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Alouettes defence read Blue offence like dime-store novel

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/9/2009 (3853 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

You hear a lot of different spins after a loss; from outrage to despair to defiance.

But rarely, if ever, do you get the eye-opening responses from Bombers starting quarterback Michael Bishop that were only backed up by Montreal Alouettes defensive lineman Eric Wilson on Sunday, following the weekly pasting of the Winnipegs.

For the record, both quotes were served up on a Sportsnet report.

Bishop: "They (the Alouettes) knew exactly what we were doing. Everybody on that defence said, 'Here comes the counter (play).' So it's hard to battle when they know what you're doing every play."

Wilson (wide-eyed, smiling): "Our point is we watch film. We know where they're going. That's fine. Come up with a whole new offence then. I don't know what to tell them to run, but when they get into an alignment we know what they're doing. That's on the other side."

Jaw. Hitting. Floor.

Now, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I'm just a small country lawyer, and I truly don't have any depth of knowledge about the inner workings of a modern-day CFL offence. But when your team's starting quarterback announces that the other team's defence seems to be in their own huddle, that should send shudders down the spines of anyone associated with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Come on, where's Ron Trentini when you really need him?

Of course, every football team, in preparation for an encounter, studies film for the opponent's tendencies. Bombers head coach Mike Kelly used to do stuff like that for the Philadelphia Eagles, where -- and this might come as a surprise to some people -- he worked with Andy Reid.

But you should have seen the look on Eric Wilson's face. He was almost incredulous.

It was a stark contrast to the downtrodden mug of Bombers defensive lineman Doug Brown after Sunday's loss. "We're just clinging to straws right now," a sullen Brown told Free Press reporter/videographer/blogger/commentator Ed Tait.

Geez, Brown looked sad.

I mean, really, really sad.

But we digress. Back to the standard Monday morning scrum for Kelly, who confessed that the Winnipeg offence is -- again, in case you haven't heard this anywhere before -- messed up beyond belief.

Said a sombre, contrite Kelly: "There are some things that could be just to the point of ridiculousness, to be honest with you."

This was somewhat different from last Monday's scrum, following that 55-10 disaster versus the Saskatchewan Roughriders. During that scrum, Kelly said he was emboldened by a visitor to his office the night before who had told him to "stay the course" (this was AFTER the Riders game, remember). Kelly was comforted by the kind words, but didn't give the name of the mystery individual, who was nonetheless someone who he respected with significant CFL experience and success.

Turns out, that visitor was former Edmonton Eskimos icon Hugh Campbell.

Oh, really? Because the last time we remember Hugh Campbell offering any wisdom relating to the Bombers coaching staff, it was his glowing endorsement of Jeff Reinebold back in 1997. That's right, Campbell's endorsement was a key factor in the Bombers hiring of a guy with a thin resume who was a special teams coach in Edmonton in 1996.

Hey, we all respect Mr. Campbell, too. But I believe I speak for all fans in Bomber Nation when I say to him, "DUDE, STOP SCREWING WITH OUR FREAKING COACHES!!!"

Ahem. Now where were we. Yes, the Bombers, who are apparently going to start Bishop next week against the Toronto Argonauts, who may or may not have the Winnipeg offence on film. Chances are, it's the former.

No doubt, the Bombers offensive coaches will hunker down for the rest of the week and prepare for the incoming Argos, who are also 3-8, and also equally challenged on the offensive side of the ball. Yes, sports fans, it promises to be quite the fireworks display.

My, the possibilities are endless. Will the Bombers rebound and soar to 4-8, thus grabbing the inside track on a playoff spot? Or will the Argos, with youngster Cody Pickett at the helm, help the Torontos finally ascend from the East basement?

Who knows? It's kinda like a box of those -- what do you call them again? -- oh, yeah, Russell Stover chocolates. Or quarterbacks. Or head coaches.

You never know what you're going to get.

Well, except if you're the Bombers offence.

Then, apparently, the whole world knows.

Just ask them.


Randy Turner

Randy Turner

Randy Turner spent much of his journalistic career on the road. A lot of roads. Dirt roads, snow-packed roads, U.S. interstates and foreign highways. In other words, he got a lot of kilometres on the odometer, if you know what we mean.

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