Blue Bomber Report Record: 6–6–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Sack-happy D wants to turn up heat on Eskimos

Muamba welcomes aggressive, blitzing approach

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Blue Bombers head coach Tim Burke wasn't giving any hints about his defensive game plan for the Eskimos Saturday.

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Blue Bombers head coach Tim Burke wasn't giving any hints about his defensive game plan for the Eskimos Saturday. Photo Store

With eight sacks to stop a seven-game losing streak, defence was a happy topic for the Blue Bombers this week as they prepared for their next assignment, Saturday in Edmonton against the 1-9 Eskimos.

"We want to try to build off something we started last week," said middle linebacker Henoc Muamba, whose crew got to Saskatchewan quarterback Darian Durant with regularity last Sunday. "That's how we expect to play every game. That's how we want to play.

"Last week was the best job we've done in terms of execution all year."

You won't find Muamba second-guessing this week's game plan if it includes as much blitzing as last week.

"Yeah, most of the blitzes I'm involved in and last week was the most we've ever blitzed all year," Muamba said Thursday. "Yeah, it definitely is fun but it depends on the type of team you play. Coach saw something in terms of their offence that he liked and decided to go that route. I don't mind it at all."

With some aggression unleashed, the Bombers held the Riders to just 219 yards of net offence.

"I think it was a total focus on execution," sad Muamba, who was back at practice after taking a rest day Wednesday.

"That's what we did for a longer period of time than we've done all year long. We've had quarters where we dominated, had halves where we've dominated but we haven't done it for a full game like we did last game. That was the big difference.

"I think we knew we could, it was just a matter of doing it and we'll try to do it again this week."

-- -- --

The weekly game of cat and mouse is on.

Bombers head coach Tim Burke wasn't giving any hints Thursday if his team will blitz as much against the Eskimos as it did last Sunday at home against Saskatchewan.

"Probably in their mind they have to prepare for everything they saw so... we're not going to let them know what we're doing," Burke smiled.

He called it a week-to-week chess game on how to draw up that part of the game plan.

"You're always trying to change up your game plan to match the opponent," he said.

"One coverage for one team might not work for another. One blitz might have worked against Saskatchewan's protection but might not against Edmonton's. So you have to change your blitzes.

"It's always a chess game as far as you're trying to give them something new that they're not prepared for but you have to stay within who you are, too."

-- -- --

Offensive lineman Marc Parenteau, just acquired from Toronto, said he figures to be the extra lineman for this week's game.

"They haven't really told me exactly," he said. "This week, until I get up to speed on the playbook, I'll be the extra lineman.

"Then hopefully I'll get a chance to play and help out down the line."

Reporters were more interested, though, in hearing the 32-year-old Montreal native's comments about the news out of Saskatchewan on Thursday.

A pair of Roughriders, Dwight Anderson and Taj Smith, had been arrested after an August bar scuffle.

"Idiots," Parenteau, a former Roughrider, began with a chuckle.

"I don't think I ever have (encountered that). Usually when you roll out, there are usually a lot of O-linemen together so people don't usually pick on a lot of 6-5, 300-pounders. But it is Saskatchewan over there and guys may have short tempers and may say stuff and guys get a little hot-headed.

"But you're in the business where you're going to be out in the spotlight, even if someone's going to call you whatever name, or talks about your mom or your wife, you know if you do something, you'll be in the newspaper, right? If Joe Blow does something, no one notices. His family finds out or whatever.

"Sometimes you have to suck up your pride when it comes to that.

"Just walk away, that's what we were taught a long time ago."

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 13, 2013 C4

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