Minister of defence preaches smashmouth football

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:02 AM ET

They were left bloodied and yes, bowed in the wake of last week's carnage.

But it is time for the Blue Bombers to get off the canvas, wipe that blood from their brow after they were pounded by the B.C. Lions 42-24 in their own ring last Friday.

"They punched us in the mouth," Winnipeg linebacker Barrin Simpson said yesterday. "You've got to show your real character. Are you going to lay down or are you going to punch them back in the mouth? That's what I'm preparing to do. I'm going to go out there and punch them right back in the mouth. We took a shot. Now, it's time to get up and go into their house and take over."

The Bombers face the Lions again in Vancouver this Friday.

Simpson may have issued that challenge in a players-only meeting before yesterday's practice.

"We had our meeting," he said. "We talked about it but it's time, moreso now, to be a leader out on the field and lead by example, rather than talking all the time. We've got to execute. Football's fun when you win, and losing is not fun."

But you can't win if you can't tackle.

"It's the big plays that are really killing us, and the missed tackles," lamented head coach Doug Berry. "Missed assignments, missed plays, missed tackles. Those are things that we've got to correct."

Lions tailback Stefan Logan burst for 66 yards on one play.

"And 52 of it is from missed tackles," Berry said. "We've got to make those plays."

Logan rushed for 140 yards on 18 carries.

"We take that personally," Simpson said with a smirk. "I'm definitely looking forward to this week."

PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM: The only new face at yesterday's practice was a familiar one. The Bombers welcomed back import defensive back Sam Young, who was just recently released.

"I'm just excited to come back and hopefully, I can help out because we've got some guys banged up," said Young, who is quarterback Kevin Glenn's best friend.

Import cornerback Robert Bean is expected to be out eight weeks with a hand injury and DB Kelly Malveaux was resting an undisclosed injury yesterday.

Willie Amos practised in Bean's spot.

HASHMARKS: OL Matt Sheridan (hamstring) returned to practice yesterday and he may play Friday if he is OK today ... Also returning to practice was P Duncan O'Mahony (toe), who may also be able to return to action this week ... SB Milt Stegall may test his knee further today so he is also a possibility ... Although DE Gavin Walls also rested an undisclosed hurt, he is expected to play this week ... DL Doug Brown practised with his left hand heavily bandaged ... OL Darryl Conrad switched to defensive line at yesterday's workout.


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