Blue Bombers' history repeating

Winnipeg Blue Bombers CFL training camp participant #72 Brett Carter at Investors Group Field in...

Winnipeg Blue Bombers CFL training camp participant #72 Brett Carter at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg. Tuesday, June 11, 2013.

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:39 PM ET

WINNIPEG - The 2013 Winnipeg Blue Bombers will look a lot like the 2012 Winnipeg Blue Bombers that finished with a 6-12 record and out of the playoffs.

Fear not, says head coach Tim Burke. There will be improvement.

“I would hope that we would be improved in the secondary,” Burke said this morning at Investors Group Field. “I think we’ll see continued growth with our offensive line. If they build on what they did last year at the end of the year, we’ll see a definite improvement there. Our protection should be better this year. And I hope our backup quarterback play is better than it was last year.”

The Bombers released 21 players this morning, bringing their active roster down to 52 players. They need to be at 46 by 9 o’clock tonight, which means they’ll have to put six more players on either the one- or nine-game injured lists.

None of the cuts were surprising, and the only returnee to get his walking papers was receiver Kurt Adams. The other cuts were: quarterback Chase Clement, punter Billy Pavlopoulos, fullback Carl Fitzgerald, receivers Quintin McCree, Wallace Miles, Jameze Massey and Trevor Kennedy, defensive linemen Zach Anderson, Dexter Davis, Anthony Degrate and Marquis Frazier, offensive linemen Brendan Dunn and Aderious Simmons, defensive backs Bert Brown, Wesley Pendleton, David James, Dekota Marshall and Teague Sherman, and linebackers Wendell Brown and Ian Wild.

Nine of the cuts will be asked to stay on the practice roster, a group that is expected to include Pavlopoulos, Fitzgerald, Wild and Anderson. Clement was asked to stay on the practice roster, but Burke said it appears he will decline the offer. The Bombers will probably bring in a fourth quarterback to sit on the practice roster, but it would be a young, developmental pivot.

Newcomers who made the team were linebacker Desia Dunn, cornerback Marty Markett and defensive end Freddie Harris.

As for position battles, Kenny Mainor won the defensive end spot vacated by Jason Vega, Shannon Boatman held on to his right tackle job over Andre Douglas, and Terrell Parker is the new weak-side linebacker.

Paul Swiston will dress as the sixth offensive lineman, and either Desia Dunn or Jeremy McGee will play the nickelback spot in place of the injured Johnny Sears on Thursday when the Bombers host the Montreal Alouettes in the CFL season-opener at Investors Group Field.

Receiver Kito Poblah is also expected to miss Thursday’s opener due to injury, which means either Rory Kohlert or Jade Etienne will get the start in his place.

Now that the 2013 version of his team has come into focus, Burke said he likes what he sees.

“We’re a lot more veteran than we’ve probably been as we started a year,” he said. “We’re healthy for the most part. Now we’ll just have to go out and play and see how we do.”

Winnipeg native Brett Carter didn't make the active roster, but he will practise with the Bombers as a territorial junior exemption.


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