A different tune

Bombers head coach Doug Berry confers with defensive coordinator Greg Marshall. (SUN/Brian...

Bombers head coach Doug Berry confers with defensive coordinator Greg Marshall. (SUN/Brian Donogh)

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 10:33 AM ET

Call them the 'Re-Commitments.'

And the Winnipeg Blue Bombers plan to play a different tune during this afternoon's Banjo Bowl than the funeral dirge that accompanied their Labour Day Classic loss to Saskatchewan in Regina last week.

Winnipeg is also seeking revenge for that 39-12 drubbing when it plays host to the Roughriders in a CFL contest at Canad Inns Stadium today (2 p.m.).

"We want to make sure there is an understanding that this is a re-commitment to win," Winnipeg head coach Doug Berry declared yesterday.

The Bombers are suffering through a four-game losing skid that has dropped them to 5-6 and third place in the East.

'TURN THIS CORNER'

"At some point, we need to turn this corner and I feel like this is the time to put the brakes on right here," Berry said. "We're very capable of putting the brakes on and getting this thing turned around.

"We've lost not only four games in a row but we've lost four home games in a row. There's something about this No. 4 that I don't like and it's time to get that thing changed."

The players sure seem to be a lot more determined than the zombies that wore Bomber unis last week.

"Whenever someone challenges the offensive line and our toughness, I take that personally," said Bomber offensive lineman Mike Abou-Mechrek, who admitted playing one of his worst games as a pro in Regina. "We've been challenged by our coach, by players on our team and most importantly, challenged by ourselves. And yeah, we're going to come out here and fight. I don't know how much of a football game it's going to look like but it's going to be rough ...

"You do what you've got to do to win. If that means biting the guy's ear off, you bite the guy's ear off. If that means diving into a guy's leg, you dive into his leg. You don't want to hurt anybody but you've got to win. That's the most important thing. Bottom line: win."

Bomber defensive end Tom Canada also wants to make amends for last week's stinker.

"Everyone's motivated," he said. "Everyone's come to the point where they're saying, 'Enough's enough. It's time.' We've got to get something going (today) "Usually, you have to wait who knows how many games to get payback but we're lucky to have them back in our house this week. I can't wait."

DRIVE FOR FIRST

A week ago, the Bombers were hoping to make a drive for first. Now, they are looking over their shoulders at the Edmonton Eskimos (4-7), who are now threatening to overtake them for a possible crossover playoff spot.

"I don't look at it as payback," said Bomber quarterback Kevin Glenn. "I just look at it as another win and getting us closer to making the playoffs -- and fighting for second or first place so we can get a home playoff game."

Saskatchewan quarterback Kerry Joseph certainly expects a better battle from the Bombers today.

"They're gonna come out with a lot of emotion, they're going to feed off their fans and the atmosphere," he said. "We expect them to come out more aggressively and more nastily to win a football game. We just have to make sure that we come out with the same intensity that we came out with last week."

This is the third annual Banjo Bowl, with each side winning once.

"I expect there's a little extra incentive based on the two provinces and I expect (today's) atmosphere to be just what I want it to be," Berry said. "We need to be playing better at home, especially from this point forward."


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