One last chance to shine

Bomber head coach Doug Berry says his problem is not talent, but choosing the right guy out of the...

Bomber head coach Doug Berry says his problem is not talent, but choosing the right guy out of the players he's got in camp. (Sun Media/Jesse Johnston)

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:56 AM ET

HAMILTON -- Ask Doug Berry what the most pressing questions that need to be answered tonight are and the Winnipeg head coach lists the same ones he has repeated since training camp started.

Ask Charlie Taaffe the same question and the new Tiger-Cats head coach will not even discuss individual positions still up in the air, probably because there are still so many.

But suffice to say that both starters and backups will likely be determined when both mentors pore over film of tonight's last CFL pre-season match between the Blue Bombers and Hamilton at Ivor Wynne Stadium (6 p.m., SHAW-TV, CJOB).

Berry was asked if he was concerned that he still had so many questions left unanswered with tomorrow night's cutdown deadline looming.

"A little bit but I'm not worried about it in the sense that I think we have the talent," he responded yesterday. "It's just a matter of choosing which right guy, not a matter of we don't have the talent good enough for it."

WHO WILL START

But whomever earns the job at both starting outside linebacker spots will go a long way toward determining who will start where elsewhere.

Meanwhile, both Berry and Taaffe will start their respective No. 1 signal-callers in hopes of establishing some kind of offensive rhythm.

Winnipeg's Kevin Glenn will get his first pre-season action, to be followed by Justin Holland, then Ryan Dinwiddie.

"I'm anxious to get back into the playing mode instead practising against our own defence," Glenn said. "Just to get into that game atmosphere is important. The pre-season is the time that you want to get into synch with your guys on the team."

Although Holland impressed in his first taste of CFL action last week, the pressure is on to prove that it was no fluke, especially with the experienced Brad Banks banished to Montreal for promising quarterback Kliff Kingsbury.

"I can't let it affect me and you just let it roll off your back," Holland said. "Coaches are going to make their decisions and we don't have any say in it."

Well actually, he will have a rather strong say in it with his performance tonight.

"I want to show consistency and the ability to improve -- to show the coaches that I can improve from week to week and that I'm able to play at a high level," he said. "What coach Berry always talks about is that he doesn't want a guy to put everything on his shoulders and do everything by himself.

He wants to a guy who can get the ball into the playmakers' hands and let him make the play. I just want to be consistent and move the chains."

So does Taaffe, who will start Jason Maas, to be followed by Rocky Butler, then Richie Williams and possibly, Timmy Chang.

"He doesn't have to win the game by himself so, I'm looking for his consistency, leadership, poise and how he carries himself out there, and how he executes the offence," Taaffe said.

"Keep in mind that this is a new offence and a new language for everybody so it's a work-in-progress."

Berry, meanwhile, left a number of players at home that could open doors for others. They include strong outside linebacker Chris Martin, tailback/kick returner Dominic Dorsey, American punter Chris Beckman, tailback Antoine Bagwell and long-snapper Chris Cvetokovich, among others.

Both coaches held a similar view of the game.

"This is our final shootout so we want to get closer to how it will be in the regular season," Taaffe said.


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