No time for bitterness

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:59 AM ET

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers cornered the market on special teams gaffes in 2007.

The tradition continues.

Friday night's season-opening 23-16 loss to Toronto featured a few special teams flubs that played a part in at least nine Argo points.

Punter Alexis Serna's fumble deep in his own zone led to a touchdown, and returner Fred Reid's decision to take a missed field goal out of the end zone in the fourth quarter led to the eventual game-winning points.

Reid brought the ball out to Winnipeg's 15-yard line, but after Kevin Glenn was sacked the Blue and Gold decided to give up a safety, which raised many eyebrows as well. It gave the Argos a 17-16 lead, and they didn't look back.

Head coach Doug Berry gave Reid permission to take the ball out of the end zone every time he did so, including the time he got to Winnipeg's one-yard line in the second quarter.

Berry would ask that next time Reid be more "judicious" in his decision making.

"The one that he was tackled at the one-yard line, he should've gone down in the end zone, realizing he wasn't going to get out," Berry said. "Other times I tell him to get out at all costs, other times I'd say be judicious, and other ones I just say bring it out."

A NEW NO-NO: For fans curious about the phantom pass interference calls during Friday night's contest, Berry has an explanation.

The coach said officials this year are allowed to throw flags for P.I. even if the ball isn't catchable. The result is a 10-yard penalty.

Winnipeg's Robert Bean committed the new sin in the fourth quarter on Friday, although he claims he didn't lay a finger on Argos receiver Arland Bruce III.

"They just threw a flag to throw a flag," Bean said. "I did not hold him. All I did was turn and see that football and the ball was thrown out of bounds. It was uncatchable. And I was like, 'What did they call?' "

BLUNT ASSESSMENT: Argos head coach Rich Stubler will continue with his controversial two-quarterback system, but Bombers defensive back Anthony Malbrough believed Michael Bishop was better than Kerry Joseph on Friday.

"Sometimes even bad throws would help (Bishop) get on rhythm, because he was coming out and doing something," Malbrough said. "Kerry was kind of hesitant, didn't want to throw it, and he would get a sack or something like that.

"Bishop, at least he was coming in and getting them some type of rhythm, even if it was an incomplete pass."

LATE HIT: The Bombers return to the practice field today to prepare for Friday's game in Montreal against the Alouettes.


Videos

Photos