Bombers add punter Boreham

JIM BENDER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:40 AM ET

WINNIPEG - A Battle of the Booters has already begun at Winnipeg’s camp this week.

The Blue Bombers acquired punter Jamie Boreham from the Saskatchewan Roughriders for future considerations to push the struggling Mike Renaud this week. And Boreham could take that job away from him as soon as this Friday when the Bombers face the Tiger-Cats in Hamilton.

“Mike’s going to be in a competition this week to see if he can compete against Jamie, and whoever punts best will probably be the punter going into Friday,” Bombers GM Joe Mack said Monday.

“We just felt that we hadn’t been as proficient as we need to be in the punting game and directionally kicking and putting the ball where it needs to be and the length of our kicks,” said Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice, who was with Boreham in both Saskatchewan and Hamilton previously.

“He has a very strong leg and is a very good directional kicker. He hasn’t had a single in three years. So, we’ll let him compete and go from there.”

The former University of Manitoba Bison, who has also played for Toronto, sports a career punting average of 41.0 yards. Bomber coaches were already measuring hang time and scrutinizing the directional kicks of both punters at Monday’s practice.

“I guess it’s the nature of the business,” Renaud said. “To be perfectly honest, I’m not entirely surprised. Competition’s good for everyone. It makes everyone play better. We’re looking for a playoff run here and we need to be as best as we can possibly be, so …”

Renaud, who has recorded a 42.1-yard average this season, knows he has to be more consistent.

“It’s 90% between the ears here at this level and you just have to work on your mental game a little bit more,” said Renaud, 28. “So, I look forward to the challenge and keep moving forward …

“I’ve been competing against (kicker) Justin (Palardy) all season, so with that said, they brought in another guy who can get the job done as well. So, it’s just a little bit more fire and I play my best under pressure, to be perfectly honest. So, I just can’t wait to get out to Hamilton on Friday night and let loose.”

It did look like a friendly competition.

“It’s not me and Mike fighting each other in the parking lot or anything like that,” said Boreham, 33. “It’s about winning football games and setting ourselves up to make a playoff run here and get ourselves into the Grey Cup …

“Kickers have their struggles every now and then, and if I can help him, then I’ll help him. And he’ll help me.”

The 5-foot-10, 207-pound Vancouver native can also pound kickoffs.

“Hopefully, it’s just a confidence thing,” LaPolice said. “I mean, he’s not going anywhere. He’s still with us and he just has to work through this funk.”


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