Big play Bombers

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:16 AM ET

WINNIPEG - BP doesn’t stand for Buck Pierce.

It stands for Big Play.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are not only the CFL’s top team, but they are also one of its most exciting on offence.

Some of you might be saying ‘What’s that now?’ when you consider how underwhelming the offence has been at times this season, but no pack of point getters has produced more big plays in 2011 than the boys in Blue and Gold.

The CFL defines “big plays” as runs of 20 yards or more and completions of 30 yards or more.

Winnipeg leads the way with 26 big plays on offence, including a season-high four in Sunday’s 25-23 win over Montreal that moved it four points ahead of the Alouettes in the East Division.

Two of those big plays went for touchdowns, and another set up Winnipeg’s first major on an opening drive this season. Fred Reid had a 47-yard run for a score, Terrence Edwards hauled in a 39-yard TD pass, and Cory Watson ripped off a 92-yard catch and run that led to Greg Carr’s nine-yard touchdown reception from Pierce.

The Bombers have only six ‘big’ rushes in 11 games this season, but they lead the way with 20 ‘big’ completions. None was bigger than Watson’s long journey on Sunday that set the early tone for the visitors.

“We’ve got some guys who are very good versus press-man coverage, and when people try to press us we’re going to be in a position to get behind you,” head coach Paul LaPolice said. “One of them, Buck recognized blitz very well and just got the ball in the hands of (Watson) and he just broke tackles.

“(Pierce) saw the matchup, he saw he had good protection, and he took a chance to take the shot, and it was good. I think we understand more what we’re trying to do.”

The Bomber offence’s big-play ability went away in the second quarter when the Alouettes changed to a zone defence, but Pierce still found a chink in the armour on the final play of the third quarter when he hit Edwards with the 39-yarder that proved to be the winning score.

“Buck’s getting a better feel of seeing when he can take a matchup he likes,” LaPolice said.

The big play is a dangerous tactic to rely on because it’s not always going to be there, but the Bombers are proving otherwise.

“We want to make sure we can execute big plays when they’re available but also consistently get first downs, because the more first downs you have the more opportunity you have for maybe a big play,” LaPolice said.

The only problem with the big play is it’s not an indicator of success. The team with the most “big plays” on offence last season was none other than the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the league’s worst team at 4-14.

Hey, at least they were — and still are — entertaining.


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