Burke tells team to change mindset

Bombers head coach Tim Burke told his team to come back with a brand new mindset in 2013. (Brian...

Bombers head coach Tim Burke told his team to come back with a brand new mindset in 2013. (Brian Donogh/WINNIPEG SUN)

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:58 PM ET

WINNIPEG - Tim Burke stood in front of his team on Sunday morning and told them to come back in 2013 with a brand new mindset.

The Bombers were 6-12 this season and finished out of the playoffs for the third time in the last four years. They started 0-4, head coach Paul LaPolice got fired in late August, and they became the ninth team since 1974 to miss the post-season after making it to the Grey Cup the year before.

“I told them that we’re going to come back and we are going to start strong next year, that we cannot come back with the same attitude we had this last year when we showed up for training camp,” Burke said. “The players approached the season as if, ‘Well, this is just going to happen every year, that we’re this good and we’re always going to go to the Grey Cup.’ It doesn’t work that way.

“You have to have a burning desire to be in the Grey Cup, and you’ve gotta train with that burning desire to be in the Grey Cup. It’s gotta be every fibre of your body, your heart, soul and mind to get back there. And if it isn’t, we’re going to replace you. We’re gonna bring in enough competition that, if you don’t have that burning desire, we’re gonna find somebody who does.”

As for adding veteran talent this off-season, which some veterans feel should happen, Burke wasn’t so sure it can be done just like that.

“If we could get some more Canadian content in our program and if it was veteran, that would be great,” Burke said. “But nobody wants to give up their really good Canadian players, so we’ll just look and see what’s available in free agency. They have to be a better player than what we have.”

UP IN THE AIR?

Running back Chris Garrett, who tore his Achilles tendon three days before the start of the season, plans to be back in 2013.

He is a potential free agent, and he said the team has indicated to him that they want him to return.

“Yes, they have, but I’m not going to speak on that,” Garrett said.

The part that makes Garrett’s future in Winnipeg fuzzy is the fact his replacement, Chad Simpson, was the team’s most outstanding player this season. Garrett said part of him wasn’t upset to see Simpson doing so well.

“In this game, opportunities are given and he made the most of his opportunity,” Garrett said. “He took off with the job, and he did really well with it.

“I’m just more thankful I’m recovering faster. I’m just worried about recovering right now.”

Garrett is already running again, and he said he’ll be back to normal — or “even better” — in two months.

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