Battle of the basement

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:48 AM ET

Call it the Battle of the Underachievers.

Both the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and their opponents at Canad Inns Stadium tonight, have stumbled their way to 0-2 records to start the 2008 CFL campaign, a season where both sides were saddled with great expectations.

And, barring a tie, one squad will be 0-3 when the smoke clears from the post-game fireworks.

Bombers quarterback Kevin Glenn came within a whisker of guaranteeing victory tonight.

"We've tried to keep a mindset around here that we're not going to go 0-3," a determined Glenn said yesterday. "We're going to get this win (tonight). You don't go around guaranteeing things, I don't believe in that. But this is a situation where we've said among ourselves, at various times during practice this week, that something we just can't do this week is to go 0-3."

To improve to 1-2, the Bombers will have to solve whatever it is that has been ailing the 2007 Grey Cup finalists.

"Everybody's trying to find out what's the solution or what's the remedy," said Glenn, who finally got the offence into synch after a terrible first half against Montreal last week. "It's not like a math problem, it's professional sports. Everyone's trying to figure out, well, 'If we do X, Y, Z and we divide that by two, then we'll get the answer.' That's not what it is.

"Every day that we come out to play or practise, there is all-out effort that we put into it. Sometimes, things happen and it doesn't fall this way or that way ... We're going to come out and we're going to play positive football and try to limit our mistakes, take care of the ball and execute our offence. If we do that, then we should come out with a victory."

Even if they lose, the Bombers will not be out of the playoff race.

"As long as you're in the playoff race, you should always have faith that you're going to get into the playoffs," Glenn said. "When you get into the playoffs, it's anybody's ball game."

B.C. Lions head coach/GM Wally Buono had a similar sentiment.

"They don't give out Grey Cup rings after two weeks," he said earlier this week. "Is the season over if we lose? Is getting to the Grey Cup lost? No. The only important thing for us is to go out and play much better than we have been."

The B.C. offence has also got off to a slow start so far as both Jarious Jackson and Buck Pierce have been struggling at quarterback.

"Everybody's looking at Jarious like he was bad (last week), and he was errant," Buono said.

"His first three throws were terrible. But, after that, he settled down and made some great throws. (But) when (receivers) drop the ball five times in a game it's going to have its effect.

"We expect him to have a big game."

Jackson led the Leos to a 9-3 record when injuries pressed him into duty as the starter last season.

"We found a way to make plays; we found a way to win last year," Jackson said. "It's early in the season and we haven't put together a full game yet.

"I'm trying to carry over to this year. I'm trying to play as well as I can as the quarterback, trying to be the general on the field. Sometimes, I make mistakes. Sometimes, when you put too much pressure on yourself, you're going to make mistakes. So, from this point on, I'm just going to try to be more relaxed, play football and have fun. And whatever happens, happens."


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