Slow start for new O-line

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 9:11 AM ET

So, your offensive line sucks.

What do ya do? Well, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers airlifted an import tackle (John Feugill) who could not make it in Toronto and picked up another American Hog (Dan Goodspeed), a nasty hombre who was cut by Washington.

Then you convert a former CFL Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman of the Year (right tackle Dave Mudge) to left guard in last night's CFL game against Calgary at Canad Inns Stadium. Not only that but the Bombers lined up their starting fullback (Scott Regimbald) at tight end in some formations.

The plan, of course, was to give quarterback Tee Martin more time to throw the ball after being sacked six times the previous week and to spring scatback Charles Roberts, who had been stuck in quicksand.

The result? Well, Roberts did finally eclipse the century mark for the first time this season.

"I didn't think I was that close to it," said a surprised Roberts, who burst for 108 yards on 21 carries. "I was fortunate to get a couple of good runs late that put me over the top.

"It was unfortunate that we had to come out losing -- it messes up the record."

Bombers are now 17-2 when Roberts rushes for 100 yards or more.

"I'm proud of the offensive line," Roberts said. "There's been a lot of pressure put on them and they responded well. It was a new formation that we threw at them against a difficult defence. They performed very well."

On the other hand, Martin was sacked three times and continued Calgary pressure resulted in a 12-for-23 effort for 130 yards.

"We did better in the running game," Martin said. "It was a lot better than the previous two weeks and the protection was better."

Mudge, who had never played guard before was encouraged with the early rushing returns.

"It's still not as good as it can be," he said. "It seemed like our run game was hit and miss. One play, he'd bust and get into the secondary and the next play, get stopped for a loss or right along the line of scrimmage. It's one of the things we need to continue to work on because he's such a weapon that we just need to be able to unleash him on every play."

CUP GUY: The Bombers announced the hiring of Kevin Walters as managing director of the 2006 Grey Cup Festival yesterday morning. Walters, 45, is a full-time manager with Manitoba Film and Sound and served as the chairman of the successful 2005 Juno Awards held in Winnipeg recently. The CFL Championship Game will be held at Canad Inns Stadium held Nov. 19, 2006.


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