Bombers off balance

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:47 AM ET

A third of the way into the CFL campaign, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers plan to unveil a new offensive approach: Run and gun.

Now that new quarterback Michael Bishop has proven the Bombers can throw down the field, head coach Mike Kelly plans to re-introduce the run to the game plan when the Bombers take on the Stampeders in Calgary tomorrow.

"We had a pretty good mix the first couple of weeks, then things got out of hand a little bit, and a lot of that had to do with the fact that we were being more productive running the ball than we were, obviously, throwing it," Kelly said yesterday.

"I prefer to be 60% pass, 40% run and I think you have to be that in this league to be successful."

That's music to Fred Reid's ears.

"The last game, they wanted to get the ball downfield more so we wouldn't be one-dimensional," said the tailback known as 'Joystick.'

"Hopefully, we can get back this week to what we've been working on and we can get going again."

Reid rushed for 26 yards on eight carries during last week's 13-12 victory over Toronto.

"We're going to mix it up a little more this week and we're going to be doing some different things back there," Reid said. "I've been a little bit frustrated but I know once we start working on things, everything will come together ... Hopefully, we show other teams that we can run and we can throw the ball now, and that will give me a chance."

The face of the offence changed with the signing of Bishop, who's known for his arm strength, to replace a struggling Stefan LeFors at the helm.

But with only four practices under his belt before last week's game, even that arm wilted in the second half.

"Looking at the game film, some of those (misses) had to do with footwork," Bishop said. "I don't want to make it sound like I'm making excuses but when my legs got heavy, my footwork just went out the window. If I would have had my legs, I would have been able to make those throws and we could have scored more points."

Bishop, 33, has had another three full practices to whip himself back into shape and brush up on the playbook.

"I'm definitely feeling better right now," he said. "My legs are back. I feel good and I'm starting to execute with the guys so I think this week should be a lot better ... I definitely know more of the plays and am a lot more comfortable than I was last week about going in to execute."

That means Reid can re-focus on his goal of being the CFL's top ground-gainer.

"I've got to get back on top of the league in rushing," said Reid, who sits sixth with 319 yards on 62 carries. "I'm not real happy with where I'm at right now. I'm going in there with a chip on my shoulder now, ready to go.

"I'm feeling good but I feel like there's a lot more I could be doing out there."

Reid also returns kickoffs and has sure hands out of the backfield.

"(Reid) is a dynamic player and he has certainly proven that early in the season," Kelly said. "He needs to have the ball in his hands. He needs to touch it somehow, some way about 20 times a game ... That's when I know we'll be in control of a game."

That would also open up the pass.

"I think we have a different look now, offensively," said Kelly, who doubles as the offensive co-ordinator. "So we'll just go play that game and see what happens."


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