Bombers' Johnson 'telling it like it is'
By KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency
|Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Jovon Johnson recovers Edmonton Eskimos quarterback Steven Jyles' fumble during the second half of their CFL game in Winnipeg on July 26, 2012. (REUTERS)
WINNIPEG - Jovon Johnson plans on being a little more vocal as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers try to dig themslves out of a 1-5 hole.
"We had our defensive meeting (Wednesday) and I told the guys I'm going to stand up and start telling people how it is, whether they like it or not," said Johnson, the 2011 CFL defensive player of the year. "And I'm going to hold myself accountable as well. That's what they signed me here for, that's what they expect out of me, so that's what I'm going to do. I'm A-OK with that.
"We definitely can be a lot better than we've shown. Sometimes you need tough love, to light that fire and get guys going. Sometimes that's what it all boils down to. Ultimately, we want to win and it just starts with our leaders to get guys going. That's what the emphasis is on."
VOTE OF CONFIDENCE: Marcellus Bowman has a pretty good understanding of what Henoc Muamba is going through.
In fact, Bowman actually went through the same thing last season when he filled in at middle linebacker for the injured Joe Lobendahn and was quick to express confidence in the man the Blue Bombers chose first overall in the 2011 CFL Canadian Draft.
"Honestly, Henoc is ready for this moment," said Bowman. "He's played both middle and weakside linebacker this season and has performed well at both of them. It's not a big deal as far as him being able to handle the situation, he'll be fine."
CAT AND MOUSE GAME: The 'Cats better not think they have a mere mouse on their hands, Thursday.
Running back Chad Simpson says a 1-5 record has the Bombers in a more snarly mood.
"We're a wounded animal," Simpson said. "You know how it is when an animal is wounded. They know they're wounded, they know they're weak right now. We're ready to fight."
Simpson, in his first year, doesn't see signs of a disastrous season looming, either.
"I believe we're going to turn around -- I truly believe that," he said. "I'm not just saying that. The bright side is we have plenty more games to go."
PRACTICE MAKES PURRRFECT? If practice means anything -- and it often doesn't -- the Bombers might be a handful for the Tabbies.
"You can see by the week of practice we've had, guys are flying around -- there's no quit in this team," O-lineman Glenn January said. "Which is always what you want to see. Sometimes when you have a younger team, people can wander a bit and not stay focused. But we have a focused group that's very intent on righting the ship."
That focus may have come into question when four players arrived late after the bye week.
Jonathan Hefney, Henoc Muamba, Alex Suber and Jason Vega were all fined for missing the first day back at work.
"That happens every year to every team," January said. "Obviously it's compounded by our record and where we are right now and maybe who it was, etc. But this stuff happens.
"Everybody that wasn't here stood up and was a man and explained what happened. And I'm fine with that."
HASHMARKS: Blue Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice confirmed that special-teams ace James Green will make his 2012 debut on Thursday. Also added to the Blue Bombers 46-man roster this week were safety Ian Logan and defensive back Alex Suber. Moving off the roster are safety Brady Browne (moved to nine-game injured list with a torn Achilles), running back Nathan Riva (one-game injured list with a hamstring inssue) and defensive tackle JT Gilmore (one-game injured list with a calf problem)...The Ticats will be without star receiver Andy Fantuz, who suffered a head injury last week after hauling in six catches for 77 yards.
-- with files from Paul Friesen