Muamba pleased with CFL debut

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:47 AM ET

WINNIPEG - The first overall draft pick played his first CFL game and almost recorded his first CFL special teams tackle.

Henoc Muamba said he actually did make a tackle in his Bomber debut Friday night, but it was nullified because of a penalty on the play. All in all, though, Muamba was happy to finally hit the field.

“It went extremely well,” he said. “It felt good out there, the knee didn’t bother at all, and I felt prepared.”

Muamba missed the first seven games of the season with a knee injury. LaPolice said Saturday that Muamba played “OK,” but he hadn’t yet reviewed all of the special teams footage.

CHASE MODE: Even though Merrill Johnson’s “highlight” from Friday’s win over Hamilton was chasing Bakari Grant on his 43-yard touchdown run, head coach Paul LaPolice said the second-year Bomber played well in his second career start at weak-side linebacker.

“He played better than he did last game,” LaPolice said.

The coach said Johnson was simply the victim of a solid offensive play.

“That’s a tough one,” LaPolice said. “He has to (cover Grant), and that’s a difficult thing. It wasn’t a breakdown. It was a good execution against that coverage on that play. It’s a very good play, but we’ll steal that play.

“It was a good call. They caught us in the right coverage.”

I CAN’T HEAR YOU!: The Bombers will no doubt blast the noise over the speakers at practice this week to prepare for Sunday’s Labour Day Classic at sold out Mosaic Stadium, but they might have to start doing it before home games, too.

“It’s gotten so loud we’re going to have to start using crowd noise for ourselves in practice because we missed a bunch of checks because we couldn’t hear on defence,” LaPolice said. “So we have to start practising that ourselves.”

LaPolice even gave credit to sideline announcer Dave Wheeler, Power 97 morning man and weekly Sun columnist, for working the crowd into a frenzy at the right moments.

“We’ve told Wheeler when they’re in the huddle make sure you tell everybody to make noise,” LaPolice said. “He’s done a great job of that, and it’s gotten loud.”

FORE!: Bomber coaches and players will hit the links at Glendale on Monday afternoon for the team’s annual fundraising golf tournament.

LaPolice doesn’t expect to take many swings.

“My average driving distance is 20 minutes to my house,” he cracked. “I’ll probably just be in a cart.”


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