Sleeping superstar

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:18 AM ET

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers offence has been stone cold passing and rushing this season.

Not exactly what co-ordinators mean when referring to a balanced attack.

Yet despite the Blue mood in Bomberville these days, the Stampeders defence is taking a cautious approach to Thursday's game in Winnipeg.

The Stamps d-line is quick to caution Bombers running back Charles Roberts can explode like a Ford Pinto and new starting quarterback Tee Martin is a dangerous addition to the starting lineup despite faltering in his first outing as a replacement for the injured Kevin Glenn.

Defensive end Rahim Abdullah anticipates the Bombers will continue trying to light a fire under Roberts, a perennial all-star and the league's top rusher in 2003.

"Just because he hasn't done nothing the first two games, he's still dangerous," Abdullah said.

"It doesn't mean he won't come at us. We have to prepare for him and we can't look at him as having two bad games, we look at him as though he had two great games. What he's done in the past doesn't matter against us.

"Stopping the run is always the priority and Charles Roberts is a great running back who has been proving that time and time again in this league."

In light of its weak track record just two games into the season, the Bombers are already shaking up the o-line, bringing in Dan Goodspeed and John Feugill, who could both start at the tackle spots.

The Bombers have just 49 yards rushing and 253 yards total offence through two games while veteran receiver Milt Stegall, suffering dizzy spells after taking a hit to the head against Edmonton, is expected to sit this week .

Stamps nose tackle Sheldon Napastuk is wondering why the Bombers have struggled.

"They've got a lot of the key players in place and why it's not working for them so far, I don't know. I just hope they don't get it together this week," Napastuk said.

"Tee Martin had a lot of composure last week, even though Edmonton was all over him."

End Demetrious Maxie expects more out of the Bombers offence this week, especially now that Martin has one CFL contest under his belt.

"The thing is they have a new quarterback in Tee Martin who played his first game against Edmonton and once he's gotten the little butterflies out of his stomach, he'll be a little cooler and a little more poised back there," Maxie said.

"We have to attack him, take him off his game and make him throw off his heels."

Defensive line coach Casey Creehan, who saw his unit struggle in the opening half of Friday's loss to Toronto, expects an improved performance in Winnipeg. Shutting down Roberts, much like Saskatchewan and Edmonton did in Weeks 1 and 2, is a priority.

"First and foremost in beating Winnipeg, you've got to stop Charles Roberts, so our first thing has got to be getting off the ball and playing with great leverage so they don't run the football against us," said Creehan, whose defence held Argos back John Avery to 14 yards on six carries Friday.

"Then we'll turn it loose on the pass rush when we know they'll be throwing and I expect big things, but I always do.

"It's a big push to get him the football and I know they're going to try and I don't blame them, he's their star and they'll try to establish him early.

"Teams have had good success shutting him down so far but you know how he is, he can get nothing for so long and then break an 80-yarder, so you've got to always be alert to what he can do."


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