Blue send 14 packing

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:13 AM ET

When Brendan Taman called Martin Lapostolle's hotel room yesterday at 6 a.m., the first words out of the defensive tackle's mouth were "Oh f---."

The second-year Winnipeg Blue Bombers hopeful knew Taman, the team's GM, wasn't calling to wish him a good day of practice.

Lapostolle had been cut.

Thirteen other players suffered the same fate yesterday morning, as the Bombers trimmed their 82-man roster to 68 in the wake of Friday's first pre-season game, a 25-24 loss to the Montreal Alouettes.

All CFL teams must submit their final, 46-man rosters by Saturday afternoon.

"It's going to be harder next week, because obviously this week, even though there were some guys where it was very difficult, some were easier," said head coach Doug Berry.

"If it was hard to make a decision this week, it's definitely going to be harder next week."

SURPRISING

Five of the victims played for the Bombers last season, including defensive back Brad Franklin, who started 13 games, and former University of Manitoba Bison Boyd Barrett, who appeared in 15 contests. Another former Bison, linebacker Scott Mennie, also got his walking papers.

Perhaps the most surprising cut was Travis Ortega, who missed all of 2005 with a chest injury but apparently had been the front-runner for one of the outside linebacker spots.

"Travis had been doing a good job," said Berry. "I can't control the way other people play during the game. It's not like he was doing things that were majorly wrong. It was just one of those decisions where we're carrying five guys at that position. I felt we had to pare one down. Based on one game's competition and what had been going on in practice and what we project for the future, he was one of the tough decisions.

"I'm sorry for him, but we can't do anything about personalities. We all like Travis."

Coincidentally, Ortega's release came on the same day the coaching staff moved import linebackers Ron Ockimey and Robert Grant to safety.

Taman hinted Ortega, who has apparently settled down in Winnipeg, could be brought back if needed.

"If we do go American at safety, that's Travis' forte," said Taman. "I've got his number."

Lapostolle, meanwhile, was a victim of too many non-imports at defensive tackle. There just wasn't enough room on the roster to keep him and develop him, said Berry.

All of the cuts are now free to sign elsewhere. If slotback Jeff Schieman returns to the University of Saskatchewan, which it's expected he'll do, the Bombers will regain his rights next spring.

---

THANKS FOR COMING OUT

The Bombers released the following players yesterday:

SB Casey Allen

SB Adrian Madise

SB Jeff Schieman

RB Tellis Redmon

OL Ryan Bisson

OL Tyler Tapp

OL Ryan Bachman

DT Martin Lapostolle

DT Demetrius Shambley

LB Travis Ortega

LB Santino Hall

LB Scott Mennie

DB Brad Franklin

DB Boyd Barrett


Videos

Photos