Bombers confident in special teams coach

JIM BENDER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:53 PM ET

In his first game as a CFL assistant, Blue Bombers special teams coach Kyle Walters watched his charges give up two touchdowns on kick returns while scoring one on a blocked punt.

In his second, those special teams allowed another TD on a missed field goal return, a key play in Winnipeg's 36-34 loss to the Toronto Argonauts. But Bomber rookie head coach Paul LaPolice was not about to kick the man he hired while he was down.

的 can say this: We have good coaches here," LaPolice said after Friday's loss. "We have good coaches, we have good players, and they池e very well coached. We've gotta do a better job of executing and put them in the right position to be successful. We値l evaluate all that, and we値l go on. Myself and Kyle (Walters), we値l go. We値l get better.

LaPolice was not using it as an excuse but the kick cover teams lost safety Ian Logan when he suffered a hamstring pull in the first half.

"When Logan got hurt, we had a bunch of guys play in positions that they had not been in, and that's a little bit of the issue we've faced the last two weeks with the injuries we've had," LaPolice said. "But we've got to find ways to fight through that because everybody's going through injuries. It's something that we have to educate our players that that's going to happen. Somebody's going to go out early, then we've got to go fill in a role and that's part of what happens. You have to overcome it."

They will also have to overcome allowing the big return and that will take more than just the return of Derrick Doggett to set things straight.

"We can't let up like that and let someone return one," said Bomber tailback Freddie Reid, once one of the club's better kick cover players himself. "We've got to get better at stuff like that. I'm pretty sure the coaches will be working on all the things we need to get better at."

SMITH HOBBLED: The Bombers also lost import defensive lineman Dorian Smith to a knee problem early in the match.

"He's a good football player and losing him, they were able to move the ball, they were able to pound it inside," LaPolice said. "So, losing him hurt, but Donnie O's (Oramasionwu) played good in there, too. It's not just one guy, the whole group's got to play better."

There were no updates on any of the Winnipeg injuries Saturday.

INAUGURAL LOSS: It was LaPolice's first regular-season loss as the head knock.

"Obviously, it's a new experience and you feel bad," he said. "But, you can recognize the mistakes that happened. "I see it as a two-point loss and we didn't play well enough to win. We need to be able to do the things we need to do to get the two points and that's what was disappointing.'

LaPolice did like his squad's never-say-die attitude.

"There are some positives," he said. "But, when you make too many mistakes during the course of a game, you can't overcome them We'll learn from it but I'm not too happy with it. I'd rather learn the other way, with two points."

jim.bender@sunmedia.ca


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