Bombers add 'Rider castoff

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:42 AM ET

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers, in an effort to improve their struggling defence, are dipping into their arch rival's castoff pool.

The Bombers will add former Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive back Santino Hall to their roster today, and he will most likely suit up against his former team on Saturday in the second annual Banjo Bowl at Canad Inns Stadium.

Hall, a 6-foot, 195-pound halfback out of Texas Southern, was the Roughriders rookie of the year in 2004, but he fell out of favour with head coach Danny Barrett this season and was released on Aug. 2 after attempts to trade him failed.

Barrett told The Leader-Post last month that Hall took things for granted this season and, as a result, ended up as a part-time player.

Hall, 24, had 51 tackles and three interceptions in 15 games last season. He had 15 tackles this year.

The Bombers (3-8) badly need a win against the Roughriders (4-6) to stay in the West Division playoff race. Saskatchewan whipped Winnipeg 45-26 three days ago in the Labour Day Classic in Regina.

LINEBACKERS' LOSS: Even though the Bombers will be adding secondary help today, head coach Jim Daley said Sunday's loss is on the linebackers.

"Our linebackers did not play one of their better games, and it was a big factor in Saskatchewan's success running," he said. "Hopefully that's not something we'll see again."

'Riders running back Kenton Keith had 170 rushing yards, and Saskatchewan finished with a whopping 244 overall.

LB Ron Ockimey will be added to the roster this week at the expense of a receiver or another linebacker.

"If we take a linebacker off, he's starting," Daley said.

SECOND GLANCE: Bombers SB Milt Stegall appeared to make a touchdown catch after pushing off DB Eddie Davis in the fourth quarter Sunday, but two officials ruled it an incomplete pass.

Saskatchewan led 38-25 at the time, and even though the Bomber defence couldn't stop the Riders, some believe it was the game's turning point.

Daley wouldn't talk about that play specifically yesterday, but he did let his feelings be known.

"Instant replay would have been a major advantage to us the last two weeks, and hopefully our league will in due course, and as fast as possible, be able to afford and introduce instant replay," he said.

LATE HITS: Winnipeg GM Brendan Taman, who chose to sign Hall over former Bomber Tim Carter, said as many as two players could be released today ... DT Doug Brown will test his injured foot at practice today. "He's very anxious to play," Daley said. "Hopefully it'll be this week. We won't know that until he tries it." ... Daley blamed his team's short-yardage inefficiency Sunday, which included four failed tries from inside Saskatchewan's three-yard line, on offensive line mistakes.


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