Special win for Burke

- October 9th, 2012

MONTREAL – Monday’s 27-22 victory by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers over the Montreal Alouettes was an important one for the franchise.

First and foremost, it kept their slim playoff hopes alive.

And while that was the most important part, interim head coach Tim Burke conceded afterward that it was a little extra special to post a win against his former club.

Burke won a pair of Grey Cups as the defensive coordinator on Marc Trestman’s staff and felt he had to move on to eventually move into the head coaching job he covets and now has, at least for the rest of the regular season.

Since his departure was cordial, it’s not like Burke was trying to stick it to his old boss.

“Beating Montreal is (sweet). I’m not saying beating Marc is sweet because he was really good to me and I only with the best for him,” said Burke. “But it’s fun to come in and beat Montreal because they are so superior at home and they are one of the Top-2 teams in the league right now, I believe.”

On sunday, I had a chance to ask Alouettes QB Anthony Calvillo what it was like to see Burke get a shot as a head coach and his answer was telling.

“Tim has been waiting,” said Calvillo. “He was here with us and was hoping to get a job somewhere else and now he’s got his chance. I really see positive things for him in the future of becoming a head coach, whether he is (in Winnipeg) or somewhere else.”

It will be interesting to see how the rest of the regular season plays out, but Burke certainly helped his cause of having that interim label removed with the win on Monday.

The next challenge is trying to find a way to see if the Blue Bombers can record consecutive wins for the first time in 2012.

A few other nuggets as we empty the notebook after the road trip to Montreal:

* Burke had this to say when asked about all of the wide open receivers that were available for Blue Bombers QB Joey Elliott:

“They do a lot of blitzing and then play a three-deep coverage behind it, so that does leave some holes,” said Burke. “I thought (Blue Bombers offensive coordinator) Gary (Crowton) had a real good plan and did some of the same things Hamilton did against it (last week). And Joey was really good.”

* Elliott was very good indeed and the performance should go a long way to improving his stock moving forward, but there’s no guarantee he’ll start again this week. Although he wasn’t available to the media, Burke said during the coach’s show on CJOB that if Buck Pierce (concussion) gets medical clearance on Wednesday, he’ll be back behind centre.

* 4th string QB Justin Goltz’s take on being more involved in the offence with the Wildcat package that has been implemented:

“I’m an athlete and I’m trying to go out there and make plays for my team,” said Goltz. “Hopefully, we can keep adding to that package and just keep the wheels turning with our offence.”

Sounds like the Wildcat package will be expanded each week, but we have to ask, what will happen when Pierce returns from his concussion? Does the Wildcat portion fall on Alex Brink or will Goltz stay on the active roster? That will be a storyline to monitor this week.

* There were plenty of positives for the Blue Bombers on Monday, but there were a couple of potential landmines as the team had some early discipline woes, had two special-teams blunders (a lost fumble by Demond Washington and a botched snap for Chris Cvetkovic that prevented a chip-shot field goal by Justin Palardy). Mistakes are going to happen, but when you might need to run the table to get into the post-season, leave it to a sage veteran like Terrence Edwards to not lose sight of the miscues while keeping the focus on what went well.

“We still made a lot of mistakes that could have been drive killers or missing out on some scores, but we made up for them,” said Edwards.

 

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