Troy Westwood isn't giving up the Winnipeg Blue Bombers punting job without a fight.
Even though head coach Doug Berry has decided to go with import rookie Brian Claybourn tomorrow night against the Montreal Alouettes, Westwood is foaming at the mouth for another chance.
"I have no doubt in my mind -- and I mean absolutely no doubt whatsoever -- that if I was given the opportunity to punt that I would be on the top half of the punters in this league," said Westwood.
"I've proven it in the past that I'm completely capable of it, and I'll just sit in the wings and hope I have an opportunity -- and make darn sure that I placekick to perfection until that chance comes."
FOURTH IN CFL
Westwood, who was fourth in CFL punting in 2003 with a 41.6-yard average, had a 30-minute chat with former Bomber punter Bob Cameron on Tuesday night and believes he's figured out why he "punted horribly the last two weeks in camp."
Claybourn said he doesn't plan on giving up the job any time soon, even though he must perform better than average if he doesn't want to lose the job to a non-import.
Claybourn is coming off the practice roster in exchange for DB Gabriel Fulbright.
FUN AND GAMES: If Bombers head coach Doug Berry learned anything from Don Matthews during his days in Montreal, it's a win-at-all-costs attitude.
Berry was asked yesterday if he expected Matthews to have someone videotaping Winnipeg's signals tomorrow night, as the Alouettes were accused of doing two seasons ago.
"One thing I've learned from Don is you've got to do everything you can to win," said Berry. "Whatever it takes."
A reporter then inquired about whether or not Berry would resort to such measures.
"No comment," he said with a chuckle before adding: "I'm going to do whatever it takes to win as well."
Matthews also has signed former University of Manitoba Bisons linebacker Scott Mennie, who was released by the Bombers June 4. Berry doesn't believe Mennie will be able to tell his new coaches anything significant.
"It may affect one play or something, but I don't like it as any major advantage or disadvantage," said Berry.
QUOTABLE: "If we can show that we belong in the game with a team that was in last year's Grey Cup, that's what we want to be able to do. And if we get out of there with a win, we're going to be really feeling pretty good about ourselves."
-- Berry on tomorrow's game
LATE HIT: The Montreal Gazette reports that Als SB Dave Stala also will miss tomorrow's game due to a hamstring injury. Montreal has eight other injured players.