Sunday, July 28, 2013

48 Hours Later: Stampeders Lasso Bombers Defense

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers season is in jeopardy of falling off the cliff not only the fiscal cliff but the job cliff as they put up another clunker night resulting in a 37-24 loss to the Stamps who were playing behind their third string quarterback, Bo Levi Mitchell.

Mitchell was making his first career CFL start. The Bombers were also starting Justin Goltz who the fans had been clamoring for since Buck Pierce has been relatively ineffective over the first 4 games. He was average at best, which means he was slightly more effective than Pierce has been.

Unfortunately for Bombers fans the hero of the day was Mr. Mitchell who in true cowboy fashion used his six shooter to perfection going 29 for 33. The Bombers defense for the second week in a row had no answer for the offence it faced and to say the least they were defenseless  

Henoc Maumba showed some grit and determination but the rest of the squad was completely ineffective. Coach Burke not one to hide his feelings was extremely unimpressed with the Bombers man coverage and tackling. He made it clear that it was not defensive co-coordinator , Casey Crehans fault but this loss was on the players.

It was also Coach Burke who said after the pre-season games that we should wait until the 4th game to judge this team. If the first five games are an indication of what to expect and there is no reason to think things will change the judgment is in and it is not looking good. In fact it would be fairly accurate to state that this team is guilty of playing poor football in all three phases of the game and any Judge in his or her right mind would sentence them to missing the playoffs.

There is so much wrong with the team that it is far easier to focus on the things that are right, which includes the heart and desire the likes of Chad Simpson, Henoc Muamba and Glenn January who show up game in game out. 

Justin Goltz showed he can manage a CFL game but needs more time to perfect his craft.

The Bombers do not play again until August 5th when they travel to BC to take on the Lions. This will be a monumental task as the Lions are the class of the league and don’t lose at home. The Bombers follow that up with a bye week where the tall foreheads will be able to get together and assess the team's needs, which are many.  Coach Burke said it best after the game when asked about replacement players. He said they are all in NFL camps so there is no air lift coming.

The Bombers can and must learn from this loss as Calgary has several key cogs in its machine that the Bombers do not have.  They have a starting QB, serviceable backups, a great offensive line and a swarming defense. They are also well coached and it showed on Friday night.  

Coach Burke and his crew can and must get better or they will be gone but in order for that to happen the quarterback situation must be resolved, the offensive line must gel and the defensive backs have to be able to play man coverage.  

If these things do not happen this team is doomed for failure and the heroes have to come from within the organisation as they will not magically appear.  

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