Bombers have issues

PAUL FRIESEN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:08 AM ET

Is it just me, or does anybody else sense some trepidation just beneath the surface of optimism emanating from Winnipeg Blue Bomber camp?

Sure, there are things we like about this team -- the defensive line, for instance, and, potentially, the best homegrown receivers we've seen in these parts for a while.

But there are still some serious issues that remain un-addressed, a full 17 days into training camp.

Not the least of which is the search for a quarterback who can keep this thing on the road if and when Kevin Glenn loses a wheel.

Yesterday, the Bombers finally unloaded Brad Banks, he of the one completion and two interceptions in last week's pre-season game.

One question: what took so long?

Geez, the way head coach Doug Berry defended the guy this week, you'd think Banks was married to Berry's daughter or something.

The Bomber boss kept telling us Banks has made progress. I guess, technically, four yards passing is progress.

GM Brendan Taman's official comment on trading Banks to Montreal -- "It's tough to see a guy like Brad go" -- has to be the stretch of camp.

The real miracle in all this is that Taman actually managed to receive something from the Als in return. Other than Ed Philion's old jock strap, that is.

If you're assuming the trade is a vote of confidence for Ryan Dinwiddie and Justin Holland, think again.

"I don't know about that," Berry said yesterday. "Up to this point we haven't seen anything that's ready to say, 'You're definitely the No. 2, we're going to go to war with you.' "

Another telltale sign: in exchange for Banks the Bombers landed yet another quarterback, 27-year-old Kliff Kingsbury.

LADIES MAN

Here's what we know about Kingsbury: he set all kinds of records at NCAA Div. 1-A Texas Tech, has done next to nothing in five years as a pro and appears to be quite the ladies man.

Various reports have linked the 6-foot-3, 220-pound right-hander to, in no particular order, pop bimbo Britney Spears and hottie actor/singer Jessica Simpson.

Which, I suppose, is one more successful pass than Banks managed last Thursday.

We assume the guy doesn't wear Spears T-shirts under his pads anymore, the way he used to in college. But we're not sure how much his quarterbacking has matured.

During a four-year sojourn through NFL practice rosters and reserve lists, Kingsbury played part of one quarter and completed all of one pass. Never mind, maybe this will get your juices flowing: last year he was the highest rated passer with the Cologne Centurions, that well-known quarterback factory of NFL Europe -- with two touchdown passes.

Look, this isn't to write off a guy who hasn't even arrived. The point is, the Bombers had a full off-season and 17 days of camp, and they're still conducting auditions?

Maybe Glenn will stay healthy and it won't matter who holds the clipboard.

Then again, have you noticed something eerily familiar about the offensive line lately? These guys should be sponsored by Blue Cross.

Highly-touted tackle Alex Gauthier's hamstring is still more string than ham, veteran Val St. Germain has a groin pull, newcomer Matt O'Meara a concussion and centre Obby Khan is out with something Berry yesterday called "internal."

Enough kidding around, fellas. Camp's almost over. The season starts in seven days. Seriously, wouldn't it be good to get just a few reps in with the five guys expected to start in Edmonton?

We haven't even touched on the fact nobody has claimed the starting safety spot, or shown they can replace linebacker/DB Ike Charlton.

"There's still some things we haven't ironed out," is how Berry put it. "But I'm more comfortable than I was a year ago."

At least somebody is.


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