Bombers look for answers

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:56 AM ET

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers arrived home at 6:45 yesterday morning after taking an all-night bus trip from Regina.

Getting back when most of the city is sleeping was probably a good thing.

Not one aspect of Winnipeg's 42-15 loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders Saturday night was good enough for a passing grade.

Long list of questions

"There's nothing to sit here and cry over or worry about," defensive tackle Joe Fleming said. "It's a matter of being men, going in and fixing our mistakes. We all had enough of them."

The Bombers have a short week to prepare for their home opener Thursday night against the Edmonton Eskimos, but they will spend it answering a long list of questions.

For example:

- The front seven is supposed to be the strength of the team, so why did Saskatchewan rush for 166 yards?

"That, when you looked at the tape, was in large part due to assignment mistakes," Bombers head coach Jim Daley said yesterday afternoon. "That type of error, we need to get corrected right away."

Daley said defensive co-ordinator Rod Rust may simplify the schemes, because the players may have been tentative in fear of messing up the more complex packages.

- What's up with the offensive line? Charles Roberts rushed just seven times for 14 yards, and quarterback Kevin Glenn was dodging defenders left and right.

"We didn't give up a lot of sacks, but that's to Kevin's credit," Daley said. "... We did get, at times, pushed back into the pocket too much. There didn't seem to be any confusion on offence, it was a matter of being physical enough versus the opponent."

Roberts, meanwhile, just wanted more opportunities.

"I don't really see it as they stopped the run; I don't think we consistently tried to run the ball," Roberts said. "We mixed it in here and there, but from what I saw, and from what I think I'm going to see on the film, there were many opportunities out there for me to pick up yards."

- What's wrong with the special teams?

"To start a year with a kickoff return touchdown going against you is not great momentum," Daley said. "We felt we would be very competitive on special teams. We have great specialists who didn't have a great game, but overall our specialists are very good."

Daley said players did their assignments properly, but they got out-muscled.

Including Corey Holmes' 81-yard kickoff return touchdown on the first play of the game, the Roughriders averaged -- that's right, averaged -- 32 yards on eight kick and punt returns.

Jon Ryan also had two of his punts blocked.

- How concerned are you about the dropped passes?

"Dropped passes are drive enders, and we had five of them last night," Daley said. "That's way more than is acceptable or winnable with."

Scott Cloman dropped a sure touchdown in the fourth quarter, and Wane McGarity fumbled away his only catch of the game.

Daley said Vinny Sutherland, who is on the practice roster and was hampered by injuries during training camp, will be a "roster consideration" for Thursday's game.


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