Weak East means Blue not walking dead yet

KIRK PENTON

, Last Updated: 6:58 AM ET

They lost seven of their first nine games, traded the star running back, and a good chunk of the fans want the quarterback and head coach to follow him out of town.

And yet there are the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, just four points shy of hosting a playoff game in the lowly East Division.

"I don't like to talk about that, because that's just embarrassing," defensive tackle Doug Brown said.

In other words, this isn't your average terrible season. Usually when a team is 2-7 at this point, the obituary has been written and everything's over except the firings.

Not this year. The Bombers are actually tied for third in the East Division with Hamilton, just four points behind the second-place Toronto Argonauts (4-5).

Bombers head coach Doug Berry figures his team needs to win seven of its remaining nine games to secure a playoff spot or six to at least have a chance.

Considering they reside in the Least Division, they might not need that many to taste the post-season. More importantly, they should consider themselves lucky they don't play in the West Division.

"All I know is that if they ever want us to move back to the West," Brown said, "they better pay us $4 million."

(The Bombers got $700,000 from the CFL for moving to the East Division in 2006.)

QB WATCH: Berry feels quarterback Kevin Glenn, who was dismal in last week's 19-6 loss to Saskatchewan, just needs to take a deep breath and not try to do it all himself in tomorrow's rematch.

"I want to see (him) taking care of the ball and letting the other guys around him help him," Berry said, "meaning that it's OK to throw an incomplete pass, it's OK to throw a short pass, it's OK to call on the running back to help us out. Don't feel like you have got to be the guy."

LATE HITS: The Bombers will make two roster changes for tomorrow's tilt. Running back Joe Smith comes on for Charles Roberts, naturally, while receiver Jamie Stoddard replaces Aaron Hargreaves, who will sit for the first time this season ... Even though receivers Milt Stegall (knee), Terrence Edwards (ribs) and Derick Armstrong (calf) hardly practised at all this week, all three will start tomorrow ... The Bombers have put Canadian kicker Warren Kean (foot) on the nine-game injured list, meaning Alexis Serna has a little more job security today ... The Bombers have released 80 more tickets for tomorrow's sold-out Banjo Bowl. Call 780-3333 or visit ticketmaster.ca to get your hands on some.


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