One win from five, Bombers a playoff team?
By KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency
|(L-R) Winnipeg Blue Bombers wide receiver Chris Matthews, wide receiver Cassidy Doneff and long snapper Chris Cvetkovic high five fans following the Bombers' 23-22 victory over the Edmonton Eskimos in CFL football action in Winnipeg last week. (BRIAN DONOGH/QMI AGENCY)
WINNIPEG - It was a quiet weekend on the Bomber front. There was no practice, and the team was able to savour its time off after Thursday night's first victory of the season.
Here are a few thoughts as the Bombers (1-4) prepare to take on the Alouettes (2-3) on Friday night at Canad Inns Stadium.
The Bombers could move into playoff position with a win on Friday night. That's the CFL for you. You're never that far out "¦ One interesting storyline will be the return of Jeff Reinebold to the sidelines at Canad Inns Stadium for the first time since he was fired in October 1998. The Alouettes defensive co-ordinator is one of the more notorious head coaches in Bomber history, as his record was 6-26 over nearly two seasons, but people still loved him despite the team's struggles "¦ It's too bad Alouettes head coach Marc Trestman doesn't allow his assistants to speak to the media, because a Reinebold press conference in Winnipeg would be well-attended and probably quite entertaining. Here's hoping Trestman has a change of heart.
One of head coach Paul LaPolice's messages this week will be staying focused on the game. The Bombers have the bye next week, and players often look ahead to their week away from practice and meetings a little too soon "¦ Alex Brink's second career start came against the Alouettes last September at Canad Inns Stadium, and he completed 25 of 40 attempts for a career-high 326 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. The Bombers lost the game 32-26, however, when Brink failed to punch the ball into the end zone from the one-yard line on the last two plays of the game "¦ There are a few similarities between this year's Bomber team and the one from 2008. That team started 0-4 and won its fifth game with its backup quarterback, who at the time was Ryan Dinwiddie, in the final minute. Slotback Terrence Edwards remembered '08 and said the mindsets going into both games were similar. "I told the guys before the game to just go out, relax and have some fun," Edwards said Thursday night. "We can't get any worse. We're in last place on our side, so it can't get any worse." Hey, whatever works.
LaPolice doesn't ever get too excited, but the Bomber head coach's eyes lit up on Friday when he said weak-side linebacker Marcellus Bowman, who has missed the first five games of the season, could be back in the lineup on Friday against the Alouettes. They miss him big time "¦ The Bombers, who lead the league with 19 giveaways, are tied with the Calgary Stampeders for last in the turnover ratio department. Both teams are minus-7. The Alouettes are even "¦ Another quote from Edwards after Winnipeg's fortunate victory on Thursday that also sums up the week ahead for the Blue and Gold: "A win is a win. They don't have pretty or ugly or cute behind it. In the (standings) it says one and four. We gotta build on this and keep going."