Bombers cursed by inconsistency

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:36 PM ET

Coaching changes have technically paid off in Winnipeg over the past two decades, but not by much.

When asked to describe what to expect out of their first opponent, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, this season, new Bomber boss Paul LaPolice stressed continuity as an aspect working in their favour.

“They’re consistent from the GM to the head coach to a lot of their players and their assistant coaches,” he said.

“Consistency sometimes breeds an understanding and a knowledge of what they’re trying to do and what they’re trying to accomplish.”

Continuity is not the theme in Winnipeg this year.

LaPolice, who took over from Mike Kelly, recently got out the history books and examined how other first-year Bomber coaches have done compared to the previous seasons.

In the last 23 years the new coaches have two more wins than the old ones, but it still works out to a losing record.

“But I’ve been on teams that went from 1-17 to 9-8-1 the next year,” LaPolice said, referring to the 2004 Ticats. “Every year is different. It’s hard to draw comparisons.”

TICAT WATCH: LaPolice had plenty of kind things to say about the Tiger-Cats, whom some believe will challenge the Montreal Alouettes for first in the East Division this year.

“They’ve got a veteran team with a veteran quarterback (Kevin Glenn) and good linebackers on defence and they’ve made some changes in the secondary, but their front four are athletic and they can run,” LaPolice said. “They’ve got a talented team.”

BLIND SIDE: LaPolice doesn’t feel the need to put an emphasis on protecting his quarterback’s blind side, noting his offence will call for pivot Buck Pierce to throw to all areas of the field.

He therefore does not need mammoth offensive lineman Kelly Butler, who has several years of NFL experience, to play left tackle.

Rookie Andre Douglas will likely get that assignment on Friday night against the Tiger-Cats.

“The biggest thing for Butler is he’s most comfortable as a right tackle and Douglas is most comfortable as a left tackle,” LaPolice said.

TRYOUTS CONTINUE: Winnipeg’s starting lineup is set for the most part, but the competitions are not over yet. The Bombers haven’t settled on a kickoff returner and will do so this week at practice.

Some of the candidates include defensive back Alex Suber, and receivers Terence Jeffers-Harris and Chris Davis, who is on the practice roster.

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: The Bombers have set their practice time for the season, and on most days, including Monday, it will start at 10:50 a.m., and run for approximately two hours.


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