Bombers' Bowman not feeling the pressure

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:03 PM ET

There was no nervous twitch, no evidence of voices in his head and no sign that he'd been slamming his forehead against his apartment wall.

In fact, getting close to Blue Bomber receiver Adarius Bowman Tuesday left you with the impression he's on top of the world.

"I feel great," No. 12 began, gushing like he was coming off the best game of his career. "I'm on a great track."

Not exactly a shell of his former self, and certainly not what you'd expect from a guy who's developed an acute case of the dropsies this season.

The last time we saw Bowman in action, he was wide open against the Alouettes in Montreal, letting two deep balls slip through his fingers.

Those two drops were just the latest in a trend that began in training camp. It's to the point where you wondered if the team's leading receiver a year ago would still be around when the Bombers returned to practice following the bye week.

I don't know if it's false bravado or what, but Bowman says he's not feeling any heat from anybody. To wit: the big smile he had on his face after dropping the passes in Montreal.

"That's why I'm telling you, I don't feel no pressure!" an animated Bowman said. "What do I have pressure about? I love playing this game. You never see me crying. 'Cause when I make that good one, everybody goes, 'Ohhh.' That's what makes me go. Because I know as soon as I make this next one, I can break a million tackles and score."

That's precisely why the Bombers haven't let him go.

A mouthwatering combination of size and speed, it's hard to give up on the guy.

And if his psyche is still intact, maybe there's hope.

I can still remember former Bomber Kamau Peterson sitting with his back to the locker-room, his head in his hands, after one particularly disastrous drop a few years back.

Peterson seemed broken at the time. But he bounced back, so maybe the exuberant Bowman can, too.

We know he had a long talk with head coach Paul LaPolice about his play the other day.

And receiver Terrence Edwards referred to Bowman in an address to the team, Monday.

"I pointed him out," Edwards said. "I know he dropped those two balls, and as a receiver that's the worst thing that can happen. But I was proud of him the way he came back. He didn't put his head down. He came back and made some big first-down catches. We went 17 unanswered (points), and he was part of that."

Everybody drops passes, Edwards pointed out.

"My famous drop in college was against the Florida Gators, our hated rival," Edwards said. "People to this day still talk about that drop."

But, as Coach LaPo often says, you can't keep making the same mistakes.

"He has leeway," LaPolice said of Bowman. "But you're right. If you continue to make mistakes you have to make changes. But he has leeway."

Edwards says as long as coaches and teammates show confidence in Bowman, he'll be OK.

So there he was in practice, Tuesday, wide open again, the ball floating down towards him -- and several members of the defence watching from the sidelines, yelling, "Don't drop it!"

He didn't.

"You see what I mean?" Bowman said, beaming like he'd caught the winning pass in the Grey Cup. "That's how you get better! I'd never be a guy to beat myself up. The guys that do it, I try to encourage them not to. I'm never going to beat myself up. If I do that I'm playing against myself. I'm trying to beat the other team."

On the surface, at least, his confidence is intact.

And if there is a voice in Adarius Bowman's head, it's his own.

Telling himself to worry about the next one.

Because that's the one he'll take all the way.


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