Blue Bomber Report Record: 3–15–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Smith not a good fit for Burke's defence

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CLINT KENT wasn't the only veteran to get his walking papers.

Defensive lineman Dorian Smith, who spent the last three seasons with the Blue and Gold, was let go by the team Friday. The 26-year-old, who only appeared in seven games in 2011 (due to injury and as a healthy scratch), was asked to put on some weight in the winter in hopes that he could fill the nose tackle spot on the line this season.

He did just that, but still found himself unemployed Friday afternoon.

"He was competing for the nose guard spot with a lot of other guys," head coach Paul LaPolice said. "He had a lot of opportunity in the first game to show what he could do. We wanted to evaluate more guys in the second game; we got a lot more reps for the other guys.

"We just felt that maybe he wasn't the best fit for him."

The release of the 6-3, 280-pound lineman wasn't a surprise. He never could duplicate the success he had in his first two seasons with the club (14 sacks in 2009-10) and didn't really fit in defensive co-ordinator Tim Burke's scheme.

Winnipeg is currently carrying eight defensive linemen on the roster.

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Other players released Friday included import defensive lineman Andre Caroll, non-import defensive lineman Ryan Lucas, import offensive lineman Shannon Boatman and non-import offensive lineman Brendan Dunn.

Import wide receivers Isaac Anderson and Doug Pierce were also let go, as was non-import receiver Cassidy Doneff, import linebacker Terrell Parker, import running back Bloi-Dei Dorzon and import defensive back Jeremy McGee.

Notable names in this group are Pierce, a 6-6, 215-pound deep threat (who lost out to Chris Matthews and Kurt Adams), and Dorzon, who finished behind Chad Simpson in the coaches' eyes.

What more could Dorzon, who looked really good in the two pre-season games, do to impress the staff? Not much, apparently.

"It's just we have some pretty talented tailbacks," LaPolice said.

The practice squad (which can include up to seven players) will be announced today, in advance of the 46-man roster deadline (9 p.m.).

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Speaking of that deadline...

The 12 cuts made Friday only brought the roster down to 54 players, so barring any additional cuts that means eight players will be forced to start the season on either the one-game or nine-game injured list.

Starting linebacker Marcellus Bowman (lower body), starting right tackle Andre Douglas (hip), starting receiver Cory Watson (hamstring), running back Carl Volny (knee) and offensive lineman Tyson Pencer (shoulder) appear headed to start the season on the sidelines.

adam.wazny@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @wazoowazny

QB update

Head coach Paul LaPolice said quarterback Joey Elliott's throwing hand is OK (he hurt it in Wednesday's pre-season game). Meanwhile, LaPolice wants to meet with the four quarterbacks Sunday before making any declarations for the backup positions behind starter Buck Pierce.

Washington OK

The news is positive for Demond Washington, the club reports. The defensive back suffered a concussion against the Tiger-Cats (he took a knee to the head trying to make a tackle in the third quarter), but

LaPolice said he was symptom-free Friday. The club is back on the field Sunday.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 23, 2012 C6

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