WINNIPEG - For seven weeks, Winnipeg’s pass rush was the most feared in the CFL, building a huge lead in the sack race.
The last two weeks, combined, however, the Bombers have managed just a single quarterback takedown.
“Teams understand that’s the strength of our defence, so obviously they’re going to take steps,” lineman Doug Brown said. “Anyone who watches film understands what we’re capable of out there. So it’s no surprise. It’s attack and counterattack. It’s like playing chess. They made a move, now we gotta make a new one on Sunday.”
Brown pointed out Winnipeg got to Riders quarterback Darian Durant a few times last Sunday, but recorded just one sack.
“We certainly missed some,” Brown said. “It’s not like we didn’t get opportunities. We got some hits on the quarterback ... you can ask Durant if he felt any pressure or not. He almost ran for as many yards as Wes Cates did.”
Rush end Odell Willis, the self-appointed mayor of Swaggerville, had a simple response, along with a shrug, to the defence’s drop in production.
“They’re professionals, they get paid just like we do,” Willis said. “I mean, ain’t nobody just going to sit there and let you keep kicking their butt all day.”
IN-HOUSE DISCIPLINE: Head coach Paul LaPolice wouldn’t divulge whether or not he issued any fines after Sunday’s game, which saw the Bombers penalized 16 times for 178 yards.
“I sat down with every guy who took a penalty,” the coach said. “Those are all by my discretion, if we levy fines. I don’t want to get into whether I did or not. But it’s in my repertoire.”
The Bombers drew the only two ejections, Cory Watson and Brandon Stewart getting tossed late.
JYLES THE MAN: Former Bomber QB Steven Jyles is looking forward to taking over in Toronto this week.
“I’m at a point in my career where I am ready and I am tired of waiting on someone to get injured to go in,” Jyles told reporters, Wednesday. “When I was injured, I was pretty mad, because I was just getting to feel where I could control this league and what the defences do to me.”
Jyles takes over from the cut Cleo Lemon.
BLUE NOTES: LB Marcellus Bowman looks ready to reclaim his job from Merrill Johnson ... Tim Brown was returning punts in practice, Wednesday ... REC Andy Fantuz practised with the Riders, although he hasn’t officially signed.