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DC says unit further ahead than last year's

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Winnipeg Blue Bomber defensive coordinator Richie Hall likes the players he has to work with on the team.</p>

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Winnipeg Blue Bomber defensive coordinator Richie Hall likes the players he has to work with on the team.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/6/2017 (420 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

IN two pre-season games, the Bombers averaged 31.5 points against, with the defence surrendering more than 426 yards of net offence in ties against the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Edmonton Eskimos. The numbers are even more troubling when you consider Winnipeg didn’t face a No. 1 quarterback in either game.

But none of that seemed to bother defensive co-ordinator Richie Hall, who claims the numbers don’t equate to the overall game plan and, from that perspective, Hall is happy with what he’s seen so far.

“I think we’re ahead of schedule than where we were last year at this time,” Hall said Wednesday.

Against the Eskimos at home, a game in which almost every projected starter on defence was in the lineup, the Bombers allowed a whopping 477 yards of offence. Of that total, 355 came through the air, while the Eskimos added another 134 yards on the ground — including a 49-yard touchdown run up the middle from LaDarius Perkins.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/6/2017 (420 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

IN two pre-season games, the Bombers averaged 31.5 points against, with the defence surrendering more than 426 yards of net offence in ties against the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Edmonton Eskimos. The numbers are even more troubling when you consider Winnipeg didn’t face a No. 1 quarterback in either game.

But none of that seemed to bother defensive co-ordinator Richie Hall, who claims the numbers don’t equate to the overall game plan and, from that perspective, Hall is happy with what he’s seen so far.

"I think we’re ahead of schedule than where we were last year at this time," Hall said Wednesday.

Against the Eskimos at home, a game in which almost every projected starter on defence was in the lineup, the Bombers allowed a whopping 477 yards of offence. Of that total, 355 came through the air, while the Eskimos added another 134 yards on the ground — including a 49-yard touchdown run up the middle from LaDarius Perkins.

"The bottom line is when you look at the pre-season it’s about evaluating, as far as getting back in and doing things that were fundamentally sound for us," said Hall. "Those points and those yards, those things will take care of itself. Our whole emphasis was making sure we were doing the right things scheme-wise and trying to find the players that we’re going to go with this year.

"I like the players that we have. I like what we did. We had opportunities to close out those games, to be 2-0… but at the end of the day we had a good evaluation of the players and I think they felt confident in the scheme that we put in."

Bombers ink trio of receivers

The Bombers signed three receivers to the 10-man practice roster Wednesday, adding non-import Brett Blaszko and imports R.J. Harris and Gary Chambers.

Blaszko, 24, a third-round draft pick by the B.C. Lions in 2016, had a stellar collegiate career at the University of Calgary. The 6-4, 205-pounder recorded 1,903 yards and 20 touchdowns with the Dinos, while being named the Canada West top rookie in 2012 and a CIS all-star in 2014. He spent all of last season on the Lions’ roster.

Harris played four seasons with the New Hampshire Wildcats, where he averaged 6.3 receptions and 88.3 yards per game, finishing with 36 touchdowns. Harris, 25, was recently released by the Lions.

Chambers is another big target at 6-4 and 209 pounds. He appeared in 34 games over four seasons with the Arizona State Sun Devils. His best season came in his senior year, when he recorded 26 catches for 486 yards and two touchdowns. The 24-year-old was recently released by Hamilton.

To make room, the Bombers released receiver T.J. Thorpe, who will remain with the team during his rehab from a lower-body injury, and kicker Félix Ménard-Brière, who is expected to return to the University of Montreal for his final year of eligibility.

Leggett returns

Bombers linebacker Maurice Leggett returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since pulling up lame on Day 1 of training camp.

He had been a spectator for most of the past few weeks but took part in almost the entire practice, sitting out at the very end, and therefore was unavailable to media.

jeff.hamilton@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @jeffkhamilton

Jeff Hamilton

Jeff Hamilton
Multimedia producer

After a slew of injuries playing hockey that included breaks to the wrist, arm, and collar bone; a tear of the medial collateral ligament in both knees; as well as a collapsed lung, Jeff figured it was a good idea to take his interest in sports off the ice and in to the classroom.

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History

Updated on Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 7:42 AM CDT: Photo added.

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