One ex-Lion was already growling in anticipation of attacking his old pride yesterday.
"The level's going to be high," Winnipeg linebacker Ron Ockimey said as the Blue Bombers prepared to host B.C. tomorrow afternoon. "I can't wait to line up against guys that I played with for years. Every time you get released from a team, there's always a little animosity there.
"I love all those guys over there and I've still got some good friends over there, but part of me just wants to clobber 'em. Watch me. Keep an eye on me this game, there's going to be a lot of smackin' going on."
B.C. head coach/GM Wally Buono released the import and Ockimey spent the entire 2004 season wondering if he would ever play again -- until the Bombers called.
"Wally's a good coach, I've got nothing bad to say against Wally," said Ockimey, 28. "He makes decisions like a head coach should make decisions. You can only move on from there. But there is a little bitterness there. I felt like I could still be playing there. You always feel like, 'Why did you release me?' No love lost or whatever. I'm just going to go out and make him wish he never let go of me."
NO REGRETS?: Meanwhile, WR Chris Brazzell left the Leos on his own, signing with Hamilton as a free agent. He spent the first part of the season languishing with the last-place Tiger-Cats before the last-place Bombers acquired him. But if Brazzell has had second thoughts about leaving B.C., which is now in top spot at 11-2, he was not about to share them.
"No comment," Brazzell replied when asked about regrets. "But I really, really like it here. I'm looking forward to (the game). We play them a couple of times, no big deal. I have a lot of friends there. That's a real good group of guys and they're having success there."
Meanwhile, Brazzell needs 336 yards to reach that 1,000-yard receiving milestone and the bonus that would go with it.
"I'm trying to (get it)," he said. "I'm in a three-game slump. I haven't done nothin' in three games so we're going to have to figure out something."
CH-CHANGES: Recently-arrived non-import WR Scott Robinson will replace injured DL Doug Brown (foot) on tomorrow's roster, head coach Jim Daley confirmed ... Import OL Jermese Jones will be in for import OL John Feugill (MCL) ... Import LB Lamar McGriggs will replace import WR Darnell McDonald ... The recently-acquired non-import S Rick Folk will replace S Wes Lysack (traded) and import DB Santino Hall will replace suspended import DB Syniker Taylor, who had permission to return home to help his mother overcome hurricane damage ... Fans are reminded of today's open house, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. where both current and past players will be available.
PRIDE ON LINE: The Bombers are coming off their worst defensive showing of the season. They allowed an incredible 613 yards of total offence to the Montreal Alouettes two weeks ago.
Even if Dave Dickenson doesn't play for B.C. tomorrow, its offence still boasts many prolific players who could have a field day with the Bomber defence. Omar Evans was asked if the defence is ready to bounce back after a bye week.
"If they got any type of pride, they should be," Evans said. "And I think we all got pride, so we'll be all right. They know we've got a lot to prove."