Head coaches in the CFL need, at times, to be better jugglers than circus clowns. But Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Doug Berry is finding little humour or entertainment in trying to shift his roster around this week to satisfy the import/non-import player ratio.
The reason for the changes is some poor play on defence, but it might have ramifications on both sides of the ball.
With Canadian linebacker Neil McKinlay's poor showing against Hamilton last week, Berry wants to get import Corey Jenkins back in the lineup. But he has to insert a Canadian on his roster somewhere else in order to do that. His first option is safety Ian Logan, but Logan's hip is still on the mend.
"A lot of it has to do with Ian Logan," Berry began yesterday as he discussed the changes. "Until we know exactly what's going on there, we're practising different scenarios. We're getting the guys in the right positions. If Ian plays, that's one thing and if he doesn't that's another. Until we know that (today), we're just practising different combinations."
The other option is playing Canadian receiver Arjei Franklin, but that also comes with the price tag of taking an import receiver off the roster and upsetting one of the best pass grabbing groups in the CFL this season.
But, Berry is willing to bounce around these scenarios if it means getting Jenkins back on the field.
"The thing with Corey is, he is capable of being noticed," Berry said. "He can make big plays for us, but he has had his share of mistakes along to way as he's learning and getting the rust off his game. He's is certainly capable of being a big play guy and creating turnovers.
"If we can get him back on the field and continue his development, that's what we'd certainly like to do."
GETTIN' COMFY: With a lot of turnover in the secondary in the past couple of weeks, Berry is hoping Logan and Anthony Malbrough can come back this week from injury so that his DBs can get comfortable with one another.
"It's hard to know it until you experience it and play it," Berry said of his secondary. "DBs need to know what the guy next to him is doing.
"We've had so many adjustments in the secondary and we're looking to get a lot more stable in the weeks to come. We'll start it this week and we'll get a break. With the break, we should get a lot of guys back."
SUSPENDED?: The suplex that Hamilton's Dwight Anderson delivered on Bombers receiver Jamie Stoddard last week was being looked at by officials in the CFL office yesterday, upon request from the Bombers.
"They want to maintain the integrity of play in the CFL and plays like that are going to be high on their priority to get evaluated quickly and make a decision," Berry said.
An announcement on whether Anderson will or won't be suspended for the play that has knocked Stoddard out for at least the next two weeks is expected today.