Potential not enough to earn spot

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:24 AM ET

"You can't make the club from the tub."

That phrase is being thrown around a lot on Maroons Road these days, and it could come back to haunt several Winnipeg Blue Bomber hopefuls who are unlikely to play in the team's first pre-season game Friday night in Edmonton.

LB Tony Ortiz (back), WR Vinny Sutherland (hamstring), LB Ron Ockimey (groin), DT Doug Goodwin (calf) and RB Marvin Townes (groin) are unlikely to play in Edmonton.

And that's not a good thing.

"It's not good for the team when a guy misses extensive periods of time ...," head coach Jim Daley said. "But more importantly, it's not great for the person trying to get a job if he's hampered."

Daley said he's not one to keep a player based on his potential. A good example is Sutherland, who was pushing for a roster spot until pulling his left hamstring on the weekend.

"We need production," Daley said. "I don't mean to sound harsh on that, but it's very hard to evaluate potential.

"... If you don't have an opportunity to see enough of a player, it's very hard to rule him in and another guy out who you've seen."

The Bombers must cut 17 players by Monday night.

VETERAN SAVVY: When Daley coached the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1997, he had current Bombers LB Lamar McGriggs traded, and he cut LB K.D. Williams.

Times sure have changed, as there Daley was yesterday heaping praise on McGriggs, a nine-year CFL veteran.

Good camp

"Lamar is having a very, very good camp, and now ... he needs to play good special teams to secure employment as a linebacker," Daley said.

McGriggs' chances of making the team are better now than they were 10 days ago, because the man he's battling, Ron Ockimey, has a groin injury and might be in tough to make the squad.

"I told him in December or January that he's going to fight for a job," Daley said. "That either has a guy upset ... or he responds and takes the challenge.

"Lamar has never batted an eyelash."

HASHMARKS: Daley cut 50 minutes off yesterday's second practice due to the steady rain. He also changed today's practice schedule to just one workout at 10:30 a.m. ... DT Joe Fleming, who missed Monday's practices to see a doctor about his groin injury, was back on the field yesterday ... QB Tee Martin's right hamstring tightened up during yesterday's first workout, so he sat out the second one as a precaution ... The Bombers aren't expected to take RB Charles Roberts, SB Milt Stegall, DT Doug Brown or Fleming to Edmonton.


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