Exhibition win doesn't settle much

PAUL FRIESEN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:25 AM ET

Pre-season football games have a funny way of lulling you into a daze.

There's the constant shuffling of personnel, the numbing number of penalty flags and the usual comedy of other errors -- fumbles, interceptions, long snaps and passes that bounce, you name it.

Not to mention the lack of meaning in the result.

So if you're looking for aesthetics, this isn't usually the place to come.

Take last night's Winnipeg-Montreal clash which, late in the third quarter, had produced just five points, and wound up a 19-16 Bomber win.

For us, things that happen in pre-season games usually fall into three categories: stuff that doesn't matter, stuff that does and stuff we're not sure about.

STUFF THAT DIDN'T MATTER

- Kevin Glenn threw an interception on his first pass, his next one fell behind the receiver and a series later he tossed one into the arms of Montreal's Anwar Stewart, a rush end, of all things.

Next up, a time count violation.

By the end of the first quarter, Glenn's picks outnumbered his completions, two to one.

To which we say: so what?

No. 5 will be the starter this season, and he'll be just fine.

- The Minister of Defence, middle linebacker Barrin Simpson, looked like an out-of-place alter boy in fanning on a tackle in the first quarter.

That won't happen when it matters, either.

- Rookie punter Brian Monroe wowed the fans with his strong leg. But I don't see how the kid has a snowball's chance in Miami of cracking the lineup.

His problem: a birth certificate that's Red, White and Blue. The Bombers can't afford to dress an import that only punts.

Yes, this is fallout from the decision to cut Troy Westwood.

STUFF THAT MATTERED

- Ryan Dinwiddie looked comfy, and awfully nimble, at the controls, even orchestrating the game-winning field goal drive. The Bombers may, I repeat, may, finally have a No. 2 QB.

- Punter Duncan O'Mahony's first punt traveled 33 yards. His next attempt never left his foot, as he fumbled the snap, picked up the ball, then fumbled it again, giving Montreal the ball on the Bomber seven.

The boo crowd was in mid-season form, and now O'Mahony knows what Westwood felt like. If the Irishman-turned-Canadian wanted to get off on the right foot with Bomber fans, he didn't.

- The Alexis Serna era -- if it turns out to be an era -- started better, as the rookie field goal kicker went four-for-four, including the chip-shot winner.

His first kick, a 37-yarder, drew more applause than your average pre-season three-pointer, proving both sides of the Westwood issue were represented equally well.

- Fred Reid returned a punt 16 yards in the first quarter, a massive distance by Bomber standards, then followed with a 104-yard return of a missed field goal.

Memo to the coaches: keep him.

STUFF WE'RE NOT SURE ABOUT

- Jamie Stoddard's roughing-the-punter penalty appeared to drive head coach Doug Berry nuts.

Now, I'm not saying Stoddard roughed his way off the team. But the Bombers have been trying out different holders in camp, and there are younger, cheaper, backup Canadian receivers in town. Like I said, I'm not sure.

- At 6-foot-6, receiver Aaron Fairooz is the kind of imposing target you drool over.

The way he latched onto a 27-yard pass from Dinwiddie in the second half last night provided a glimpse of what he might be able to do.

But with Rombi Bryant and Kerry Johnson vying for the same spot, I just don't know how there's room for him, so to speak.

- The game was a sellout, and when's the last time we saw that in the pre-season?

Either the house was papered, or fans are anticipating something special this year.

A week from tonight, we'll begin to find out if they're going to get it.


Videos

Photos