Just a win, thanks

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:39 AM ET

They just want another reason to make merry this holiday weekend.

Winnipeg plays host to the Edmonton Eskimos at Canad Inns Stadium tonight (6 p.m.) and a victory over the CFL's reigning Grey Cup champs would give the resurgent Blue Bombers another caffeine rush in their quest for legitimacy.

"We just want to get our second victory no matter who's coming in here -- the St. Louis Rams, Chicago Bears, the Miami Dolphins," veteran Bomber cornerback Omar Evans said yesterday. "We just want to keep playing with confidence, no matter who we're playing against. It's a great challenge and if we can go out there and hold on, it would be good for us, especially at home.

"It's Canada Day and Winnipeg fans are going to be out so, we just want to go out and, yeah, give them something else to celebrate."

The Bombers are 1-1 after losing a close one to the Alouettes -- Edmonton's victims in last year's Grey Cup -- in Montreal, then beating Toronto at home last week.

NOT SATISFIED

"If we came out of this at 2-1, I would say we're progressing at a quicker rate than we thought," said Bombers head coach Doug Berry. "After three games, I wouldn't want to say we're going to be in the Grey Cup yet but I'd certainly like the way we're progressing.

"I'd certainly like to be 2-1 based on what we were looking at in our first six games. We knew it was going to be difficult just to be 1-1 right now but certainly, no one's satisfied. It would be a very rewarding win if we could get there."

In fact, tailback Charles Roberts believes the Bombers could easily be 2-0 right now.

"They (Eskimos) haven't really been playing like Grey Cup champions and that was last year anyway," he said. "We do know that they are a good team when (quarterback) Ricky Ray is clicking. They're one of the premier teams in the league and we believe that we're one of the premier teams in the league right now. Montreal's only the unbeaten team -- luckily. I mean, we should be the only unbeaten team right now."

Edmonton is also 1-1 but could just as easily be 0-2, and the Eskies certainly do not sound overconfident.

"This place is probably going to be rocking," said Eskimos head coach Danny Maciocia. "So, if you can silence the fans by scoring a few points early and trying to get the ball turned over to the offence and making sure that we're out there sustaining drives, then good things are going to happen."

But the Bombers are hoping for some fireworks of their own offensively.

"(A breakout game) would give us a lot of confidence, especially in front of the hometown crowd," said Winnipeg quarterback Kevin Glenn. "But, at the same time, we want to get wins. Wins are more important right now. We're going to get better as the season goes so, when the wins come, a lot of the other stuff comes along, too.

"Any game that you win, whether it's the reigning Grey Cup champs or if it's a last-place team, you put yourself that much closer to getting yourself into the playoffs."

A victory would also give the Bombers a four-point cushion on the 0-3 Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the East.

"As far as them winning the Grey Cup, all that's in the past," said Bomber defensive end Gavin Walls. "They've got to come out and try to win it this year also. We're just going to try to put an end to what they've got going.

"We just want the W, that's the most important thing."


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