Bombers searching for answers on defence

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:12 AM ET

The big picture shows that the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are in first place in the East Division with one third of the CFL season complete.

They say, however, that defence wins championships, and right now the Blue and Gold are scrambling to find out exactly what is wrong with theirs, because it currently can't cut it.

The Bombers' defensive dozen gave up many yards and few points over the first month of the season, but the dam exploded Friday night in a 43-22 loss to the previously winless Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Ivor Wynne Stadium.

"We're struggling right now on defence," head coach Doug Berry said yesterday. "We're staying on the field way too long, we're giving up tons of yards, and we know some of the answers, but we gotta get it fixed."

"... Points are the ultimate, but you just don't want to be giving up all the yards, because yards is field position. And if you're giving it up on defence, then the offence has that much farther to go."

To be fair, the Bombers (3-2-1) were missing four starters in the secondary due to injuries Friday night. Since one of those players was Canadian cornerback Ian Logan, Berry had to start a Canadian somewhere else.

That Canuck ended up being Neil McKinlay, who took over for import Corey Jenkins, and he struggled in his first start of the season.

McKinlay wasn't the only one having difficulties, however, as safety Kyries Hebert will find himself under defensive co-ordinator Greg Marshall's microscope in the film room this week when the Bombers prepare for Friday's game in Vancouver.


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