Peterson on the hot seat

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:41 AM ET

Kamau Peterson won't lose his job this week, but the same can't be said about his starting position.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers receiver wasn't the only one who dropped a pass during Saturday night's 30-21 loss to the Calgary Stampeders, but his history of putting balls on the ground has him in the cross-hairs of criticism.

"I don't think cutting a Canadian receiver at this point would be very smart," Bombers GM Brendan Taman said last night from Hudson, Wis., where he is scouting NFL training camps. "He's in a rut, and he needs to get out of it fast.

"... He's one of a few guys who are struggling."

There's a good chance newcomer Darnell McDonald will replace Peterson at wide receiver Saturday night at Canad Inns Stadium when the Bombers take on the winless Hamilton Tiger-Cats in what will be a ticket scalper's nightmare.

Scott Cloman, who has been benched since Week 3 for dropping balls, is another option, Bombers offensive co-ordinator Mike Gibson said.

"I saw (Darnell) in there lifting weights as I came in, so I think he's anxious," Gibson said. "He sees an opportunity, and he'll definitely be given a shot, as will Scott.

"Scott's looked very well in practice, and I love his attitude because he's in there studying."

Non-import receiver Gilles Colon could also draw into the starting lineup, Taman said.

The Bomber brass, which cut slotback Wane McGarity last week, said its receivers dropped at least seven passes Saturday night. Gibson believes the whole offence is to blame, including an offensive line that he said allowed too much pressure, but the onus is ultimately on the pass catchers.

"They're not very happy with themselves right now, I don't think," Gibson said. "I saw a lot of long faces coming back on the plane.

"You know, it's funny. Catching the football is just that. It's a skill, and we've all done it since we were yay high. It's just a concentration thing.

"Some of those drops that I'm saying were drops were probably difficult catches, but you're a professional athlete and you gotta make those catches. Unfortunately, it's like a snowball. When one or two guys drop it, then it's in the heads of all of them."

That doesn't mean they're going to get many more chances, however.

"There comes a point in time where you've given them enough opportunities," Gibson said.

The Bomber receiving corps isn't the only unit on the hot seat, as the secondary is under fire from both Taman and head coach Jim Daley.

Calgary quarterback Henry Burris threw for 323 yards and two touchdowns in just three quarters of action Saturday night.

He had seven passes that were 20 yards or longer, including a 61-yard touchdown strike to Jeremaine Copeland.

"We have to do a better job covering," Daley said.

Taman said he would like to get a receiver and a defensive back in camp as soon as possible.

NOTE: Gibson was the team's media point man yesterday because Daley stayed in Calgary to tend to a family matter.

Daley is expected back in Winnipeg either today or tomorrow.


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