Shakin' up the hogs

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 10:47 AM ET

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have begun the latest in a long line of offensive line transformations.

This time, however, they appear to be quite serious, as a former CFL lineman of the year could end up serving in a backup role.

The Bombers signed import guard/tackle Dan Goodspeed to their practice roster yesterday and probably will have import tackle John Feugill back in the fold today.

And depending on how well those two absorb the playbook, struggling veteran right tackle Dave Mudge, the CFL's most outstanding lineman in 2001, could find himself as the sixth O-lineman when the Bombers (0-2) host the Calgary Stampeders (0-1) on Thursday night at Canad Inns Stadium.

Isn't a scare tactic

"(Mudge) still could end up being a starter, but obviously it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that these guys are coming in," Bombers GM Brendan Taman said yesterday.

"... This isn't a scare tactic. This is to make some moves."

Taman hopes to have two more additions at practice today: a defensive back and Canadian receiver Chad Rempel, who used to play for the University of Saskatchewan Huskies and attended Hamilton Tiger-Cats training camp this spring.

The offensive line, however, will be the focal point this week as Winnipeg prepares for Calgary. Bombers quarterback Tee Martin made his CFL debut in last Thursday's 27-8 loss to the Edmonton Eskimos, but he was under siege all night, and running back Charles Roberts managed just 31 yards on 10 carries.

"We obviously can't go with what we had. There's no question about that," Taman said. "And our offence will get a little bit of a boost once we get it fixed. We're on the right track to getting it fixed.

"Now, it's going to hurt our ratio a little bit, but if you don't have an O-line it doesn't matter what you got around you. You're not going to succeed."

Safe spots

The only starting spots that appear safe are centre Matt Sheridan and right guard Mike Abou-Mechrek. Left tackle Jermese Jones broke his left hand against the Eskimos, and left guard Dan Gyetvai is coming off knee surgery he underwent last year.

Goodspeed might replace Jones or Gyetvai, while Feugill could end up in Mudge's spot.

Taman said yesterday he also considered contacting left guard Orlando Bobo, who retired a day before training camp when his contract demands weren't met, but not anymore.

"I thought about talking to him and working things out as we went," Taman said. "But a guy like (Goodspeed) and a guy like Feugill, we can make do and be at a very high level, too."

As for the ratio, which requires each CFL team to start seven non-imports, the Bombers started eight Canadians against the Eskimos. The Bombers could start both Feugill and Goodspeed in place of Gyetvai and Mudge if they put non-import receiver Jamie Stoddard in for Scott Cloman.

They would, however, have to do some juggling elsewhere on the roster to make it work.


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