Run Fred run

Gerry Moddejonge, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:48 AM ET

EDMONTON - WINNIPEG With their No. 1 quarterback out with injury, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will likely rely a little more on their running game.

Then again, considering who theyre facing, their quarterback situation might not change their game plan at all.

Especially since the Edmonton Eskimos are first overall in pass defence and worst at run defence.

I have a lot of respect for coach (Richie) Hall and what he does defensively and I know his priority is going to try to make us one dimensional and stop the run, said Blue Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice. We have to be able to create first downs on first down, whether thats running the football or passing.

Considering Bombers running back Fred Reid set a club record last August with a monstrous 260-yard rushing performance against the B.C. Lions, combined with the fact that quarterback Steven Jyles is making the start in place of the injured Buck Pierce, there will likely be more of the former and less of the latter than they are used to using.

And our mantra is to make sure were not one dimensional throwing the ball all the time, LaPolice said.

So we have to make sure we have ways to get Fred touches, whether its in the run or the pass.

Reid hasnt had as many touches as LaPolice would like to see.

Last week, we didnt have the ball a lot because we were two-and-out, the coach said.

The message we try to tell our players is every first down you create is probably a touch for one of the other guys on the team.

I think Fred could have a little bit more, but its hard when, like last week, we two-and-outed a lot.

While he wouldnt complain about having more opportunities to run past the opposition, Reid said it cant come at the expense of their overall strategy.

Running the football is always in the game plan, Reid said.

We want to come out and execute that, but we also want to pass the ball and hopefully we can be successful at both parts.

Thats the goal. I want to come in and have a big game. Of course, I try to do that every week. I know that Edmontons going to come in hungry. Theyve got three losses and are going to come in ready to play and were just going to have to match that intensity in the first quarter.

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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