Same story for Blue

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:39 AM ET

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers can't tackle, they can't score points and they have to do something about it.

Blah, blah, blah.

That familiar refrain from the past three seasons was trotted out once again yesterday on Maroons Road in the wake of Winnipeg's embarrassing 43-9 loss to the Calgary Stampeders on Friday night at snowy McMahon Stadium.

And surely fans are wondering, for the umpteenth time, what the Bombers are going to do about it, now that they've lost five of their last six outings.

Will they do anything? Can they?

"I'm going to look at every position in great detail, so I'll be here for awhile," head coach Doug Berry said late yesterday afternoon.

With five games left the Bombers (6-7) are leaking some serious oil, the fourth-place team in the West Division could easily steal the third-place playoff spot in the East Division (which Winnipeg currently holds), and there was one real eyebrow-raising comment out of Berry's mouth yesterday as the team now gets ready for a home-and-home series with the Montreal Alouettes.

"We may never beat Montreal, but I really believe that we can beat them," he said.

Not exactly a rousing vote of confidence.

Then again, it was difficult to say something nice after Friday's performance.

TOOK IT TO BOMBERS

The Stamps took it to the Bombers in all phases of the game. They racked up 258 rushing yards against the CFL's best against the run, they forced five turnovers, and they made big plays that they turned into points.

Winnipeg, meanwhile, did the exact opposite. Most disconcerting for the Blue and Gold faithful is that slotback Milt Stegall, running back Charles Roberts and quarterback Kevin Glenn were all in the lineup.

Now, you could blame the short week, the travel, the snow, the patchwork offensive line or hard hotel beds, but the fact of the matter is this: the Stampeders looked like they were in a different league.

When Roberts failed to get anything going on the ground Friday night behind yet another new-look offensive line, the Bombers were toast.

"Where are you going to go with that if you're trying to complement a passing game with a running game?" Berry asked.

The answer? Nowhere, as their lack of receiver depth was put on display for all the nation to see, although another dud from Glenn certainly didn't help.

"The thing is we're not making huge, big plays," Berry said. "You talk about making big plays, Milt's our big-play guy.

"Occasionally we'll get a big play out of somebody else, but consistently it's obvious that Milt's the guy."

And that's what the Bomber attack has boiled down to -- Stegall and/or Roberts. They're good, but they can't win a Grey Cup by themselves.

GM Brendan Taman is no doubt working the phones to see who's available before Tuesday's trade deadline, but the chances of landing the missing pieces of the puzzle through wheeling and dealing in the CFL are virtually nil.

Nonetheless, Taman needs to do something in the next 48 hours to shake the foundation a little bit. Landing a proven CFL receiver would be a start.

After that, it will be mostly up to the current crew to figure out a way to run with the league's top dogs, because right now they can't.

"We gotta find a way to get this together, or it's going to be too late for us," Stegall said.

And yes, folks, you've heard that before.


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