Bombers forced to abandon running plays

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:44 AM ET

To run or not to run, that is the question when certain plays are called.

Winnipeg tailback Charles Roberts rushed for a paltry seven yards on six carries in the 31-23 loss to the Toronto Argonauts on Sunday, and two rushes for zero yards in the first half.

But even when some run plays are called in the huddle, quarterback Kevin Glenn has the option of changing the play at the last second if the defence is lined up a certain way.

"They were taking the run game away," Bomber head coach Doug Berry attempted to explain yesterday.

"A lot of what we do is shotgun-run and sometimes, when the end comes down to take the running back, you've got to pull the ball and throw it.

"Just because Charles only had two carries doesn't mean that we didn't call more than two runs. We probably called up to eight runs in the first half.

"We had to pull the ball out because the defence was going to take that away. And that's OK because I looked at the results of the passing game when we were pulling it and there was a gain of 15 here, a gain of seven there."

When the defence plays the run that way, it should open up the pass to the outside, Berry said.

"Having the ball in Kevin Glenn's hands and him distributing it to the receivers, to me, there's nothing wrong with that," he said.

But that type of defence can also be negated by employing double tight ends, which the Bombers sometimes do, Berry said.

It was the second straight game that Roberts was ineffective and centre Obby Khan blamed the offensive line after he was held to just 65 yards on 18 carries by Hamilton.

"Last game, we came away with the win so that makes you feel better," Khan said. "But this game here, it's frustrating to come out with the loss when we know we're better than what we showed. And our running back rushes for God knows how many yards, it's frustrating for the offensive line ... and upsetting."

BOLDEN RETURNING: Cornerback Juran Bolden, who missed the last game because he had gone to his Tampa, Fla., home to be with his wife during the birth of his child, was due to return last night and be at practice this afternoon. The Bombers had hoped that Bolden would join them in Toronto before the match.

"The timing just didn't work out last week," said Bomber GM Brendan Taman.

"She had the baby on Tuesday, got out of the hospital on Thursday, then the kid had some kind of little pains on Friday. But the baby's OK now."

HASHMARKS: Despite the loss, Winnipeg's Derick Armstrong and Terrence Edwards are now 1-2 atop the CFL receiver standings ... Bomber SB Milt Stegall (shoulder), who is expected to return after missing the last match, fell from first to fourth ... With one quarterback sack against the Argos, Bomber DE Tom Canada moved into a first-place tie with B.C.'s Cameron Wake in the CFL sack race with 11 ... WR Chris Brazzell (knee), C Obby Khan (knee), DT Doug Brown (foot) and DT Jerone Haywood (bicep) suffered minor injuries.


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