Sked has its challenges

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 9:28 AM ET

It will not take long for the complaining to start once the 2005 CFL schedule kicks in.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers, for example, must play a game in Toronto on Aug. 1, then head to Calgary to play Aug. 6 -- with just two days of preparation.

"That's a little tough," Bomber GM Brendan Taman conceded yesterday. "But Toronto plays in Montreal on the Thursday before that game, so they have even less time to prepare. And having the bye in the last week of the year is not great, although sometimes that can work to your advantage if you have someone nicked.

'NOT TOO MANY COMPLAINTS'

"But I wouldn't want to be the schedule-maker. Overall, I don't have too many complaints. I don't get too caught up in that. As long as we're playing in November, that's the only thing I (care) about."

Bomber head coach Jim Daley could not be reached for comment.

The Bombers, who are celebrating their 75th anniversary this season, start the year against the Roughriders in Saskatchewan on June 25, then host the Edmonton Eskimos in their home-opener on June 30.

"I'm quite happy with it," said Jerry Maslowsky, Bomber director of marketing. "Certainly, we wanted to stay away from Thursday night games this year, and we've only got two. And one of them is just before the July long weekend. Our season-ticket holders did not want mid-week games. And we got away from the Saturday afternoon game our fans didn't really want."

The Bombers will play host the Roughriders in the second annual Banjo Bowl on Sept. 10, the week after the Labour Day game in Regina on Sept. 4, and they will welcome the B.C. Lions for a Thanksgiving Monday contest on Oct. 10.

KHARI CALL: Gil Scott, the agent who represents quarterback Khari Jones, called Taman to ask if he had any interest in getting him back. Although Taman did not completely rule out the possibility, it is unlikely.

"I told him that Kevin Glenn was our starter," Taman said. "Ideally, he's looking to be a starter and I think we've got our plans in place."

Jones, who was released by Calgary last week, clears waivers this Friday.

FREE AGENT WATCH: Taman talked to DB William Fields (Calgary) yesterday and is still interested in S Shawn Gallant (Ottawa). Although he has also contacted the agent representing CB Davis Sanchez, Taman has not made him a concrete offer yet. And he is still awaiting replies from OL Sherko Haji-Rasouli and DB Kelly Malveaux (both Montreal). Taman also wants his own free agents to decide whether they will return to the Bombers by the end of this week.


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