See the small picture

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:34 AM ET

Jim Daley says his Winnipeg Blue Bombers can't worry about the big picture.

They have to disregard that and focus on the small stuff in order to make the big picture a pretty one at the end of the regular season.

Unfortunately for the Bombers, they haven't found a way to take care of the small stuff yet.

That was never more evident than Monday afternoon at Rogers Centre when the Bomber defence did its best matador impression against the Toronto Argonauts.

The defensive dozen couldn't tackle a simple math problem, let alone an Argo receiver as Toronto produced a 34-27 win.

Winnipeg is 1-5 with a third of its CFL season complete, but it is only two games out of a playoff spot. The Bombers embark on the next third of their campaign Saturday night in Calgary with a crucial clash against the Stampeders (2-4).

"Every person on our team understands playoff ramifications, understands four-point games, understands that to move on you have to have success today to move on to the playoffs," Daley said yesterday. "The big picture is never lost. The opportunity to be successful in the big picture is to take care of the business in the small picture, that being this game.

"Right now the most important thing our players need to do is (beat) Calgary. That's how you take care of the bigger picture."

LOOK AHEAD

The Bombers may not want to look ahead, but we will. After Calgary, the Bombers host the currently winless Hamilton Tiger-Cats and then the Ottawa Renegades before heading back to Hamilton on Aug. 26.

After that, it's the annual Labour Day and Banjo Bowl battles with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who couldn't beat their way out of a wet paper bag right now.

In other words, if the rebuilding Bombers are going to meet their construction deadline, they better start hammering right now.

"It's definitely not going to be any easier, but we've got to be professionals," linebacker Willie Fells said. "We cannot allow ourselves to feel sorry for ourselves, because we've got to go out and keep pushing. Because it is not over by no means.

"You've got to let this go, turn around and go get it."

When asked yesterday if he had a number of wins in mind to make the playoffs, Daley wouldn't bite.

"No. That varies each year," he said. "We need to go and get one win at a time -- fast."

It should be noted that the Bombers were 2-5 after seven games last year, and they didn't get eliminated from the playoff race until the second-last week of the season.

Are there positives at this juncture of the season? Sure there are. On Monday the Bombers were within a touchdown of the defending Grey Cup champs on their own turf, the offence is improving its numbers weekly, and the defence has shown it has the ability to get the job done.

If they can take care of the small stuff -- like tackling, for instance -- they just might have a chance to turn this thing around.

"We're close," kicker Troy Westwood said, "but we've got to start to make that happen immediately."

-- With files from Jim Bender


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