WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Blue Bombers made their way to Montreal on Thursday after they made four adjustments to their 46-man roster.
The biggest changes are in the receiving unit with the Bombers still searching for the right combination after injuries to Weston Dressler, Ryan Smith and Darvin Adams. Gerard Sheppard will start at slotback after they moved Jace Davis to the practice roster. Quincy McDuffie will also start at receiver as he replaces Kris Adams who is also headed to the practice roster. James Tuck, Padric Scott and Jermarcus Hardrick also made the 46-man unit but Hardrick will likely be one of their two scratches with Manase Foketi listed as the starting right tackle.
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The Bombers week 10 opponent, the Alouettes, ended a short two game losing streak in their last outing against the Ottawa RedBlacks.
“I think of them as a good football team,” Mike O’Shea said. “They’re not going to quit.”
The Alouettes are probably better than their 3-5 record dictates and should pose a challenge for the Bombers defence after former Bombers QB Kevin Glenn threw five touchdown passes in last week’s win over the RedBlacks.
“He’s a very experienced quarterback in this league,” O’Shea said. “And understands CFL defences and to me he’s good. How do you disrupt him? Same thing as everybody, pressure and making sure you’re taking his progressions, his first read, and get in his face.”
The Bombers defence has been getting stingier by the week allowing less than 20 points in each of their last two games. But still not good enough for defensive coordinator Richie Hall.
“Not satisfied cause we still have a long ways to go.” said Hall. “When it’s all said and done we’re 4-4. We’re giving up way too many yards. We’re making some plays but at the same time we’re a progress in the making, but I’m encouraged where we’re at right now.”
Turnovers have been a big reason for the recent success of the defence. Their plus-12 turnover ratio is tops in the league while forcing a CFL best 27 turnovers. And now they’re getting back one of the CFL’s top ball hawks. Johnny Adams missed the first eight games of the season with an injury and will start on the corner after grabbing a league leading six interceptions last season. He’ll line up alongside Kevin Fogg whose three picks is good for second best in the league, even though it’s still just his first season north of the border.
“He’s one of those guys that he doesn’t make the same mistake twice,” said Hall. “He’s just a good football player. He’s a good athlete and we got some leaders on our team that have taken him under his wings to help him out.”
“I think it’s basically just his attitude. I think he loves to play the game of football.” O’Shea said. “Every time we moved him around in training camp to a different spot, he’s just sure no problem, smile on his face and away you go.”
The club has also moved former Manitoba Bison Teague Sherman from the injured list to their practice roster.
The Bombers take on the Alouettes on Friday starting at 6:00 p.m. central time.