One hot group of hogs

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:10 AM ET

Dan Goodspeed's wife and a few of their friends gathered around the TV on Friday night in Tampa to watch the Winnipeg Blue Bombers take on the Montreal Alouettes.

Probably not one person sitting in that room down in Florida realized just how stunning it was that the Bombers offensive line, which includes Goodspeed at left tackle, held the ferocious Alouettes defence to zero sacks in Winnipeg's wild, 51-46 victory.

Almost lost in the hoopla of the Bombers' crucial victory, which improved their record to 1-4, is that they just may have found the missing pieces to the O-line puzzle that have eluded them for the past two seasons.

'ATHLETIC BUNCH'

In the two games they've been together, Goodspeed, Matt Sheridan, Aaron Fiacconi, Mike Abou-Mechrek and John Feugill have allowed just two sacks, and the team's ball carriers have wracked up 323 rushing yards.

"Up front we got a very athletic bunch, and everybody's starting to want to come off the ball and put people on the ground," said Goodspeed, who arrived in Winnipeg only on July 2.

"That's a great sign for us. We started off slow, but it's coming along."

"... Knowing what to expect from the guy next to you is huge. Even if you do something wrong on the line, but everybody's doing the wrong thing, sometimes it works out right.

"That's the good part when you start gelling."

The hogs were certainly on the same page Friday night. Goodspeed and Feugill helped keep Montreal's blitzing linebackers at bay, Abou-Mechrek pancaked Als middle linebacker Kevin Johnson on Scott Regimbald's 26-yard touchdown run and Sheridan and Fiacconi, playing just his second game in Blue and Gold, joined in on the fun.

"Our O-line is going to be a very formidable group," Bombers head coach Jim Daley said. "They're getting better every practice and getting better fast.

"It's a group that's still evolving, but they're very, very, very determined. They're very physical.

"... They're not anywhere near where they'll be in a month."

If that's the case, it will be reason enough for Bombers fans to break out the bubbly, as the offensive line has been blamed greatly for the team's downfall since appearing in the 2001 Grey Cup.

Some even claim a porous O-line was the reason why quarterback Khari Jones became a shell of his former self before he was traded to Calgary last September.

Winnipeg's new No. 1 pivot, Kevin Glenn, liked what he saw Friday in his return after missing three games with an ankle injury.

"The offensive line did a really good job," Glenn said.

"You can tell their growth over the past couple of games. Some guys who had come right in and were rushed right into the lineup because of situations, I can see those guys are getting a lot better as the weeks go, so that's a good thing."

Goodspeed got giddy watching running back Charles Roberts scamper for 195 rushing yards and two touchdowns and Regimbald rumble for 30 yards and a score.

"It's the first CFL win for me, so I'll take that," Goodspeed said. "I don't think I've ever been on a team that's scored that many points. It's a feat."

There is, however, one thing Goodspeed could do without.

"When those cannons go off, I'm like 'Whoa!' " he said. "Someone could have told me about that."


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