Bishop needs to earn believers

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:51 AM ET

In case you haven't heard, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are having offensive woes.

Tonight's clash at B.C. Place against the Lions will mark the fourth consecutive start for Bomber quarterback Michael Bishop since he arrived in Winnipeg last month, and he needs to do something -- anything -- to make believers out of Bomber Nation.

He is 1-2 as the starter, he has thrown one touchdown and four interceptions, and his efficiency rating is a dismal 52.8. To put that in perspective, Montreal pivot Anthony Calvillo's rating is more than double that, at 108.2

All Bishop can do is believe that it's going to turn around, so that's exactly what he's doing going into tonight's tilt.

The Bombers have trimmed down the playbook and altered the way Bishop does his receiver reads. The cannon-armed pivot also hopes he will be able to take advantage of a Lions defence that hasn't exactly put fear in opposing offences this season, allowing 29.6 points per game.

"They give up some big plays," Bishop said. "We want to go in and try to continue to be the recipient of big plays from their defence. I know they're going to play hard. They have a good defence, but there's still opportunities for us, with some of the things that we're planning on doing, to have success.

"If we're all on the same page and in the right place at the right time, success should be there."

Head coach Mike Kelly hinted earlier this week that backup Stefan LeFors could get some playing time tonight if Bishop's struggles continue.

GUTTING IT OUT: Bombers linebacker Barrin Simpson continues to play with a painful case of turf toe, but it's not big deal to the former Lion.

"I'm not injured," Simpson said. "I'm never injured, unless it was like last year (when he tore his pectoral muscle). But no, I don't ever see myself as injured.

"I've played hurt my whole career, but the first time I was injured was last year. I played 130 straight games. Don't think I wasn't hurt in half of them. But I'm going to play and play at a high level."

LATE HITS: Speaking of turf toe, Bomber slotback Terrence Edwards was still wearing a boot on his foot during yesterday's mock game at Rods Field, but head coach Mike Kelly said he will play ... Winnipeg's Brady Browne, who spent all but one game of last season on the Lions practice roster, took every rep at safety yesterday. The Bombers, however, have the ratio flexibility to start import Siddeeq Shabazz, who has missed two games with a bruised foot, at that position tonight if they prefer ... Kelly said Bombers running back Fred Reid, who leads the CFL with 1,072 combined yards, will continue to return kickoffs tonight since Yvenson Bernard can spell him from time to time ... The Bombers have added an interesting name to their negotiation list: Minnesota Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, whose future with that NFL club is cloudy after Brett Favre signed on earlier this week.


Videos

Photos