Berry trying to spur Westwood with taunts

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:27 AM ET

Doug Berry is taking a page from the Earl Woods' coaching manual.

Woods, who passed away earlier this month, tried to rattle his young golfing son, Tiger, by jingling change in his pocket or yelling in his backswing.

Berry, the head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, is taking a similar tack with placekicker/punter Troy Westwood. Just before the 15-year CFL veteran lines up to try a field goal, Berry mutters two words into his ear -- "Ed Philion."

"A kicker needs to have his concentration," said Berry. "If I can throw him off, I will."

Westwood and Philion, a defensive tackle with the Montreal Alouettes, have had wars of words over the years, which Berry knows because he used to be an offensive assistant with the Als.

Westwood, who gets a good chuckle out of Berry's barb, finally did some punting yesterday, but the results were ordinary.

"He struggled," said Berry. "But I want to clarify that he was punting into the wind all day. He's frustrated with his punts, but the wind was blowing 30, 40 kilometres (an hour) into his face."

Westwood was the only kicker in camp for the third straight day in the wake of the Duncan O'Mahony fiasco, but he might get some company today.

Berry said the plan is to have both a new kicker and a new punter -- both imports -- at practice today, although GM Brendan Taman said last night he had nothing to report. Taman added that he still hasn't spoken with O'Mahony, who failed to show up for Bombers training camp on Friday night and wasn't heard from until Monday afternoon, sparking a frantic search by his family.

O'Mahony, whose agent didn't respond to a message left by the Sun yesterday, remains on the team's suspended list.


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