Bombers back to work: July 30 edition (updated)

- July 30th, 2012

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers were back on the field Monday morning after being rewarded with three days off by head coach Paul LaPolice.

The mood seemed pretty upbeat, which is natural, considering the Blue Bombers are coming off their first win of the season, a 23-22 nail-biter over the Edmonton Eskimos.

Quarterback Alex Brink was among those to point out there’s still plenty of work to be done, as the Blue Bombers get set for a second of four consecutive home games, on Friday vs the Montreal Alouettes, losers of two consecutive games (a phrase you haven’t heard often for the past decade or so).

“We like that we got a win, but there’s still a lot of things we can improve on,” said Brink. “There’s definitely a bit of a lighter mood in regards to coming out to practice and a more focused intensity on what we have to accomplish this week.”

Brink is coming off his first CFL victory as a starter, but both he and LaPolice recognize he still has work to do to take the next step in his development.

“It’s definitely a confidence builder. You always take your successes and you want to build on top of them,” said Brink. “You learn a lot when you go through those down times, in general. Not just in games, but throughout a season, throughout a career.

“Guys want to look at the quarterback and see a guy that can lead them to victories, so when you’re getting wins, that increases the way they feel about you, definitely. At the same time, they’re stepping up and making great plays, so that builds confidence for themselves and the confidence I have in them.”

“He certainly plays with confidence and believes in his abilities and what he can do — I thought he performed well, thought he managed the game well,” added LaPolice. “There are some things he has to do better, just like everybody else has to do better. Again, this guy has started five games in his career. I was pleased.”

Speaking of quarterbacks, Buck Pierce (foot) was moving around pretty well on Monday and even tried to work himself into some of the passing reps, though he remains out indefinitely.

“We’ll be very (cautious),” said LaPolice. “When he’s ready to go, he’ll be ready to go. We don’t want this to be a re-occurring thing. We’ll do our due diligence in making sure he’s healthy.”

It was a good news, bad news type of day on the injury front (stop us if you’ve heard that one before).

WILL linebacker Marcellus Bowman took first-team reps and looks like he’ll be good to go on Friday night (barring any setbacks for the hamstring injury that kept him out the first five weeks of the 2012 campaign.

Bowman is eager to get the season going and figures to be an upgrade over Dustin Doe and Henoc Muamba, who made his first start at weakside LB on Thursday and fared well in the eyes of LaPolice.

Bowman brings a great deal of experience, is good in coverage and also plays with a lot of energy.

Before the media scrum was over, LaPolice revealed that right tackle Andre Douglas is going in for left ankle surgery on Aug. 13, has been placed on the nine-game injured list and is done for the season.

The Blue Bombers were counting on his experience, but rookie Jordan Taormina has performed better as the season has moved along and my colleague Kirk Penton has been wondering if Douglas was going to just be handed the job when he was healthy enough to return.

It’s a moot point now, but LaPolice said he was happy with the level of talent in house here, including import Shannon Boatman and non-import Paul Swiston, who has also been getting work in at guard in both practices and games.

We’re working on a piece dealing with the return of Bowman and loss of Douglas as our main story.

Notebook will include some thoughts from DE Alex Hall, who discusses his penalty for hitting Steven Jyles late in the third quarter of Thursday’s win, among other things.

DT Brandon Collier (shoulder) was back on the field in full pads for first time since getting hurt in Week 4 and we won’t know his status for a few more days. DE Kenny Mainor (ankle) was also in full pads and might be activated from the nine-game injured list early, but that’s yet to be determined.

Here’s a quick hit at status of other injured Blue Bombers going into Week 6 (remember the Blue Bombers are going into the bye week following Friday’s match-up):

* S Ian Logan (lower-body) out

* LB Brandon Stewart (lower-body) out

* DB Alex Suber (lower-body) out

* RB Chad Simpson (lower-body), expected back on field Tuesday after maintenance day

* DB Johnny Sears (“banged up”), expected back on the field Tuesday after maintenance day

* WR Chris Matthews (undisclosed), expected back on field Tuesday after maintenance day

* DB Jeremy McGee (hamstring), hurt in Thursday’s game, played through pain. LaPolice was hopeful he will play this week

* DE Rodney Fritz (illness) missed Monday’s workout due to illness

* RB Carl Volny (hamstring), knee is feeling better but still feeling with hamstring discomfort, still out indefinitely

Categories: Football

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