Writing is on wall

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:38 AM ET

A strange quiet fell over the stadium and the practice field as the two new kickers in camp lined up to attempt field goals -- an exercise normally accompanied by yawns and bathroom breaks.

Both Rob Pikula, just acquired from B.C., and import free agent Clinton Greathouse took turns attempting nine three-pointers from various ranges at Winnipeg's workout yesterday.

Veteran kicker Troy Westwood watched intently from the sidelines but was not allowed to participate. When the Blue Bombers were finished practice, Westwood attempted nine of his own. For Westwood, it has become the daily routine since the other kickers arrived on the weekend.

"It sucks," he quietly told a media scrum after practice. "But there's nothing I can do about it ... If you can imagine watching someone else do a job that you cherish and not being able to compete against them, it's not fun at all."

ONE OF FOUR

The new kickers were brought in after punter Pat Fleming was found wanting and Westwood connected on just one of four field goal attempts during the 39-39 tie in a CFL game against the Eskimos in Edmonton last week.

Westwood admitted he had trouble with his footing on the natural-grass field.

"And the wind was considerable," he said. "All of those field goals were into the wind over 40 (yards). But really, in the end, it doesn't matter.

BOTTOM LINE

"All that matters is the bottom line and the bottom line was that I was 1-for-4."

Pikula will dress when the Bombers play their home-opener against the Montreal Alouettes tomorrow, club GM Brendan Taman said last night.

However, either Westwood or Greathouse could also dress.

Bomber head coach Doug Berry said he would make that final decision today.

"I'm just going to go with a gut feeling," said Berry, adding that Pikula connected on six of nine attempts, Greathouse was 5-for-9 and Westwood was just 4-for-9 yesterday.

So, Westwood did not know if he will even get another chance to kick for the Bombers again.

"Not a word has been spoken to me since I met with coach Berry earlier in the week," said Westwood, 40.

Actually, club president/CEO Lyle Bauer had a short chat with Westwood during practice and gave the 17-year veteran a pat on the back.

"He just told me to keep my head up and I told him I appreciated it," Westwood said of his former teammate.

Berry was planning to discuss the situation with both Taman and special teams coach Cory McDiarmid last night.

"Troy's been doing a good job for us for a lot of years," McDiarmid said.

"To replace somebody after one game, I don't think that's the way we're going at it."

McDiarmid added that, even if Westwood sits tomorrow, there is a chance he could return the following week.

"Troy believes he can still do the job," he said. "After the career he's had and the numbers he's put up, he doesn't want to come out here and look bad, either.

"I still believe in Troy. He had a bad game in Edmonton and didn't help himself ... (But) I don't feel sorry for him. It's like with any other player, 'What have you done for me lately?' Obviously, with someone who's been around for 17 years, you're going to make sure that he can't do the job before you let him go -- and I'm not saying we're going to do that with Troy at all."


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