Bombers plan to get more yards out of Edwards

Terrence Edwards celebrates a touchdown against Montreal on Sept. 18. (Christinne Muschi/Reuters)

Terrence Edwards celebrates a touchdown against Montreal on Sept. 18. (Christinne Muschi/Reuters)

Jim Bender, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:49 PM ET

WINNIPEG - Hes one of the old dogs now, about to turn 33 on a team loaded with pups.

So when Terrence Edwards speaks, its worth a listen.

Monday, the receiver, a fresh contract extension in his back pocket, spoke with the Winnipeg Sun from his Atlanta home for nearly half an hour, touching on virtually every hot-button, off-season issue surrounding the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

In a nutshell, Edwards believes head coach Paul LaPolice was smart to drop the play-calling duties, Brendon LaBatte, Greg Carr and Odell Willis will have big years with their new teams and its time for a crackdown on the B.S. in Bomberland.

Well start, of course, with the B.S..

We need to just step up and let people know this is a different season, Edwards said. Weve got to come in with a different attitude, and all that B.S. that goes on is going to be left at the door.

If youve been following the Bombers, you probably know what Edwards is talking about.

Just the B.S. that goes on throughout the season, he said. Tweets are going to be cut down. Thats one thing. I understand you want to vent your frustrations, but you cant go on a forum where it goes outside the locker-room.

Its been one social media migraine after another for the Bomber front office this winter.

If it wasnt Jovon Johnson bellyaching about the lack of progress on his new contract, it was Jonathan Hefney and Deon Beasley dumping on GM Joe Mack for losing players to free agency or Hefney tweeting an obscene photo.

Edwards acknowledges the Bombers must do some growing up.

Of course we do. Its professional sports. I tell people all the time, dont do anything that jeopardizes your paycheques.

As for losing two all-stars and a promising, big-play receiver, Edwards didnt mince words: itll hurt.

On Carr: Theres one guy Im going to hate to see go. Edmonton is getting a great player, but also a great guy.

On LaBatte: The glue of the offensive line. Its going to be hard to replace Blue. You dont find great Canadians like that every day.

Edwards was perhaps the most passionate about the controversial Willis, traded to Saskatchewan. The two are close, working out daily together in Atlanta.

Odell got a tag on him... hes been labelled, Edwards said. But Odell is a great guy. If you know Odell Willis on a day to day basis, hes a good kid, doesnt mean any harm to anybody.

Willis had his own Twitter adventures at last years Grey Cup. Hes lacked discipline on and off the field, too, drawing an impaired-driving charge just a week ago.

I saw a change in him this whole off-season, Edwards insisted. I talked to him (Monday). We were at the gym before anybody else. Hes taking it as well as he could. He made a mistake, hes going to face it and move on from it.

And have a big season with the Riders.

Hes going to be missed by the fact that hes the best pass-rusher in the league, Edwards said. Those two games we play against him hes not going to do anything, but other than that hes going to have a great year.

Edwards figures the Bombers will, too, even though they havent done much over the winter.

He points to LaPolice relinquishing the offensive co-ordinators job.

With a young team, coach LaPo at this point just needs to focus on being a head coach, Edwards said. Youre going to see a dramatic improvement in his player relationship... he always had an open door policy, but now its really open door.

And finally, a promise from Edwards. Two, actually.

Hes going to be more vocal. And hes going to be better.

Im going to challenge players, Im going to challenge myself, he said. To play one notch better than last year.

For an old dog, thatd be a pretty good trick.