Blue Bomber Report Record: 3–15–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Starters aren't going to job tryouts

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THE 53-man roster is set for Thursday's pre-season game against the Montreal Alouettes at Molson Stadium, and as expected, the Bombers are skewing a bit to the young side.

Among the starters not making the trip are quarterback Buck Pierce, receivers Terrence Edwards, Cory Watson, Clarence Denmark and Kito Poblah, running back Chris Garrett, tackles Glenn January and Andre Douglas (both injured), defensive backs Brandon Stewart and Alex Suber, safety Ian Logan, linebacker Marcellus Bowman (injured), defensive lineman Bryant Turner and long-snapper Chris Cvetkovic.

As with any pre-season contest, there are a few position battles to keep tabs on.

-- Chris Kowalczuk will try to hold off Justin Sorensen for the centre job. Sorensen has taken most of the snaps the last couple days.Veteran Steve Morley remains in the mix, the team said.

-- Pierre-Luc Labbe and Henoc Muamba will be in uniform. The two Canadians are trying to claim the middle linebacker spot. Labbe has the veteran experience and the club trusts him. Muamba is the superior athlete.

-- Finally, there's the punting audition between non-import Mike Renaud and import Eric Wilbur.

Neither has jumped out ahead of the other at this point, the coaches say, but from the cheap seats it looks like Wilbur has the slight advantage. Two of his punts travelled 60-plus yards Tuesday, offsetting two muffs that only managed to eat up 25 and 30 yards of field.

Wilbur understands the roster pickle he's in. He'll have to really outdistance Renaud to have a chance to win the job and knows even that might not be enough to secure employment.

"I can only do so much," he said. "If Mike goes out and has a great day and I have a great day, obviously they're probably going to keep the Canadian."

Renaud averaged under 40 yards per boot Tuesday. He'll need to be better, he says.

"I don't want to win this job by default. At the end of the (day), you look at the statistics, and that's pretty much where a lot of the judgment is going to lie. Birth certificate, to me, is just a piece of paper."

The Bombers plan to alternate punters throughout the game Thursday.

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

You can listen, not watch

Forget about checking out Thursday's pre-season game between Winnipeg and Montreal at Molson Stadium. The game isn't on TV, as the CFL's TV broadcast partner (TSN) is only showing four of the eight exhibition games this season. Winnipeg's second pre-season contest, versus Hamilton at Canad Inns Stadium June 20, will be broadcast. The Bombers-Als game can still be found on the radio (68 CJOB).

Hashmarks

Receiver Chris Matthews came up with two impressive one-handed catches at practice Tuesday, both coming at the expense of defensive back Demond Washington... The only rookies not making the trip to Montreal are defensive backs Darrell Pasco and Jeremy McGee. Both are a little banged up, the club said... Alouettes defensive end John Bowman is out 4-6 weeks with a partially torn MCL.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 13, 2012 D3

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