Defensive calls a team effort

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:34 AM ET

HAMILTON -- OK, Winnipeg Blue Bomber fans: Maybe it's time to panic.

When asked yesterday who specifically will be calling the defensive plays tonight against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, head coach Jim Daley was stumped.

"To be honest with you, your guess is as good as mine," he said.

He was kidding ... we think.

Daley is technically the defensive co-ordinator after Rod Rust's departure last weekend for personal reasons, but it will be a team effort from here on in.

Defensive backs coach Dave Easley will call in the plays from the press box, defensive line coach John Kropke will signal them to the huddle, and linebackers boss Urban Bowman will be responsible for player personnel.

"My involvement is hopefully temporary," Daley said, "and right now I feel very comfortable with Dave."

Linebacker Sean Woodson, who called Rust the best coach he's ever had, said there is no need for Bomber fans to worry.

"He's done a great job with us, and we're gonna try to keep it afloat and make him proud," Woodson said.

"We're going to try to maintain it as if he was here and do what we think he would do."

HE'S A ... PUNTER? Hamilton's punter tonight will be 6-foot-5, 245-pound import Chuck Tack.

Yes, those figures are correct.

Former University of Manitoba Bison Jamie Boreham had been doing both the placekicking and punting, but Hamilton head coach Greg Marshall said Tack is a better punter.

Tack's leg is needed, Marshall said, because Bombers P Jon Ryan gets Winnipeg points with his league-leading 51.2-yard average.

NOT SO SUBTLE: Marshall wouldn't come out yesterday and say where his team's biggest problems are, but the three changes he made in the secondary this week are a clue.

Marshall released CB Dedric Mathis and replaced him with Tad Kornegay, he moved LB Donnavan Carter to safety, and he shifted S Wayne Shaw to the other cornerback spot in place of struggling Airabin Justin.

DE James Cotton comes back on the roster for released DE Jeremy Lawrence, and LS Matt Robichaud replaces former Bomber Jason Congdon.

Winnipeg's changes are DT Martin Lapostolle for DT Doug Brown (foot) and SB Darnell McDonald for Keith Stokes.

Jon Oosterhuis will start in Brown's spot.

QUOTABLE: "You fall asleep with it, you wake up with it, you drive with it. It's there all the time."

-- Marshall, describing how much he thinks about his team's 0-8 record.

LATE HITS: The Ticats are crossing their fingers that they'll have RB Jesse Lumsden, who was cut by the NFL's Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday, in the lineup for next weekend's Labour Day game against the Toronto Argos ... The Bombers are 0-4 on the road, but they're 3-1 against East Division teams ... The Bombers have won their last two games by a combined score of 82-31, while the Ticats have lost their last two by an 83-29 count ... The Ticats are expecting a crowd of approximately 27,000 tonight.


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