Williams odd pivot out

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:51 AM ET

It was bad to be named Williams in Winnipeg on Wednesday.

The Bombers released a pair of players with that surname yesterday: quarterback Richie and defensive tackle Tyrone.

Richie Williams, 26, was the odd pivot out after the Blue and Gold signed a fourth quarterback, Michael Bishop, last weekend.

It could be argued that Williams, a former Hamilton Tiger-Cat, was the best of a bad lot in Friday's 19-5 loss to the Toronto Argonauts, but he was still a woeful 3-for-10 for 30 yards.

Somebody had to go, and it was unlikely to be Stefan LeFors, whom head coach Mike Kelly acquired in January for two draft picks.

Williams had more CFL experience than LeFors and backup Bryan Randall combined, but he was third on the depth chart after joining the team on June 7, the day after Ryan Dinwiddie was released.

"I know people feel like Richie has a veteran presence and everything, but at the end of the day I just felt that the upside of Stefan and Bryan Randall was greater than what Richie's is at this juncture," Kelly said.

Hampered by injuries

Tyrone Williams, a former B.C. Lion, was hampered by hip and knee injuries in training camp, and he missed the first game of the season because those hurts lingered. His only game was Winnipeg's 42-30 win over Calgary, but he was a healthy scratch the past two weeks.

That allowed rookie Dorian Smith to gain valuable playing time, and the Oregon State alum made the most of it. He is tied with Calgary's Odell Willis for the CFL lead with five sacks.

"There's a lot that goes into that," Kelly said. "Everybody's worried about Doug (Brown) and we got Gavin (Walls) and Fred (Perry) coming off the edge, but Dorian is really playing good football right now."

Williams, 36, came to Winnipeg in January after seven strong seasons in Vancouver, where he was a CFL all-star just two years ago.

But his play had declined to the point where the Bombers could go younger and cheaper with Smith and Winnipeg native Don Oramasionwu, who are both 23.

"I can never thank him enough for helping develop the culture that we wanted to develop in this building," Kelly said of Williams. "But at the end of the day, we have two young players that are really playing well right now in Dorian Smith and Donny O.

"The way those two have played, in essence, made Tyrone expendable. ... It just didn't make sense on a business side of it to keep Tyrone around anymore."


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