Lefty back in limbo

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:44 AM ET

It was almost like talking to a doomed man heading for the gallows in the wake of Sunday's loss to Toronto.

Winnipeg placekicker Troy Westwood blew another two field goals against the Argos on Sunday. He clanged a 47-yard attempt off the crossbar and plain missed a 27-yard chip shot that went for the team's only point of the opening 30 minutes when three points would have given the club a much-needed boost.

"Man, just brutal," Westwood said, his voice barely above a whisper. "I don't even know what to say. It's ridiculous how I'm struggling with putting it through the uprights. It's driving me crazy."

Maybe that's the problem.

"I feel really good," he said. "I feel strong and I feel focused. In practice, I kick pretty well but whatever it is, I have to solve it immediately. There's six games left in the regular season and I just can't let the team down any more."

He may not get the chance as the Blue Bombers are seeking another placekicker to bring in this week, GM Brendan Taman confirmed.

"I'm not on a witch hunt to get Troy out of here but I am in a witch hunt for success," Taman said. "When you have a 27-yarder, the kicker's got to make that kick. And when the offence gets the ball to the 40, the coaches need to have the confidence that the kicker can make that 47-yard field goal."

But Bomber head coach Doug Berry has lost that confidence in Westwood and it's not the first time this CFL season he has.

"It's a tough situation for me as a coach to be able to find the ball in that 40-yard line vicinity and not know if we should be punting or (going for the) field goal," said Berry, who benched Westwood for one game earlier this season. "I just don't have great confidence right now in our field goal unit from that 40-45-yard line range. That was a 47-yard field goal and I came close to punting it. And sometimes, when we punt, we punt for singles and end up netting out 35 yards.

"These are the things that our kickers have got to get better at and we'll continue to stress the importance. But, it's ultimately their responsibility to get the job done."

Since there are few Canadian kickers available, the Bombers would likely have to find an American to handle the kicking duties, which would then change their ratio.

Punter Rob Pikula could also handle both duties, although his range is limited.

"Even in this game (Sunday), I thought about if we had a shorter field goal after Troy missed the 27-yarder that if something was a reasonable distance, I might go with Pikula on the shorter ones and Troy on the longer ones," said Berry, who was still contemplating Westwood's status. "I haven't made any decision on it yet."

Long-snapper Chris Cvetkovich is due to come off the nine-game injured list and that may help Westwood's confidence, Taman suggested. Berry did note that there was a bad snap on the 47-yard miss.

"We've been through this thing before this season and we may have to do it again," Taman said.

Westwood was not the only member of the special teams that should be hanging his head.

The Bombers allowed Toronto's Dominique Dorsey to return a kickoff for a 97-yard touchdown and were asleep at the switch once again on a fake punt.

"Our special teams is still the area that needs the most improvement right across the board," Berry said. "I'd like to see us getting better there in all phases, whether it be in field goal kicking, punting, punt return, kickoff return."


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