Don't plan parade yet

PAUL FRIESEN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:53 AM ET

Just a few words of caution as giddy Blue Bomber fans begin planning trips to Toronto to see their team in the Grey Cup.

That's right, a vacation hasn't dulled my sense of cynicism -- I still like to poke at things to see if they're real. Provided they don't have teeth and claws like the raccoon I chased out of my backyard a while back.

The Bombers certainly showed some claws last time out, stealing into the defending Grey Cup champs' backyard and coming out with the two points. The gritty, one-point win on the west coast suggests that toothless performance in Hamilton a week earlier was, as linebacker Barrin Simpson insisted, not the real Blue Bombers.

Looking at this team's 4-2-1 record, though, I can't help but think of last season and a 5-2 start that was even more impressive, particularly on defence. We all know what happened: quarterback Kevin Glenn went down and it was as if the beast had been neutered and de-clawed in one fell swoop.

RECORD PACE

Despite our urgings, the Bombers have done little to address the deficiency at the No. 2 quarterback spot, so once again they'll enter the meat of the season with their fingers crossed Glenn can stay injury-free.

And how about No. 5's performance through seven games?

If he can keep himself upright, Glenn could put up one of the more impressive passing seasons in team history, and who'd have predicted that going in?

Glenn is on pace for 5,343 passing yards, which would leave him one yard short of Khari Jones's club record for a single season. He's also on pace for the most completions in a season (424), the lowest number of interceptions (eight) and one of the best passer ratings by a Bomber, ever.

Move over Dieter Brock, Jack Jacobs and Ken Ploen. OK, that's a little premature. So is booking the parade route.

The true test of a CFL club doesn't come amid the flower blossoms of July and August, but rather after the garden has been laid bare by frost in October.

So give head coach Doug Berry and his charges their due for a job well done, so far. First place in the East has to be the goal, now.

But don't mind me if I err on the side of caution. Sixteen years without a Grey Cup will do that, you know.

THE SAGA OF OLD LEFTY: Can't help but wonder if we've seen the last of kicker Troy Westwood -- again.

It wouldn't be the first time a player's career ends because of an injury and a teammate's ability to take advantage.

Rob Pikula was a perfect 3-for-3 after Westwood's leg injury in B.C., and the 25-year-old will get another few weeks to prove he can do the placekicking and punting while Old Lefty recovers.

Even if Pikula keeps splitting the uprights, don't expect Westwood to get the boot. He'll be hurt until well past Sept. 1, the date after which veterans are guaranteed their salaries for the rest of the season.

No matter what happens after Westwood heals, this is sure to be the most up-and-down season of his 17 in the CFL. He's already been booed, benched and brought back. Now this -- and it's only Week 7.

LEFTOVERS: Couldn't let the Dustin Penner story go by without reminding Anaheim Ducks GM Brian Burke what he said about Penner back in April.

COMPARED TO BERTUZZI

Burke said his big, young winger compared favourably with Todd Bertuzzi, yet when he had a chance to put his money where his mouth was he gave Bertuzzi $4 million per season and let Penner go to Edmonton, telling anyone who'd listen that the kid from Winkler wasn't worth nearly that much.

I'd say the gamble on Bertuzzi, a 32-year-old with back and discipline issues, is as high, if not higher, than the gamble on Penner, who'll be 25 next month.


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