Daley's glass half full

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 10:55 AM ET

There are several statistics from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 27-8 loss to the Edmonton Eskimos Thursday night that jump right off the page.

The Bombers had 107 passing yards. Eskimos quarterback Ricky Ray had 105 passing yards -- on one play.

The Bombers had 39 rushing yards. Eskimos running back Mike Bradley had 60 rushing yards -- on one play.

Winnipeg had 110 yards of total offence. Edmonton racked up a whopping 549.

Now, there are two ways to look at those numbers:

Run screaming for the hills

The first is that if you take away the gargantuan plays by the Eskimos, the Bombers, who are 0-2 for the second straight season, might be able to build on something.

The second is to run screaming for the hills, hoping Winnipeg's 2006 season won't be as bad as 2005 appears destined to become.

Bombers head coach Jim Daley, with his usual sunny disposition on a sunny Canada Day, was sticking with the first viewpoint yesterday.

"In many ways, we saw a degree of progress (Thursday) night which was significant," Daley said. "It's hard for media and fans to understand that that is a positive sign, but from a coaching and playing point of view, with the challenge we have and the work we have to do to rebuild this team, (Thursday) night was a significant improvement over last week."

The Bombers, who lost their season-opener 42-15 to the Saskatchewan Roughriders a week ago today, will have Tee Martin back at quarterback for his second CFL start Thursday night when they host the Calgary Stampeders. No. 1 pivot Kevin Glenn is out with a high ankle sprain.

"The only way Tee is going to develop, just as when Kevin was starting, is to play," Daley said. "So people who were demanding that we play Tee should now not be demanding that we play somebody else."

Martin completed 12 of 29 passes for 107 yards, a touchdown and an interception against the Eskimos.

"He did an admirable job playing in his first start," Daley said. "Visually and mentally, he saw the game very clearly. The timing and the speed of the execution -- and being on the same page of the book as the other people on offence -- was not always where it has to be, but that's reality when you have a quarterback change and a quarterback who hasn't played much in a few years."

It didn't help that Martin was running for his life for much of the contest and was sacked six times. The offensive line is also under intense scrutiny after running back Charles Roberts posted a paltry 31 yards on 10 carries.

Right tackle Dave Mudge, who was victimized on several occasions by Eskimos defensive end Joe Montford, admitted the O-line just can't get it going, largely due to breakdowns in technique.

"It's one guy this play and one guy the next play," Mudge said yesterday after an lengthy O-line meeting. "Very few times do we have a play where everyone's doing what they should be doing and doing it well.

"... We're running out of time. You can't start the season down two games -- and two bad games -- like that. Whatever problems we have we gotta fix, and we gotta do it right away."

Someone might not get a chance to correct his mistakes. Daley said there's a chance O-lineman John Feugill could be back at practice this week after attending to business at home in New York.


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