Berry prepares for Alouettes

KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:33 AM ET

There will be some jockeying for position this week, but the toughest decisions are already in the rearview mirror.

Doug Berry handed out the pink slips and now it's time to focus on his first CFL regular season game as the head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, which comes this Friday at Molson Percival Stadium against the Montreal Alouettes.

"The competition faze is technically over," said Berry. "Something may happen in a game or after a game and you'll say 'maybe we need to re-evaluate or re-assess' but as of right now, the guys we're going to practise with this week are going to play."

Running back Henri Childs beat out former NFLer Onterrio Smith for a roster spot, but will have an MRI today to get a better diagnosis of the knee injury he suffered in Thursday's 30-15 pre-season loss to the Alouettes. It's believed Childs could be out from two-to-three weeks.

Ron Ockimey and Donnavan Carter must sort out who starts at safety and linebacker, but essentially the starters on both sides of the ball have been determined.

There could still be a couple of players who were cut on Saturday that suit up on Friday. The 46-man roster must be pared down to the 42 individuals who will travel to la belle province.

NEEDS POLISH

When asked what part of his team needs the most polish before Friday, Berry gave a clear and concise answer.

"We've been moving guys around so much on the offensive line and those guys have not had a chance to interact with each other," he said. "That's one area we need to identify who the five starters are and let them start playing together."

The starting offensive line will be non-imports Obby Khan, Matt Sheridan, Mike Abou-Mechrek, Val St. Germain and import Dan Goodspeed.

Albert Johnson III, who has done an excellent job in his second go-around with the Blue and Gold, is expected to open the season as the designated import returner but should also see some time at receiver.

General manager Brendan Taman said the roster is much improved to the one that finished the disastrous 2005 campaign.


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