WINNIPEG - So does Swaggerville have room for hogs?
It seemed a good question for offensive lineman Brendon LaBatte, who, along with his fellow O-linemen, have watched with amusement as the characters on the Blue Bomber defence seem to have stolen the show around here — not only on the field with their play, but off it with their creative renaming of the team.
“Speaking on behalf of the O-line, that’s not something we’re going out there looking to really accomplish,” LaBatte said, suggesting lineman go about their business with a tad less fanfare.
“We’re maybe not as outgoing about it. It’s something we’d like to emulate to a degree. But that’s not really the O-line personality.
“But if people wanted to put that on us, we wouldn’t be offended by it.”
LaBatte calls the hogs a “product of Swaggerville.”
“We’re all together ... but there’s no doubt about who invented it and who’s got the most swagger, and that’s definitely been the defence. We want to implement that kind of attitude and intensity on the offensive side of the ball.”
So far, Winnipeg’s top-rated defence hasn’t been matched by the offence, rated No. 5 in the CFL.
And even though the Bombers are producing the most yards along the ground, at 121.5 per game, the men in the trenches are still waiting for that breakout game for Fred Reid.
“It’s close,” LaBatte said. “We’ve got to get him over that 100 and that’ll really help the offence to break out. It’s been tough slugging. We’ve been picking up the shorter, more consistent gains, but we just haven’t been getting the big ones.
“I’m sure that’ll come. We’ve just gotta keep pounding away at it.”
If not swaggering.
HUMBLEVILLE, ANYONE?: Quarterback Buck Pierce doesn’t mind being part of Swaggerville, although he says it can easily be misinterpreted.
“It’s important to stay humble and all that,” Pierce said. “But we’re not an arrogant bunch. And that’s what can get misconstrued... it’s more of a mindset. We come to practice every day and we fly around. We don’t take days off.”
BIG MAN OUT: Nobody is expecting D-tackle Doug Brown to play in B.C., Saturday, which will mark just the second time Brown has missed more than one game in a season during his 11-year career.
In 2005, Brown sat out five games and recorded his lowest-ever number of tackles, with 31.
Head coach Paul LaPolice says Jason Vega, able to play both inside and outside positions, will return to the lineup.
DB’s Jovon Johnson and Deon Beasley returned to practice, Wednesday, and appear good to go.
Receiver Greg Carr is once again expected to be a healthy scratch.