Bombers need to eliminate slow starts fast

Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice reacts during CFL football against the Hamilton...

Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice reacts during CFL football against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Winnipeg Thursday August 16, 2012. (BRIAN DONOGH/QMI Agency)

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:41 PM ET

WINNIPEG - For all of the good things the Winnipeg Blue Bombers managed to do last Thursday, there’s one area that must improve significantly for them to take the next step — eliminating the slow starts that have plagued them through the first seven games of the season.

Thursday’s 32-25 victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats was the latest example of how slowly the 2-5 Bombers have been coming out of the gate.

By giving up a touchdown on the Ticats’ first possession and trailing 7-1 at the end of 15 minutes, the Bombers have now been outscored 54-8 in the opening quarter.

“It’s probably been our worst quarter, both defensively and offensively,” said Bomber head coach Paul LaPolice. “We have to start faster.”

After having the weekend off, the Bombers return to the field on Monday morning to prepare for Friday’s home tilt against the B.C. Lions.

FORD TOUGH

He had but four carries for nine yards, but one of Will Ford’s carries resulted in the game-winning touchdown, a four-yard plunge with 85 seconds left.

Ford was forced into duty after Chad Simpson aggravated a foot injury late in the fourth quarter on a 20-yard run that brought the Bombers to the Hamilton 15-yard line.

On his first touch, Ford delivered positive yardage on a four-yard run. Two plays later, he capped the 92-yard scoring drive with his first CFL touchdown.

“Will Ford came in and did some nice things,” said LaPolice. “He’s a pretty good kid and when you bring those guys up, you don’t know anything about them. Our coaches love him and our players love him because he learns and he wants to get better. He has some tools.”

STILL WAITING

Bomber quarterback Joey Elliott did a nice job getting his receivers involved on Thursday night, but Kito Poblah was kept off the board for the first time this season.

In seven games, Poblah has 16 grabs for 183 yards and has yet to make a big impact on the offence.

Chris Matthews was much more involved in the offence, hauling in eight catches for a team-high 118 yards (including a 40-yard catch that set up Simpson’s five-yard touchdown to tie the game 17-17) to push him to 575 yards on the season, which is 103 more receiving yards than veteran Terrence Edwards, who is second on the team with 472.

Clarence Denmark showed his explosiveness on Thursday, with four catches for 77 yards, including a 38-yard grab.


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