Report: Windsor eyeing Bombers special teams coach

JIM BENDER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:05 PM ET

The rumour mill is just starting to warm up as it does at this time of year every season.

One of the juiciest ones related to Winnipeg is that Blue Bombers special teams coach Kyle Walters is one of the top candidates to replace Mike Morencie as the head coach of the Windsor Lancers.

Walters, in fact, is so well-respected that Windsor could be ready to guarantee him — or someone as well-regarded in the college ranks — $80,000 a year for the next five years, reported Ontario’s Greg Layson, who writes under the monicker of Big Man on Campus.

Walters has been scrutinized in Winnipeg after the special teams surrendered six touchdowns on kick returns and failed to stop fake punts on a number of occasions.

During his address to the media on Monday, Bomber GM Joe Mack stressed that the special teams must improve drastically.

“Obviously, we have to be better on special teams,” he said, then repeated: “We just have to be better on special teams.”

It should be pointed out that the Bombers do boast the second-leading punt returner (Jovon Johnson) in the CFL, that placekicker Justin Palardy will most likely be named to the Eastern all-star team this week and that Mike Renaud is one of the top punters in the league.

Bomber head coach Paul LaPolice actively recruited Walters, who had been the head coach of the Guelph Gryphons, last winter. Walters, who bought a house in Winnipeg when he arrived here, is credited for reviving the Gryphons program and likely has a number of much-needed contacts when it comes to scouting Canadian college recruits, an important aspect after the Bombers lost assistant coach Bob Dyce to Saskatchewan.

Walters is just one of a number of candidates for a job that has not been opened yet, although Morencie is on very shaky ground, Layson reported. But he sounds like a condemned man.

“We eat our own in this business,” Morencie told Big Man on Campus. “We worked our ass off here and didn’t get it done in terms of wins and losses. And they keep score in this business.”

And yes, that is the same Morencie whose son, Matt, was recently picked up by Winnipeg after the former Hamilton Tiger-Cats offensive lineman had a spat with a Lancers reporter.

TRADE PICK?: The Bombers, by the way, have the No. 1 pick in the 2011 Canadian college draft, thanks to their awful 4-14 record. But Mack indicated that the club may be willing to deal it.

“I’m very cognizant of our Canadian content,” he said. “I can’t see us not being aggressive in trying to increase our Canadian depth. Having said that, if somebody comes to the table with a very attractive offer for that first pick, we’d consider it.”

Mack traded down for extra picks last year.

SCRATCH ONE: You can forget about Winnipeg pursuing Drew Tate, one of the most promising pivots in the CFL. Tate, who was about to become a free agent, has officially signed a contract extension to remain the backup to Calgary’s Henry Burris.


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