Grass still stumbling block for Bombers

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:00 AM ET

EDMONTON -- Funny how playing on natural grass can still intimidate CFL opponents coming in to play at Commonwealth Stadium.

And every time one loses to the Eskimos here, the players blame the slippery surface. And Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Doug Berry talked to his players about it before tonight's game against the Eskies here.

"Both teams play on the same surface," he said yesterday.

"It's just grass, you're just not used to playing on it," said Bomber wide receiver Chris Brazzell, an ex-Eskimo. "The only advantage they have is that they play on it every home game and we're playing on it once a year. But they slip and fall, too.

PSYCHOLOGICAL THING

"I played here before and I slipped and fell every home game so that's just a psychological thing."

Indeed, visiting teams usually spend an inordinate amount of time trying to find the right footwear to play on natural grass, especially when it gets colder.

NO GASS-ING: The last time these two teams met, Charles Roberts was stung by a suggestion from A.J. Gass that the Eskimos could take the Winnipeg running back out of his game by hitting him hard early in the game. Roberts responded by rushing for 95 yards and one touchdown on 20 carries.

"I'm not worrying about A.J., he barely gets to play on defence now," Roberts said earlier this week. "I'm not too much worried about him. He tried to play mind games with me but we'll see come (tonight)."

Gass will miss the match with a hamstring pull.

PRESSURE: Since the Bombers had to revamp their offensive line after losing two starters to injury, there will be more pressure on the defence tonight.

"We're going to have to step it up with all the new guys in on offence," said Bombers linebacker Barrin Simpson. "It's tough to play here, Edmonton comes to play at home (but) we plan to be 4-2 after this game."

PASSING HISTORY: Some time soon, Bomber SB Milt Stegall will set the CFL record for most TDs of all time and QB Kevin Glenn is hoping to be a big part of it.

"To be the guy to throw that touchdown pass to him, it would be like going down in history with him," he said. "If they show that clip, you'll be the guy that's throwing the ball to him."

HASHMARKS: As the Sun first suggested, the Bombers will carry an extra backup O-lineman tonight ... OL Aaron Fiacconi merely aggravated an old injury against Montreal and taking him out was merely precautionary ... CB Robert Bean has "warranted" a chance to start through his play in practice after recovering from a training camp injury, Berry said.


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