Blue crash, burn

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 10:26 AM ET

The ironies were overwhelming.

The man most observers had doubted could lead the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to the Promised Land may have proven just how valuable he really is by getting injured during last night's loss.

Quarterback Kevin Glenn, who just signed a contract extension, suffered a knee injury when he was sacked by Hamilton safety Wayne Shaw in the first quarter of the CFL contest versus the grateful Tiger-Cats.

And, try as they might, the Bombers just could not replace their starting signal-caller.

The other irony, by the way, was that the Bombers lost former quarterback Khari Jones to a shoulder injury the same week he signed his last pact with Winnipeg, and he never did recover. Nor did the Bombers.

But it was that much-ballyhooed defensive dozen that failed the Bombers in their most urgent hour of need.

"Defensively, when we're struggling to move the ball offensively, that's when they've got to say, 'Wow, we've got to stop them now, let's see if we can get them a turnover,'" said Bomber head coach Doug Berry. "It was an aberration for our defence the way we had been playing. But I've been trying to tell everybody that this Hamilton team is a good football team. They've got good talent and Jason Maas is a good quarterback, as you all know and they proved it (last night)."

Adding to the Winnipeg woes is that backup quarterback Mike Quinn was already missing in action (injured sternum). So, the Bombers were left with the Nos. 3 and 4 pivots on the depth chart to lead them to victory over a much-improved 'Cats outfit.

Michna, No. 4, looked shaky in completing only one of three passes for four yards after replacing Brad Banks, No. 3, in the second quarter. But just when we were wondering whether Jamie Stoddard or Henri Childs would take the snaps from centre in the second half, Banks was back at the controls. He completed only eight of 20 passes for 65 yards but had a number dropped -- three by Chris Brazzell alone.

But what about that vaunted defence? It sure looked like they were basking in the glow of all that glorious praise they've been getting lately.

"Defensively, we've got to step up and play," said Bomber middle linebacker Barrin Simpson. "They threw a couple of different wrinkles in there and the way they were blocking things. But we've got to step up and make the plays and we didn't make the plays we need to make to win and keep us in the ball game when Kevin went out.

"They just completely outplayed us. We missed way too many tackles as a defence. You can't miss tackles, we've got to make the plays. When they're there to be made, we've got to make the play."

Hamilton tailback Josh Ranek was a one-man wrecking crew. He rushed for 164 yards on 27 carries (a 6.1-yard average) against what had been the stingiest front four in the CFL and added four catches for 69 yards and a touchdown. But it was his 37-yard catch-and-run for his TD that really made you start to wonder. Ranek broke attempted tackles by Gavin Walls, Kelly Malveaux and Stanford Samuels on the way to pay dirt.

FEROCIOUS

So, don't be surprised if Winnipeg defensive co-ordinator Greg Marshall breaks out the tackling dummies when they return to practice tomorrow as they looked about as ferocious as a boy band chasing babes on the beach.

But the bottom line is, once Kevin Glenn recovers his health -- if he does recover -- Bombers GM Brendan Taman should rip up the contract just inked and offer him a far more lucrative one. The defensive dozen and receivers should all chip in.


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