Keep your heads up

Bombers offensive lineman Dominic Picard says he and his teammates took Agustin Barrenechea's hit...

Bombers offensive lineman Dominic Picard says he and his teammates took Agustin Barrenechea's hit on Kevin Glenn personally and he expects some nastiness in the trenches Saturday. (JASON HALSTEAD/Sun Media)

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:22 AM ET

If your name is Ricky Ray, you might want to pack on some extra padding when the Blue Bombers come to Edmonton this Saturday.

The Eskimos ball-tosser will be targeted by a snarling Winnipeg defence after its own quarterback, Kevin Glenn, suffered a sore jaw and concussion-like symptoms because of a cheap shot delivered by Edmonton linebacker Agustin Barrenechea late in the Bombers' 30-23 victory over the Eskies here last Friday.

The CFL merely fined Barrenechea $1,000 for his indiscretion, which has upset many in and around the Bomber organization.

"It's always personal," Bomber defensive tackle Doug Brown said yesterday. "With all the attention brought on and people are screaming bloody murder. And you always wonder on the flip side, if somebody had done that to Ricky Ray, what the situation would be. There would probably be some guys getting high fives here and on the other side, Edmonton would be up in arms."

This could become Igloo Ugly on Saturday.

"We don't have anything against Ricky Ray," said Bomber defensive end Gavin Walls. "He's a quarterback we respect. But, at the same time, between the whistles, oh yeah, we're coming after him. He knows that. Everybody knows that. So just between the whistles, yeah ... (but) we'll keep it clean, man."

And if your name is Barrenechea, you may wish you had actually been suspended for the rematch, not just fined.

"It's tough to see your quarterback hit like that and you don't want that to happen and we'll make sure that doesn't happen again," vowed Bomber offensive tackle Alexandre Gauthier. "We'll give him good protection and make sure no one is free. But we've got to play within the rules."

ON HIS TOES?

But will Barrenechea need to be on his toes?

"I don't know, it's up to him," he replied. "We all stick together here but I don't want to talk about that ... We'll see what happens."

Reading between those lines, it's nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

If your names are Dario Romero and Jason Goss, you might want to call in sick that day. The Edmonton defensive lineman and defensive back were tossed from last week's game after they took on Winnipeg centre Dominic Picard -- who was also ejected.

"Every game, I expect that (nastiness)," Picard said. "I'm intense so some guys will come at me, you know what I'm saying? We'll go play in Edmonton on Saturday night and it will be a good game. That's all I can say right now, OK?"

Picard also took exception to Barrenechea's jaw-rattling wallop on Winnipeg's leader.

"On the O-line, we all take it personal and the attitude we take is that we want to work harder to protect him," he said.

Bomber head coach Doug Berry has not warned his troops about the dangers of retaliating.

"I would hope that we don't even have to talk about it," he said.

"There are other ways to retaliate, and to retaliate in a clean manner. To play hard."

If this were hockey, the Bombers would dress their goons for the next match -- since the league is powerless to prevent a recurrence of such hits.

"It's not good for our quarterback because he needs to be protected," Walls said. "When you're playing dirty and doing stuff like that, it's not part of the game, man.

"We just want to go in there and get a 'W.' All that other miscellaneous stuff -- fines, late hits, fighting and all that -- go fight with the next team you've got to play."


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