Looking for leaders

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:13 AM ET

The men in charge say a leadership void has developed in the Winnipeg Blue Bombers locker-room, but they're hopeful the situation is about to change.

The Blue and Gold have sunk to their lowest point since head coach Doug Berry took over two and a half years ago. They fell to 0-3 on Friday night after an embarrassing 42-24 loss to the B.C. Lions (1-2) and must travel to Vancouver for a rematch this Friday night.

It's not so much the fact that the Bombers are 0-3; it's how they lost on Friday that has players, coaches and fans so perplexed -- and some of them so alarmed.

Berry went to the game film yesterday in search of a solution, but after nine hours of watching only his team's offensive plays he was still somewhat stumped.

"I've seen a lot of effort, I've seen not a lot of mental breakdowns," Berry said. "Here and there you see some physical things, but I haven't seen a ton of what you might hope is a bad situation in terms of trying to find something that's wrong."

That might lead the search for the root of the problem to the locker-room, where both Berry and team president Lyle Bauer believe something is missing when it comes to the players holding themselves and their teammates accountable.

"We're missing a couple of guys that we had last year that had those qualities," Berry said. "(Kyries) Hebert was one and (Andrew) Greene was one, just to name a couple right off the top.

"They're guys that were no-nonsense and played the game that way. We miss them. We miss the attitude."

Bauer, in a rare move, followed Berry's post-game speech on Friday with one of his own.

He declined to divulge what he said, but yesterday he echoed Berry's sentiments about a lack of leadership when asked about the state of his team.

"We have a talented group of players and a good set of coaches," Bauer said. "We have to come together as a team.

APPROACHED BY PLAYERS

"We're going to have to see some leadership. We require some leadership right now in the locker-room."

Berry has already been approached by a couple of players who plan on speaking up when the team reconvenes for practice tomorrow. He noted they are the right players to be taking on such a role.

"A couple of guys want to already start taking more control, more accountability," Berry said. "The more guys we have that want to step up and assume personal accountability and leadership ... if we could have 20 of those guys, two for every one, I'd love something like that.

"Having just a few guys makes it harder. The more leaders that you have, the easier it is. ... Leadership makes a huge difference."

It's not known if Terrence Edwards is one of the players who approached Berry yesterday morning about taking a leadership position, but on Friday night he had some suggestions for his struggling team.

"Everybody's gotta look at themselves in the mirror and see what they can do. I know I will," he said. "I hope everybody in this locker-room takes it upon himself to do something better every day at practice, not do your normal routine, try something different. I guess that's what we gotta do."

Just how serious are things on Maroons Road? Well, when's the last time you heard Bauer say this:

"We need to drop the stadium talk, drop the ownership talk and everything else. All of that stuff will take care of itself," he said. "We need to focus on one thing, and that's the on-field product."


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