Bomber defenders refuse to point fingers

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:51 AM ET

It was Winnipeg's Longest 10 Yards.

All they needed was one first down with the seconds ticking down and the Blue Bombers would have enjoyed their first victory of the 2005 CFL season.

But, once again, the offence failed and the tiring defence then gave up the big play that set up Edmonton's game-winning field goal in a 14-12 victory.

And some defensive players were wondering what more they could have done to secure a victory after such a yeoman's effort.

So, did the offence let the defence down?

"It's a team game, you're not going to get me that easy," cornerback Omar Evans replied after the match.

"I don't think that's the way a professional looks at it," objected Bombers head coach Jim Daley. "First, they didn't let the defence down. Our productivity as a team lets the team down when you lose.

"If a particular unit doesn't play well enough, they are aware of it, frustrated by it and disappointed in it. They don't need to add guilt to it by saying they let the other side down. If a particular side plays very well, that's something they should be proud of and build on. But until we play a perfect game on one side or the other, I don't think any side has the right to view that the other side isn't carrying their load. This is a team game and if you don't adhere to the team philosophy on it, you have a divisive faction that can come in. I have not seen any indication of that."

MISSION MAN: Daley praised both starting defensive ends for their superb play Friday

"Tom Canada was a man on a mission and we were glad to see that because, as we talked about last week, he wasn't quite playing with the same productivity as last year," he said. "He raised his level of play and played with the productivity and the energy and the aggressiveness that we had grown accustomed to. He had a great game.

"Gavin Walls also played special teams for us and had a great game, and he was outstanding at defensive end, with three sacks. He did a great job. Our two ends were really, really effective."

Canada also had a sack, a knockdown, two tackles and took the shovel pass away from the Edmonton offence. Walls added two tackles.

"All of us on the D-line, I give praise to all of them guys, because this is my first year up here, and those guys help me and lead me through to whatever I do," Walls said.

HURTS: LB Ryland Wickman (hyperextended elbow) is questionable for this Friday's game against Montreal ... Daley is hoping DB Boyd Barrett (neck) will be able to return this week after Winnipeg's poor kick coverage in Edmonton. "Boyd Barrett is one of the best cover people on punt and kickoff, right now, in the CFL," Daley said. "So his loss did hurt us."


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