WINNIPEG - Chad Simpson feels it is time for character to shine.
Even though the Bombers are off to one of their worst starts in franchise history at 2-9, the running back said it’s important for everyone in the locker-room to keep their chins up.
“As a man you gotta keep going. We’re at the bottom,” Simpson said, shaking his head after Friday’s 44-3 shellacking in Calgary. “We’re at the lowest of the low right now, and there’s no way but up when you’re on your back. We’re staring at the sky now, so we have to work harder.
“Whatever we have to do, we have to claw, fight, get us a win. Play with some more pride and dignity.”
Despite some laughing on the Bomber sideline late in the Cowtown catastrophe, veteran slotback Terrence Edwards isn’t concerned about players mailing in their performances.
“I can say everyone’s heart’s in it,” he said. “Nobody’s here trying not to win or coming out here just playing for a paycheque. I don’t see any guys like that, so that’s not the answer.
“I don’t know what the answer can be. I can’t answer why this is happening. I don’t know. I have no idea.”
Head coach Tim Burke hinted the Bombers aren’t mentally strong enough, which isn’t surprising considering they’re the youngest team in the league.
“There’s a difference between trying hard and being totally emotionally invested in something,” Burke said. “The other thing is when adversity happens a mature team can handle that, and right now we’re not handling it. As soon as something bad happens, it’s ‘Here we go again.’ We’ve gotta get over that. Now. We can’t be up and down week after week after week.”
Jovon Johnson is paying the price for the coaching staff’s decision to cut Clint Kent before the season began.
The reigning CFL defensive player of the year was moved from cornerback to strong-side linebacker two games ago, and he has struggled in his new position.
“I’m asked to do a job, and I gotta go out and do it to the best of my ability,” Johnson said. “It’s different. It’s definitely not something that I’m comfortable at, but I still gotta go out there and play to the best of my ability.
“And I know I’m a better player than what I’ve shown this season. We took one on the chin, and we just gotta continue to fight and strive to get better. We got five Eastern opponent games, so that’s what we need to be focused on and try to win those.”
The Bombers have lost three games this season by 32 points or more, and there are still seven games to go. The Blue and Gold got blown out by that margin or more only four times between 2001 and 2011.
Winnipeg was 4-14 two years ago, but that team lost nine games by four points or fewer. That’s what makes this year much more troubling for safety Ian Logan.
“We lost all those games by such a close margin (in 2010),” he said. “We were just a play away here, a play away there. When you get blown out like this, sometimes changes have to happen.”
The Bombers return to the practice field on Monday morning … They will host the Tiger-Cats (4-7) on Friday night … Buck Pierce will start at quarterback on Friday. It will be his first start since tearing a muscle and tendons in his left foot on July 13.