Winnipeg's Troy Westwood nailed a placekick into the teeth of a gale force wind at Canad Inns Stadium yesterday.
The ball was headed toward the middle of the uprights that were swaying in the wind like drunken sailors, then stopped in mid-air as if a force shield had blocked it five yards short of the intended target and dropped straight down to the ground.
That was the type of challenge all of the Blue Bombers faced during yesterday's practice in preparation for Sunday's Labour Day Classic at Regina's windswept Mosaic Stadium.
"It was great," said Bomber head coach Doug Berry. "Even though we may have been erratic in kicking, even though we may have been erratic in throwing the ball, these are situations that we can't duplicate -- getting a 60km/h wind even if we brought in helicopters. It was a good experience for everybody."
And Westwood firmly believes that playing in such inclement weather would give the Bombers an edge, even if the Saskatchewan Roughriders also practise in similar conditions.
"If every single game, the wind was blowing like that, we'd have a considerable advantage," he said. "Most guys hate kicking in it; I love it. If the wind's blowin', the snow's flyin', hail's fallin,' I don't care. The uglier it is outside, the better."
GOOD SIGN: The primary injured players returned to the secondary during yesterday's workout. Defensive backs Kelly Malveaux (groin), Anthony Malbrough (knee) and Stanford Samuels (ankle) practised with the No. 1 defensive unit after sitting out the day before.
"There's a good chance we could have all three back," said Berry, who declined to confirm their status until they responded from post-practice treatment.
Bomber tailback Charles Roberts also practised after resting a sore knee on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Aaron Fiacconi has been practising on the starting offensive line with guard Matt Sheridan (groin) gone again.
PRINTERS WATCH: Although there have been unconfirmed reports that QB Casey Printers will be released by Kansas City this weekend, Bombers GM Brendan Taman believes the Chiefs will move him to the practice roster. If Printers does get cut and returns to the B.C. Lions, who maintain his rights, Taman said he will "wait to see what develops."
Should Printers return to B.C., the Lions could either sign him to a contract extension and deal Dave Dickenson or trade Printers, who would become a free agent at the end of this season.
Taman is also awaiting tomorrow's NFL cuts before making any player moves.