No loss of confidence

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:48 AM ET

No one is cowering in the corner of the locker-room sobbing uncontrollably, nor has Dr. Phil been seen on the premises.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers, despite an 0-2 start, have everything under control.

Keep moving, people. There's nothing to see here.

"We're upset that we haven't got a win yet, but as far as guys' confidence ... confidence is still there every day," defensive back Anthony Malbrough said. "Every day I step on the field I'm real confident.

"And talking to the rest of the guys, the way we practise, we're confident in what we're doing. We know it's going to come together. We want it to be sooner than later."

The Bombers have another chance to hit the win column tonight when they host the only other 0-2 team in the CFL, the B.C. Lions, at Canad Inns Stadium (7 p.m., CJOB/TSN).

Several pundits picked the Bombers and Lions to meet in the Grey Cup this year, but after tonight's contest (barring a tie, of course) one of them will be 0-3.

Malbrough said that doesn't mean tonight's tilt is the Toilet Bowl, however.

"It's two talented 0-2 teams. Both are veteran teams," he said. "They're probably in the same mindset that we are. They're serious about trying to get a victory, so that's why I say it's going to be a pretty good game."

Winnipeg is coming off a 38-24 road loss to the Montreal Alouettes in which it fell behind 28-0 in the first half thanks to abysmal play from all three phases of the squad. B.C. dropped a 26-16 decision last week at home to third-string quarterback Darian Durant and the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Not exactly Grey Cup material.

But hey, it's early.

"Everybody's confident," Bombers wide receiver Derick Armstrong said. "We know that all it takes is for us to just get things rolling the way we're capable of doing and we'll be just fine.

"Nobody's hanging their heads, nobody's worried, but we know we have a sense of urgency."

It should not be ignored that both teams have their fair share of injury troubles. Winnipeg offensive linemen Matt Sheridan, Obby Khan and Dominic Picard are still out, as is slotback Milt Stegall.

B.C., meanwhile, will be without last year's CFL rushing champ, Joe Smith, who has a bum shoulder. Smith, a big, bruising back, will likely be replaced by the diminutive Stefan Logan, who is 5-foot-7 and cut from the same cloth as Bombers tailback Charles Roberts.

That type of tailback gave the Bombers fits last week in Montreal, as 5-foot-8 Avon Cobourne went wild and finished with 185 all-purpose yards.

"If (Smith) is not there then it's one less thing you have to worry about," Bombers defensive tackle Doug Brown said. "But you get a whole host of other problems with a scatback."

Lions quarterback Jarious Jackson, who stole the starting job back from Buck Pierce last week, had his trouble against the Roughies, fumbling twice in his own zone and completing just 16 of 30 passes for 164 yards and an interception.

And if he wants to sit in the pocket and fire balls all night, that would be just fine with Malbrough.

"We don't want him to run," he said. "We want him to stay in the pocket and try to pass. They haven't been too successful with the pass, so it's a good thing for us."

And even if things don't go as planned for the Bombers this evening, head coach Doug Berry will not be smacking the panic button when he returns to his office after the game.

He doesn't suspect the locker-room would implode, either, even though the Bombers would be staring at a rematch with the Lions next Friday night at B.C. Place.

"This team has got a lot character, and, win or lose this week, I know we will continue to fight hard no matter what happens," Berry said. "I just can't see where it would ever completely dissolve. They've been together the last couple of years.

"A lot of these guys have been playing together for a while. They know how to trust and respect each other, and I see that continuing."


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