Barrett boost to Bomber kick coverage

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:45 AM ET

It was not that long ago that Boyd Barrett was on and off the Winnipeg roster like most fringe players.

Now, Blue Bomber head coach Jim Daley calls the University of Manitoba product one of the best kick cover specialists in the entire CFL. And his injury-induced absence from the last match was a key cause for Winnipeg's poor kick coverage during the 14-12 loss to Edmonton last Friday.

"I'm not going to toot my own horn but it's a good thing to hear my head coach, whom I have a lot of respect for, saying something like that," Barrett said yesterday. "Coach Daley gave me the opportunity to showcase what I got and it's definitely satisfying."

And the 5-foot-9, 180-pound defensive back is expected to return action when the Montreal Alouettes come to town with kick returner Ezra (Itty Bitty) Landry this Friday.

"(The Eskimos) probably did the exact same things they did the previous three games," said Barrett, 28. "But I'm sure people were tired, playing defence and special teams. So, I can come in there and give a guy a blow (rest) and go hard."

NO COMPROMISE: Daley took umbrage with suggestions that he was sacrificing his club's best opportunities to win by stubbornly sticking to a struggling Tee Martin as his starting QB.

'TRYING TO WIN'

"I don't think there's a coach in our league who isn't trying to win the game," he said.

"Fans and media may not agree with the decision as to who's playing. That's understandable. We are not compromising our chance to win the game. We had the lead with one second on the clock ...

"Our intent's simple: win. Our understanding of this sport, which is our career, is also simple: winning only comes by improved performance. That's why we were working to improve our performance and execution so that we can have success. There is no compromise of success ... We are playing our best players. The constant perception that the next quarterback's better than the one we are playing doesn't necessarily have accuracy."

Daley did admit, however, that quarterbacks are treated differently than other players who have been pulled off the roster due to poor play.

HASHMARKS: Bomber LB Ryland Wickman tested a hyperextended elbow as the team returned to practice yesterday for the first time since Friday's game. The club will decide today whether he can play against Montreal on Friday, if not, then Willie Fells will replace him ... KR/RB Keith Stokes (ankle) did not practise yesterday but is still expected to play ... Neither DE Antwone Young (knee) nor LB Scott Mennie (concussion) practised much, either. Neither is expected to dress versus the Als ... DB Justin Coleman (foot) was also limping noticeably towards the end of practice.


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