Bombers anxious for pre-season

Training camp is coming to an end and Bombers like DB Jonathan Hefney are growing restless as they...

Training camp is coming to an end and Bombers like DB Jonathan Hefney are growing restless as they prep for Thursday’s pre-season game against the Montreal Allouettes. (CHRIS PROCAYLO/QMI Agency)

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:04 AM ET

WINNIPEG - When you close in on the 10th day of training camp, the prospect of banging heads with someone who isn’t a prospective teammate can be quite liberating.

So while we are quick to point out that Thursday’s game against the Montreal Alouettes is merely a preseason game, jobs are on the line and the intensity should be heightened.

“More than anything, they’re excited to hit somebody,” said Blue Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice. “To actually be able to finish plays, bounce off tackles and continue to go or hit somebody or really lay out somebody — which you don’t do in a training camp session.”

The Blue Bombers are likely to travel with a relatively inexperienced bunch, as the priority for LaPolice is to evaluate players, especially those trying to find their way onto the roster.

“You want to see guys do what they’re supposed to do and when you have an opportunity to make a play, make a play,” said LaPolice, noting he has yet to finalize his traveling roster. “Don’t be overwhelmed. I want kids to go out, just like at the college they were at or other places and make sure the game isn’t too big for them. Offensively, execute, move the ball and score touchdowns. Defensively, play physical football and cover people down. That’s what I’d like to see.”

It’s worth noting that the ratio rules for imports/non-imports don’t apply for the preseason games.

WHO’S NO.2?: LaPolice conceded on Tuesday that none of Joey Elliott, Alex Brink and Justin Goltz have established who will fall where in the battle of the backups.

“They each have good days and bad, I wouldn’t anoint anyone a two or a three or a four right now,” said LaPolice,. “I just know that Buck (Pierce) is our No. 1.”

With that in mind, don’t be surprised if Pierce is held out of Thursday’s game.

LIST OF WOUNDED SHRINKS: The list of players on the sidelines due to injury shrunk substantially, from 12 to five on Monday.

Back on the field were DB Jonathan Hefney, DB Deon Beasley, DB Alex Suber, DL Deji Oduwole, WR David McKoy, WR Greg Betterson and OL Obby Khan, who took part in his first session since injuring his groin on the first day of camp.

“I did everything except for the contact drills,” said Khan, who is not expected to play Thursday in Montreal against the Alouettes. “It felt really good and there was no pain at all.”

That left WR Greg Carr (hamstring), WR Kito Poblah (Achilles), WR Aaron Hargreaves (sprained ankle), WR Damian Sherman (hamstring) and SB/FB Scott McHenry (neck) on the sidelines.

POSITIONAL BATTLE: LaPolice also told the media on Monday that Khan and Brendon LaBatte will continue to battle for the starting centre position once Khan is fully healthy and cleared for contact.

“This competition was happening whether we had an injury (to Khan) or not,” said LaPolice. “Brendon has done a very good job. He can get up and really push people out of the way.”

CAMPING OUT

Three stars of the day

QB Alex Brink had his chance to shine, delivering several important strikes in the battle of the backups. WR Perry Floyd was showcasing his speed and elusiveness once again, finding a way to get open with regularity. Defensively, S Ian Logan came away with an interception.

Catch of the day

Floyd continues to impress as an import receiver and the latest of his exploits came late in the session as he took a pass from Brink in double coverage, eluded the defenders and took it to the house.

Quote of the day

“If he (Brendon LaBatte) wasn’t 300 pounds, he would be THE best athlete on the whole, entire team. Without a doubt.”

— Blue Bombers C Obby Khan, who was on field for the first time since opening day Monday as he recovers from a groin injury

Tweet of the day

“Bout to get a haircut by fellow QB Justin Goltz. This is the kind of mindset u get in during camp. Crazy ideas #TrainingCampLife #Barbershop.”

— Blue Bombers QB Alex Brink or @AlexBrink10

The schedule

The Blue Bombers hit the field on Tuesday at 9:15 at Canad Inns Stadium for their final workouts before boarding a plane to Montreal for Thursday’s preseason game against the Alouettes. The game goes at 6:30 p.m. and can be seen live on TSN and heard on 680 CJOB


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