Blue GM suitably impressed

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:12 AM ET

Quarterbacks, kickers and pass catchers were among Winnipeg's question marks when the Blue Bombers took on the Tiger-Cats in a CFL pre-season game in Hamilton last night.

Not to mention safeties and kick returners.

First, Ryan Dinwiddie went a long way towards solidifying his role as backup to incumbent Kevin Glenn this season. Unofficially, Dinwiddie completed 15 of 19 passes for 118 yards, including a three-yard touchdown pass, in the first half as the Bombers dropped a 12-10 decision to Hamilton at Ivor Wynne Stadium.

Quarterback Bryan Randall, who got his first taste of CFL action, completed six of seven passes for 48 yards after taking over in the third quarter.

"Dinwiddie and Randall did a good job of handling the offence," Bombers GM Brendan Taman said from Hamilton shortly after the match. "You could tell that Ryan's been here before. He was very poised. Both Ryan and Bryan executed well."

DIDN'T DO AS WELL

Quarterback Cleveland McCoy, who got into the game late, still needs work.

"Cleve ran around a little bit but obviously didn't do as well as the other two," Taman said.

But school's still out on both kickers and kick returners. Neither Troy Westwood nor Alexis Serna impressed as either punters or placekickers, with Westwood missing a 42-yard attempt.

"I wasn't enthralled with our kicking game," Taman said. "Our punting game's not where I want it to be. The door's open for No. 79 (Brian Monroe, who stayed in Winnipeg)."

Although both Willie Foster and Dan Sheldon looked competent as kick returners, there were no big returns.

Arjei Franklin was the most impressive receiver with four catches for 39 yards but then, he has already got the team made. Of those still battling for jobs, only import Kerry Johnson, who was here last year, really made his presence felt. Jeff Moore, however, did make a couple of late catches.

As for the Canadians roaming the secondary, defensive back Steven Holness picked off one pass and seemed to be around the ball most of the game. So was safety Sebastian Clovis. But none of the safeties pulled ahead.

As for the American defensive backs, Jovon Johnson continued to prove his prowess as a ball hawk. Although he was moved inside from cornerback, he intercepted one pass and dropped another sure pick.

"He's a keeper," Taman said.

Others who impressed included tailback Fred Reid, even if he did fumble on the goal-line, and defensive ends Jauron Dailey and Shawn Mayne -- who had Winnipeg's only sack.

"Exhibition games are really hit and miss," Taman said. "Not a lot of guys stood out in a bad way."


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