Bombers say 'bye'

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:51 AM ET

While they were in no mood to celebrate after two straight losses, the Blue Bombers were at least looking forward to their first break of the CFL season this week.

"It's a good idea these guys are going to get out of here and refresh for awhile," said Winnipeg head coach Doug Berry. "And it's going to give us coaches time to totally evaluate what's transpired here in the first half. We're 5-4, and we've got to go at least 5-4 again. This is a good time for a break."

Defensive lineman Doug Brown, who owns a home in Winnipeg, rented a cabin.

'Heartbeat of angst'

"I'll be going to the Lake of the Woods for a bit but I'll be back in town," he said. "I have that radio show (CJOB) to do (tomorrow). I have my other vocations to fulfil. But I will go to an isolated cabin and lay low for awhile before I re-immerse myself back into the heartbeat of angst here."

The angst comes in the fact that the Bombers started the season with so much promise, only to see it fizzle with the loss of quarterback Kevin Glenn and slotback Milt Stegall to injury.

"It seems as though we were making a name for ourselves and trying to find our identity in our first games of the season, then to end the first half of the season off like this, it really hurts," said rookie receiver Arjei Franklin. "But nobody said this was going to be easy and a cakewalk to get to the Grey Cup and win it without any problems.

"This is our big test to see what kind of team we actually are now, to see if we can bounce back from this or not because we can go one of two ways, down or up. I'm looking forward to seeing how we'll respond after we get back from the bye week and just fix things, make things right, put this in the past, learn from it. It might not be a bad idea to let this marinate a little bit over the bye week and let it burn a little bit so we come back a little hungrier."

Franklin returned to Toronto to visit his girlfriend, family and friends.

"Then I'm going back to Windsor and see my coaches and thank them for helping to get me here," he said.

Although tailback Charles Roberts went to Minneapolis, he will still be thinking football.

"I can't ever get my mind off football, especially when we're in the hunt right now after being out of the playoffs for two years," he said.

Middle linebacker Barrin Simpson was planning to stick around Winnipeg and take his kids to the local beaches.

"I'm heading to California to relax, do some surfing, some business at Berkeley, but just hang out, sit in the ocean," said defensive end Tom Canada.

"I'm just going to go home (California) and spend some time with my family and get my mind off football for awhile," said defensive back Kelly Malveaux.

"I'm going back to Ottawa to check out my house that I just bought last October," said offensive lineman Val St. Germain. "My in-laws put a lawn in and I haven't even seen it yet, and I don't even know if the pavement in my driveway is dry yet.

"And I'm going to visit friends and family and live like a real human."

Cornerback Stanford Samuels predicted that it would be a long week off after the 32-5 loss to B.C.

"I'm going to Miami and get me some sand and some sun," he said.

Kick returner/receiver Albert Johnson III was planning to return to his Houston home.

"I've got to do my work, man -- straight to the office tomorrow morning and sell more insurance in case they try to get rid of me," he said. "I've got to make sure I keep my policies up."


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