Written by: Dave Turnbull
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers arrived in Edmonton this morning looking to capture their first win of the season tomorrow night against the Eskimos.
Both teams are coming off tough losses last week – with Edmonton scoring only one point against Saskatchewan – so many are expecting it to be a defensive game.
“Their entire team is going to want to bounce back from that loss so we are by no means taking them lightly,” said defensive end Jason Vega. “Their offence did some nice things in week one against Toronto and they have a very talented group so we’re expecting nothing but their best effort against their home fans.”
The Blue Bombers’ offence made some significant strides last week against Montreal and will be looking to build off what they started. Of course, all their success begins with the quarterback position where Buck Pierce enjoyed a fine night throwing for 255 yards and was well protected by a rather green offensive line.
Pierce is looking for much of the same on Friday night.
“We’re doing well,” said Pierce. “We’re really starting to come together as a group and we’re looking for that breakout game by our offence. We definitely have talented receivers and I thought our O-line did a nice job last week of protecting me and opening up holes for our running game so if we can get that going again, I think we’ll be alright.”
On defence, the Blue and Gold will be without to major pieces of their secondary with SAM linebacker Brandon Stewart and halfback Alex Suber missing the game due to injury. In their places step second-year player Darrell Pasco – who got a great feel for the CFL last year, having suited up in the Grey Cup – and Johnny Sears, who will move from his corner position to halfback. Jonathan Hefney replaces Stewart in the linebacking core and Deon Beasley will get his first start at corner this season.
The defence will be looking to right their own ship after having been torn apart by the Alouettes offence, specifically keeping an eye on the backfield where running back Brandon Whitaker managed to eat up all kinds of yardage either running the ball, or catching passes in the flats.
“I thought our defence played well in week one and last week there were some things that we started to get away from that we have to correct in order to get back to that Blue Bomber way of defence,” said Head Coach Paul LaPolice. “Our special teams have been very consistent and we’re starting to get our offence together so we’ll look for our defence to bounce back and have a great game.”
Kickoff is set for 8pm CST and can be seen on TSN and heard on CJOB 680. Fans are also encouraged to follow the Blue Bombers on Twitter on gameday for all kinds of behind-the-scenes coverage and live tweeting.