3. A spark — not a flame-out — from the spe­cial teams

Winnipeg Free Press - Section D - - FRONT PAGE -

The Bombers’ foot sol­diers have been beaten up/fea­tured in this space since the start of the sea­son for some good, some bad and, of late, a whole lot of ugly. They were ex­posed in a one-point loss to Cal­gary with a punt block against, some missed kicks and poor de­ci­sion­mak­ing by re­turner Troy Stou­d­er­mire in his first game back from in­jury.

A week later in Ed­mon­ton, the mis­takes were just as glar­ing, with kicker Lirim Ha­jrul­lahu miss­ing from 42 yards on the club’s first pos­ses­sion, to a bust on a Ken­dial Lawrence 53-yard punt re­turn right af­ter Willy’s exit that set up a five-yard ma­jor. That was a killer, es­sen­tially turn­ing a 4-3 game into a blowout. Now, no one is sug­gest­ing the spe­cial-teams units needs to be per­fect, but they have to be at least ca­pa­ble.

“We lost our way a lit­tle bit in the last game,” said Teague Sher­man, who had a punt-block TD for the Bombers in a win over Mon­treal this sea­son. “Be­ing such a huge part of the game, coach (Mike) O’Shea al­ways says, ‘You can’t be the rea­son we lose a game, but you can be the rea­son we win a game.’

“Just think about the Mon­treal and Cal­gary games: Against Mon­treal, we block a punt for a touch­down and win. And the next game, (the Esks) block a punt for a touch­down and,

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.