McCord overshadowed by Blue defence

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:06 AM ET

His offensive production was overlooked in all the tributes paid to the defence.

But rookie Winnipeg import receiver Quentin McCord quietly led both teams in receiving when the Blue Bombers beat Toronto 16-9 in Friday's CFL match.

"I'm happier with the victory, I'm not a big stat guy," said McCord, who caught five passes for 61 yards. "I feel like I can help this team win, whether it's blocking the whole game or making catches and getting first downs.

"I could kind of tell over the course of the game that (quarterback) Kevin (Glenn) and I were on the same page and that's just the way it happened. Once a receiver and a quarterback start to click, the fans can see the results."

But the 5-foot-10, 178-pound Kentucky product made amends for an ordinary outing during his CFL debut in Montreal the week before.

"I don't look to make amends," said McCord, who turned 28 yesterday.

"Once that game was over, it was forgotten and my job was just to come into this game more focused, and that's what I did.

"The thing I like about our team is we're competitive right now but we've got so much room to get better. The defence is ahead of us right now but once our offence jells like it's supposed to, we're going to be a force to be reckoned with."

NEW THREAT: Sam Paulescu was brought to town to challenge import punter Brian Claybourn. But veteran placekicker Troy Westwood must be getting nervous tics after watching Paulescu, also an import, boot long field goals in yesterday's practice.

"He has definitely got a very strong leg," said Bombers head coach Doug Berry. "I think every one he hit would have been good from 50 -- the ones that were good -- and some may have been good from 60. He's kicking off the ground now without the use of an elevated tee, which can add more height and distance to the kick. We know he can kick off very effectively and we know he can punt very effectively. So, we'll see what we do with him in terms of the overall kicking picture as we move along this week."

Employing Paulescu in a dual role could also open up a roster spot for a Canadian position player, Berry said.

"I'm not dissatisfied with Troy Westwood yet -- not that I won't ever be," he added. "But right now, Troy's done a real good job with his placekicking."

HASHMARKS: CB Omar Evans sat out yesterday's shortened practice to rest a groin pull and Berry was uncertain as to his status when Winnipeg plays host to the Edmonton Eskimos this Saturday ... Returning to action on Canada Day will be both KR/WR Albert Johnson III (shoulder) and OL Val St. Germain (calf) ... DE Tom Canada sang an impressive rendition of O! Canada in the dressing room for Shaw Cable's Bomber show.


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