders fans excel at dishing out abuse

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JUSTIN GOLTZ says the Roughriders fans in Regina, just like their team, take their performance during games seriously.

"They come after you. They do their research and they do what they can to get under your skin. You hear it, but you can't respond to it," said the Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback.

"I know the two cities really dislike each other. And you feel that as a team... It does come up and translate on the field."

Goltz, who will start against the Riders in today's Banjo Bowl at Investors Group Field, was asked Saturday what he knows about the rivalry between the two provincial capitals.

"You talk to anybody who's from Winnipeg or Saskatchewan and there's always little jabs and jokes and burns here and there," said Goltz, adding that there's more in common between the two cities than either of us would probably like to admit.

"I think the cities are similar in aspects. They're both blue-collar, hard-working people, down to earth, very humble and they support their teams."

-- -- --

Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Tim Burke shed a little more light on Saturday about the circumstances that led to running back Chad Simpson sitting out this today's game with a foot injury.

Burke said the club first learned there was a problem while the running back was visiting his newborn son in the U.S. earlier in the week.

"He let us know when he was in Florida that his foot was hurting," said Burke. "And so when he got back we took him right to the doctors."

It wasn't clear why Simpson didn't immediately inform the club that he'd been injured when it occurred last Sunday and Burke was asked if he was disappointed with the way Simpson communicated the injury to the team.

"A little bit," said Burke.

-- -- --

The Bombers did not avail themselves on Saturday of a chance to put ailing QB Buck Pierce on the nine-game disabled list and make some salary cap space, choosing instead to put Pierce once again on the one-game DL.

So, what are the plans for Pierce -- who's been out a couple of weeks with an undisclosed upper-body injury -- this season?

"We'll have to sit down and talk about it," said Burke. "We'll address it after this game."

So you don't have a firm plan for Pierce right now? "No," replied Burke.

-- -- --

It's taken the better part of two seasons, but it appears Bombers fans might soon finally get a good look at the club's first pick in the 2012 CFL entry draft.

Offensive lineman Tyson Pencer, who missed all of last season with a shoulder injury, came off the nine-game disabled list on Saturday and went on to the 46-man roster.

There wasn't anything wrong with Pencer this season -- he was on the DL simply to clear up some roster room. Pencer won't play today, but now that he's on the 46-man roster, Burke says it might not be long before he finally sees some regular-season action for the first time.

"I hope you will be seeing him soon," Burke said.

"I think he's ready to go in there and play, but right now we're handcuffed by having only one guy who can switch at centre."

While he was a tackle in college, the Bombers have been working Pencer at guard the last few weeks.

"It's progress. It's one step closer to playing," Pencer said. "It's taken a couple weeks to get the guard position down, but hopefully in the next couple weeks I will progress to the point where I will have a chance at a start."

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 8, 2013 B4

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