Motivation must come from within

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:30 AM ET

The walls, it seemed, were still peeling after a couple of raging tornadoes hit the Blue Bombers locker room at halftime of Saturday night's game in Calgary.

Winnipeg looked like a team that had lost before it even hit the gridiron against the reigning Grey Cup champions in a town where they seldom win as the Stampeders jumped to a 23-3 lead in the first half.

That's when line coaches Richard Harris and Charlie Carpenter stormed into the room.

"It shouldn't take the coaches coming in here at halftime and tearing a strip off us offensively and defensively," said veteran Bomber defensive tackle Doug Brown. "I thought coach Harris and coach Carpenter were going to have heart attacks from how high their blood pressure got, and we responded.

"But it shouldn't take that. It's on us as veterans on this team to demand that kind of effort from the get-go."

It did fire the Bombers up for the second haf when a valiant comeback fell short.

"We had to get yelled at a little bit by the coaches in here, you know, at halftime," said rookie running back Yvenson Bernard. "But we need to do that on our own. We don't need the coaches to get us all pumped up."

Apparently, they did.

BRAIN CRAMP: Someone should have been yelling at head coach Mike Kelly. With the Bombers in position to score at least a field goal in the waning seconds of the first half, he failed to call a timeout and the half ended with no attempt.

"There were 17 seconds left on the clock and it looked to me like we could get another play off and then send the (field goal) team out there," Kelly said. "Then, we just didn't operate with a sense of urgency."

FAST FREDDIE: Winnipeg tailback Fred Reid rushed for 150 yards on 13 carries in the last half alone.

"Yeah, that was good," said Reid, who finished with 167 yards on 17 rushes. "But we've got to come out in the first quarter and do that. We had a pretty good second half. But we've got to start in the first quarter and work all the way through and get ahead. We started off slow and we can't have that. We played comeback the whole second half.

"But it shows you that there's no quit in this team. We kept fighting until the end ... We have a lot of character on this team. We knew that coming out of the first half that we were still in it. We came out in the second half and ran the ball because they were trying to take away the pass."

Even Calgary running back Joffrey Reynolds was impressed.

"He had a lot of big runs," Reynolds told Sun Media. "But that offensive line -- I think I could have driven my truck through some of those holes."

Bernard added another 54 yards on six carries.

COLD START: Bomber QB Michael Bishop figures the offence got off to such a slow start because it spent so much time on the sidelines in the early going.

"I think we kind of stood on the sidelines for the first 10 minutes of the game and just couldn't move the football," he said.

"I looked up and they were up 13-0 and we only had the ball for two plays," Kelly said. "It changes your mindset a little bit at that point. But we've got to be ready to go right off the bat."

HASHMARKS: LB Barrin Simpson was being bothered by his turf toe because it wasn't frozen properly before the game ... Bishop claimed he was not knocked out on the play where he ran into Bernard and fumbled but did feel "some tingling" ... Brown finished the game with seven defensive tackles and two quarterback sacks.


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