'Just keep competing'

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:01 AM ET

With Troy Westwood cut, the placekicking chores fall to Alexis Serna -- for now.

The import hasn't attempted a field goal in a CFL game.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are seeking a Canadian punter and you can expect Duncan O'Mahony, who was recently cut by Edmonton, to be in town by Thursday.

The club has contacted him, but "nothing has been finalized yet," GM Brendan Taman said yesterday.

Rob Pikula remains a possibility, but he expressed a reluctance to return to Winnipeg after being part of last year's dramatics surrounding Westwood. Taman also has a line on two import kickers and will monitor CFL cuts.

"We've got a plan and we're going to be fine," Taman said. "We know what we're going to do, it's just a matter of getting it executed."

ANOINTED

Still, Serna has been anointed the placekicker.

"Alexis has been really consistent in kicking," said head coach Doug Berry.

One of the reasons Westwood was released was the Bombers didn't want to lose Serna.

Even Westwood conceded he has a promising future as a placekicker.

"I guess it's one step closer (to winning a job) but you've just got to keep going out there and just keep competing," Serna said.

"It's tough to see him go because he helped us out here a lot. He's a good guy. He talked to us a lot. If we needed any help, he was there for us -- the thing that I had heard that he hadn't done in the past. But he was there for us and it's kind of upsetting to see him go.

"You could tell there was a different feel when you came out here (for practice). You could sense it with the players. It's different without him out here."

Westwood will be missed.

WRITING ON THE WALL

"I think the writing's been on the wall for a little while for as far as Troy goes," said receiver Jamie Stoddard, the holder on placekicks. "Obviously he just didn't get the job done up to expectations and got released. That's the way the business goes and it's going to be sad not to see him on a daily basis.

"He's a good friend of mine. But I've had friends who got cut before and you just have to go with it and deal with it as best as you can and move on from there."

Former Bomber punter Bob Cameron, who attended the press conference, politely declined comment, saying he was there to support a friend.

"It is better to do it with one pre-season game left," Berry said. "The football team is going to have to adjust to this because there are so many friendships here."

HASHMARKS: Westwood was not the only Bomber released yesterday. Joining him were LB Eugene Boakye, DBs Justin Clayton and Willie Tagoa'i, DT Richard Clebert, DE Jauron Dailey, OL Will Henry and Andy Hunter, and WR Jeff Moore ... Calgary cut former Bomber OL Jermese Jones and DB Chijioke Onyenegecha, both imports.

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CAMPING OUT

Day 15 of Bomber training camp

STAR OF THE DAY

Ryan Dinwiddie smoothly completed long bombs to wide receivers Derick Armstrong and Dan Sheldon that brought applause from a crowd of 200-plus. Honourable mentions to WR Jamie Stoddard, LB Ike Charlton, DB Willie Amos, Sheldon and DB Jovon Johnson.

CATCH OF THE DAY

Slotback Romby Bryant looked like a veteran, adjusting to an underthrown pass from Kevin Glenn to make a sliding catch in coverage.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Had this been a different scenario, we could have been neighbours down at the beach or something. I would really enjoy having Troy Westwood as a friend. I really enjoyed having him on this football team."

-- Head coach Doug Berry

NUMBERS GAME

34 -- The number worn by Brad Serna, which adds up to seven, Westwood's number for most of his days as a Bomber

POSITION BATTLE

Defensive ends

With the release of imports Jauron Dailey and Richard Clebert, Nick McNeil and Josh Miller as imports vying for jobs against veterans Tom Canada and Gavin Walls, two of the top defensive ends in the CFL.

"Trying to beat out any of those guys up front, people will have their work cut out for them," said line coach Richard Harris.

But the Bombers often keep an extra import defensive end around in case of injury and McNeil did lead the club with seven defensive tackles in Winnipeg's pre-season game against Hamilton. Miller, who is listed as an interior lineman, did not record a tackle.

SCHEDULE

One practice today at Canad Inns Stadium, from 10 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. The public is welcome.


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