Run the big gun

Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Charles Roberts sees no reason why he can't have another big rushing game...

Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Charles Roberts sees no reason why he can't have another big rushing game against the Toronto Argonauts. (Winnipeg Sun/Chris Procaylo)

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 10:11 AM ET

The B.C. Lions had just blown out the Blue Bombers 32-5 on their home turf two weeks ago and Charles Roberts vented his frustration.

The Winnipeg tailback had only 10 carries, resulting in 58 yards, and could not understand why the ground game was abandoned.

"I feel like we're supposed to be grinding the ball," Roberts told the Sun. "I'm dangerous, you know what I mean? Everybody knows I'm dangerous."

Indeed, in four of Winnipeg's five victories this season, Roberts has rushed for 95 yards or more. And that includes both wins over the Toronto Argonauts, who come to town for a key CFL contest tomorrow night. In Winnipeg's home opener, Roberts rushed for 132 yards on 32 carries, as the Bombers beat Toronto 16-9. In a 24-17 win over the Argos in Toronto, Roberts had 105 yards on 18 rushes.

And with quarterback Kevin Glenn (knee) still out of action, there should be even more emphasis on the ground game, especially with an inexperienced quarterback at the helm.

"You would have thought that would have been the theme the last game," Roberts said yesterday. "But it wasn't. But that's not the point right now. The point is, we need to figure out a way to win the game (tomorrow), whatever it is. Obviously, people think, and I think, that utilizing the run will enable us to come out with the victory, but who knows what's going to work for us once we take the field?

"I'm looking forward to running the ball. I don't want to jinx myself but I have had a lot of success against Toronto running the ball and I don't see why (tomorrow) should be any different."

Bombers head coach Doug Berry readily admitted that Roberts was not used enough in the last game.

"I'd like Charles to have a significant part in this offence," he said. "I believe that you can at least attempt to run the ball against Toronto and we will make every effort to do that and take it from there. We'll take what they give us and not try to force the issue."

The Argos employ a three-four defence, which is susceptible to the run.

"I don't think it takes a genius in football strategy to look at the defence that Toronto runs and recognize that you're in an advantageous position if you can run the ball and control the clock," said Bombers guard Matt Sheridan.

"You know, we need a win in the worst way right now," Roberts said.

"We've already lost three games at home and you only get nine at home so you can't afford to keep losing games at home. That's the only thing I'm worried about right now -- getting the win at home and keeping the separation between ourselves (5-4) and the Argos (4-5).

"Right now, I could actually care less about the number of yards I rush for in this game. I'm in pretty good shape in the league anyway as far as being somewhere up near the top. My concern right now ain't rushing yards or anything like that, it's a victory to keep that separation. Once we can get that separation, then I can concentrate more on running individually."


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