Bombers brass not planning changes at top

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:53 AM ET

Disgruntled Bomber fans can put down their pointy sticks and snuff out their torches.

The people who ultimately call the shots on Maroons Road plan to stay the course, even though the Bombers took a step back this year after the disastrous season that was 2009.

“Now that we know we’re out, personally it’s very disappointing,” Winnipeg Football Club chairman Bill Watchorn said Sunday, 24 hours after the franchise’s Grey Cup drought officially hit two decades. “Having said that, my sense of the board, without having met and discussed this, is that we’re on the right track and we’re going to stay the course and get better.”

The WFC’s board of directors will review every aspect of the 2010 season after it is complete, like it always does, but Watchorn was confident enough to say the jobs of GM Joe Mack and head coach Paul LaPolice are safe.

Watchorn agreed that too much turnover is tumultuous, but that won’t be the primary reason for the expected stability at the coaching and management level going into 2011.

“Particularly if you believe you’ve got the right people in place and you’ve got the nucleus for a very solid team,” he said. “Those two together, in my own view, would mean staying the course.”

Mack and LaPolice will end up with fewer wins than Mike Kelly did in his rookie campaign, but the off-field distractions that damaged the Bomber brand last year were kept to a minimum in 2010.

Watchorn believes the majority of the fan base is as hopeful for the future as he is and is not about to revolt now that the team will miss the playoffs for a second straight season.

“We have no sense of that,” Watchorn said. “We try to monitor our fan base pretty close, and we have no sense of that. There’s disappointment, but I think they appreciate the changes that have been and are supportive of them.

“… We’ve got areas to improve, and we will. We’ve got some great players that were brought in this year. It’s a very young team, and they’ve made great strides in changing the team.

“Now we’ve gotta have more consistency and win the games that are close.”

While dealing with the scary notion of having only one healthy quarterback under contract on Sunday, LaPolice took time to weigh in on where it all went wrong for his squad.

“There’s things that definitely haven’t gone our way on top of becoming a younger team and then having some guys released and then having some injuries,” he said. “All those things affected us, but you have to keep playing.”

LATE HIT: Left guard Brendon LaBatte suffered a biceps injury on Saturday, and LaPolice said there’s a chance the muscle could be torn. More will be known Monday.

Safety Ian Logan injured his hamstring, but he is expected to play on Saturday in Edmonton.


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