Mudge tells all about Blue split

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 6:57 AM ET

Dave Mudge will make his first start for the Montreal Alouettes on Thursday night.

And he's spilling the cold, hard truth about what really went on in Winnipeg just before the Blue Bombers traded him to the Als last month.

Mudge, 30, went from the CFL's outstanding lineman in 2001 to a non-starter just before the trade. The Bomber coaching staff wasn't happy with his play, and both the coaches and Mudge claimed to be at a loss at explaining his downfall.

RETIREMENT

Mudge, however, told the Montreal Gazette over the weekend that Bombers head coach Jim Daley questioned his effort and asked him if he was thinking about retirement.

"Any time a team questions your effort, that's not a good thing," Mudge told the Gazette. "I made some mistakes, but I was trying. It certainly wasn't the thing they thought it was.

"After they asked me about retiring, it became crazy. You don't listen as intently when a team starts messing with you. I have no idea what they were thinking. I don't know what to say."

Mudge will start at right tackle -- his old position with the Bombers -- on Thursday night against the Calgary Stampeders. Regular right tackle Luke Fritz is moving to left guard to replace the injured Paul Lambert.

SOUNDS OF SILENCE? With the CBC lockout underway, this Saturday's telecast of the Toronto Argonauts and Edmonton Eskimos from Commonwealth Stadium remains up in the air.

The Mother Corp. said CFL games won't be affected by the job action, but all of CBC's CFL talent is believed to be in the union.

The rumour going around the league is that the network will show the video of the contest without announcers.

LATE HITS: Football is alive and well in Toronto. The Rogers Centre crowd of 31,621 last Thursday to see the Argos and Alouettes was the fourth straight game this season with more than 25,000 patrons. The Toronto Sun reports that hasn't happened since 1991 when the Argos won the Grey Cup ... Lions defensive co-ordinator -- and former Bomber head coach -- Dave Ritchie likens his defence to the one he had in Winnipeg when it went to the 2001 Grey Cup. "Same defence. Better personnel. More speed, too," Ritchie told The Province.

AROUND THE LEAGUE

B.C. LIONS

- A year ago today SB Geroy Simon had 50 catches for 974 yards and 10 touchdowns in eight games. Today he has 31 grabs for 479 yards and four TDs in seven contests.

CALGARY STAMPEDERS

- C Jamie Crysdale, who had started 210 consecutive games before knee surgery two weeks ago, is now expected to miss his third straight start on Thursday.

EDMONTON ESKIMOS

- Training camp cut Devin Lewis was all set to work for Ashton Kutcher's MTV show Punk'd, the Edmonton Journal reports, but the Esks lured the WR back to town after Ed Hervey got hurt.

HAMILTON TIGER-CATS

- QB Khari Jones didn't come into Saturday's game against the Bombers only because Marcus Brady was struggling. It turns out Brady suffered a slight ankle injury as well.

MONTREAL ALOUETTES

- RB Robert Edwards, the former New England Patriot, appears to have a grip on the starting tailback duties. His 7.6-yard rushing average is the best among the league's nine No. 1 backs.

OTTAWA RENEGADES

- QB Kerry Joseph is averaging -- averaging! -- a whopping 6.7 yards per rush. He has played one more game than Hamilton's Troy Davis, but he has 12 fewer carries and 95 more yards.

SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS

- The poor Green and White, who have two weeks to think about their four-game losing streak, have committed 21 turnovers in their last three games.

TORONTO ARGONAUTS

- Pinball Clemons thinks Wayne Gretzky will have no trouble as Phoenix Coyotes coach: "With his knowledge and putting good people around him he'll once again be called The Great One," he told The Toronto Sun.


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