Blue back to business

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:53 AM ET

Pragmatism replaced jubilation yesterday on Maroons Road as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers went back to business following their most dominant win of the season.

There was plenty of euphoria after Winnipeg's 34-15 pasting of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the CFL's best team, in the fourth annual Banjo Bowl. It avenged the Bombers' 31-26 loss to the Riders in the Labour Day Classic.

The giddiness was well deserved, as the Bomber offence, defence and special teams clicked at the same time.

Yesterday, however, the general manager and the head coach concentrated on preventing heads from getting too large in River City.

"I'm not too excited," GM Brendan Taman said. "We're in Week 10 of an 18-week season.

"It's better than it was last week. That's about all you'll get out of me."

Head coach Doug Berry acknowledged there were many excellent aspects of Sunday's game, but he said it wasn't all peaches and cream.

"This was one of those cases where we were really good a lot of the game," Berry said, "but we can identify some things that still need to be improved upon."

Tackling will be a focus this week at practice as the Blue and Gold (6-3-1) prepare for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (1-9) this Saturday night at Ivor Wynne Stadium.

Saskatchewan's second drive of the day covered 85 yards and resulted in a touchdown, but 58 of those yards were caused by missed tackles.

Coincidentally, missed tackles were a prominent theme in Winnipeg's 36-18 loss to Hamilton on Aug. 3. The Bombers weren't expected to lose that game, and Berry plans to make sure that doesn't happen again.

"We thought we were steaming along pretty good, and then all of a sudden ... wham-bam!," Berry said. "We're going to be addressing that this week."

With fleet-footed quarterback Casey Printers expected to get the start on Saturday, correcting tackling woes is an excellent place to start.

"It's going to be tough to truly identify what game plan we want to have defensively," Berry said. "We'll have to assume they're going to try to do similar things offensively, but then they may have a couple of things to take advantage of what Casey does so well, and that's move."


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