5 Quick Hits from Thursday — Day 2 of the Blue Bombers practice week leading up to Saturday’s annual Banjo Bowl matchup with the Saskatchewan Roughriders at IG Field:
1. TASTY STEW: Solid quote today from Bombers assistant coach Darrell Patterson on the talented crew he works with every day along the defensive line:
“There’s some diversity within the line, no question. They all have a specific type of approach to the game, very unique. You’re never going to face the same athlete twice.
“We move them around and they all possess a special ability to do something unique and put it all in, I’d have to say, in making a great stew. You just keep putting great things in there a little bit at a time and when you’re all done and it brews up, it’s a good plate. They’re just a good plate of guys and they’re always ready to eat and do certain things.”
2. BRING THE NOISE: In case you missed it, the Bombers announced late Wednesday that the Banjo Bowl has officially sold out.
? Let’s get IG Field ???? ?
— Winnipeg Blue Bombers (@Wpg_BlueBombers) September 9, 2021
Related to that, here’s Bombers left tackle Stanley Bryant, who began his career with the Calgary Stampeders, when asked to compare the Battle of Alberta to the Labour Day Classic/Banjo Bowl showdown with the arch-rival Saskatchewan Roughriders:
“I’ll take Labour Day over the Battle of Alberta. They’re both great games to be a part of, but I think this Sask-Winnipeg rivalry is on a different level. Guys really actually hate each other and it’s just fun to be a part of.”
3. KEEP WORKING: Marc Liegghio may have a new kicker looking over his shoulder in Ali Mourtada — who has yet to practice with the team — but he’s keeping his head down and working on his own game.
“I’m pretty happy with what I’ve been doing,” said Liegghio, who is 5-of-7 in field-goal attempts and has a 43.4-yard punting average. “Obviously last game there were those two misses and it’s going to happen, there’s going to be some bumps in the road. I was was talking to (Riders kicker Brett) Lauther before the game, catching up, and he said, ‘Hey, man… congrats on getting the job. Whatever bumps may come in the road, just move them to the side and keep moving forward.’ That’s the way I’ve been looking at it. I ended up with a good make of a field goal in the last game. My punting was a OK, I know I can do a lot better than that. So, I’m just tuning into the fine details this week.”
4. FYI: The Bombers could be getting some good news soon — not this week, but soon — on the injury front. LBs Kyrie Wilson and Jontrell Rocquemore and DT Steven Richardson were all spotted running at practice on Thursday and are inching closer to getting back on the field… Also not practising on Thursday were DB Noah Hallett and DT Ezekiel Rose, both of whom were injured in the Labour Day Classic… Here’s Liegghio on the missed field-goal attempt in the LDC in which he was tripped and then had Bombers OT Stanley Bryant fall on him: “It wasn’t that bad. He came up and said, ‘Are you OK? Oh my God, I’m sorry.’ I’m like, ‘Man, it’s good. I played sports, I was tackled by big dudes, so I’m used to it.’”
5. A FUTURE IN BLUE?: All nine CFL teams revealed 10 names from their negotiation lists on Thursday, the first of two ‘reveals’ this season. The idea was implemented in 2018 to help lift the curtain behind negotiation lists — a list that allows each team to claim exclusive CFL rights to up to 45 players, who can be added removed or traded from the lists at any time.
Winnipeg’s list features QBs Desmond Ridder (University of Cincinnati) and Alex McGough (former Florida International starter, cut last week by the Seattle Seahawks). Also on the list are OLs Aviante Collins and RJ Prince, DLs Kendall Donnerson, Sharif Finch and JoJo Wicker, DBs Tae Hayes and Manny Patterson and LB Donald Payne.
Two examples of current Bombers that came from the neg list include DB Deatrick Nichols and WR/KR Janarion Grant.
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