The Winnipeg Blue Bombers were perfect on field goal attempts this pre-season.
While that may sound impressive, it really isnt. Theyve only attemped one field goal in two exhibition games and it was an 18-yarder that came off the foot of second-year Canadian Marc Liegghio in Tuesdays 25-16 win in Regina over the Riders.
In addition to the chip shot, Liegghio has connected on all three of his convert attempts. His competition, American kicker Ali Mourtada, is 3-for-4 on singles with his lone miss bouncing off the upright in last weeks 30-20 loss at IG Field to the Edmonton Elks.
Theres not much you can take away from those contests to form an opinion on which of the two should handle placekicking duties at home in Week 1 against the Ottawa RedBlacks.
Yeah, they didnt get a lot of opportunities. I took those away by not kicking 12-yard field goals. I just wasnt interested in that. I dont know what you learn from that, said head coach Mike OShea after Thursdays training camp day at the University of Manitoba turf field.
We havent set our roster yet. You asked whether it will be difficult? Yeah, setting your roster is always difficult.
Its well documented how both Liegghio and Mourtada struggled a year ago, leading to the Bombers trading for all-star kicker Sergio Castillo. With Castillo now booting the ball for the Edmonton Elks, the Blue and Gold are going to need see some improvement from Liegghio and/or Mourtada. On Thursday, OShea brushed off the idea of the team bringing in another kicker before Week 1.
We like everybody here, said OShea.
OShea, however, said the door isnt closed on Australian punter Tom Hackett rejoining the team. Hackett returned home when the CBA was still up in the air and missed both pre-season games. Hackett, a two-time Ray Guy award winner during his time with the Utah Utes, is still contemplating his future in football. The Bombers selected Hackett sixth overall in the 2022 Global Draft.
The Bombers cut 11 players Thursday, most notably American defensive back Josh Miller who suited up for three games in 2021. Linebacker Darian Taylor, receivers BJ Mucklevene and Whop Philyor, running back Shane Simpson, offensive lineman Leon Johnson, defensive end Jordan Berner, and defensive backs Corey Straughter, Zach Hannibal, and Javon Jackson were the other Americans sent packing. Offensive lineman Brandon Sanford was the lone Canadian released.
Philyor caught a 78-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter on Tuesday from QB Dakota Prukop.
No boot on Rose
All-star defensive back Winston Rose sat out Sundays practice with a walking boot on his left leg. Rose was also a spectator on Thursday, but the good news is the boot was off and he was walking around without a limp.
Eighteen years old and still in high school, Taylor got his start with the Free Press on June 1, 2011. Well, sort of.