Bombers' confidence back

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:50 AM ET

The Blue ball hawks are back.

After a brief drought, Winnipeg defenders are snatching balls out of the air with some regularity once again.

In the last two games, the Blue Bombers have picked off four opponents' passes -- both wins. The three previous games, they had a total of two -- all of them blowout losses.

"We were shut out one game but that's back again," said Bomber safety Ian Logan, who has four interceptions. "You know, we're all ballers in the secondary. We just fly around and get our hands on the ball and make plays."

The Bombers currently lead the league with 25 picks -- nine more than Montreal, which sits second.

"It's funny, after being here for four years, we didn't get any ever," added Logan as the Bombers prepared to face whatever quarterback the Tiger-Cats play in Hamilton this Thanksgiving Monday. "So, it's been a welcome change ... The defence is a little different. And now, we've got swagger and attitude this year. We've got confidence."

Defensive back Lenny Walls leads the CFL with five interceptions while Logan is tied for second with teammates Jovon Johnson and Siddeeq Shabazz and three others. Although the Bombers pass defenders have no money on the line for who wins this race, that may be coming soon.

"I told them my ratio for picks must be one of the best in the CFL since I don't get the opportunity to take them all the time," Walls said. "Jovon and (Jonathan) Hefney get more balls thrown their way than I do so they got a lot more chances to make picks. But we all enjoy it when anyone of us make a big play.

"We haven't missed too often. We try to get turnovers in each and every game and it's better to win than to get turnovers. If you can get both, it feels great, man. The secondary is constantly trying to make plays and everybody on defence -- the front four, the linebackers -- we just fly around having fun."

Hefney, a rookie DB, just snagged his third pick of the season. "We all want to lead the CFL in picks," he said. "If, collectively, everyone had five or six picks, we'd be all right. I'm shooting for seven myself. I've got three now so I've got a lot to go. Hopefully, some more opportunities come along."

But he cannot explain the drought. "I don't what happened then. We just didn't make the plays we usually make. But last week, we got back to it and we're going to try to keep it rolling."

Both the club and CFL record for one season is 48 picks -- back in 1990 when the Bombers won their last Grey Cup.

"What helps them getting those picks is that we've gotten a pretty good push up front, which has gotten quarterbacks out of their comfort level," said head coach Mike Kelly. "And we've done some things schematically where we've confused receiving corps as to where that soft spot is."

jim.bender@sunmedia.ca


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