The holiday's over for Berry

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:29 AM ET

Doug Berry got away from the tropical storm and has returned to the hurricane that is the Winnipeg Blue Bombers season.

The head coach spent the first part of his bye week at his Florida home dodging the persistent tropical storm Fay, which hopscotched across the state.

Berry's home suffered no damage, and despite the wet weather he had a relaxing and rejuvenating break from a tumultuous season so far.

"I always look forward to having a couple days off," Berry said. "The season's so long and taxing from the beginning of training camp to the halfway point, it's a long time without anybody ever getting a real break. For me to take three days off was like, 'Wow!' "

But now it's back to work for Berry and his Blue and Gold, who are languishing in the CFL basement with a 2-6 record.

The players return to the practice field at 10:45 this morning to prepare for the 42nd Labour Day Classic, a week from today in Regina against the Saskatchewan Roughriders (6-2) in a Grey Cup rematch.

The Riders, who have lost two straight, acquired quarterback Michael Bishop from the Toronto Argos yesterday. The Bombers beat the Bishop-led Argos in last year's East Division final.

Berry said it's possible his team could face Bishop on Sunday at Mosaic Stadium, but he is more mindful of the Riders' suffocating defence.

"If you can recall back to even the Grey Cup when they played against us, they're very aggressive defensively," he said. "That's probably the thing that they really had going for them this year.

"Offensively, everybody knows that they're missing some key receivers. I would not like to be thinking that we're without (Derick) Armstrong, (Milt) Stegall and (Terrence) Edwards, for instance."

Saskatchewan is missing receivers Andy Fantuz, D.J. Flick and Matt Dominguez.

KICKING IT: The Bombers might be easing the workload of struggling kicker Alexis Serna.

It's expected the Blue and Gold will bring back punter Duncan O'Mahony, who was released last month after Serna showed the ability to do both the placekicking and the punting.

While Serna's punting has been spectacular lately, his specialty -- placekicking -- has been the opposite. He missed field goals from 35 and 32 yards in the team's win over Hamilton 10 days ago and has missed six of his last 10 attempts.

So it's likely O'Mahony will do the punting and Serna will concentrate on improving his field-goal success rate.

LATE HITS: Slotback Terrence Edwards (ribs) and Kerry Johnson (ankle) will both be ready for the Labour Day Classic ... Berry said slotback Milt Stegall likely won't practice much, if at all, for the rest of the season. His surgically repaired knee needs all the rest it can get ... The Bombers will practise today but take tomorrow off to participate in the team's annual golf tournament at Larters.


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