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Winnipeg Blue Bombers

(8-10 in 2008 - 2nd in East Division)

Director of Player Personnel:
John Murphy | Head Coach: Mike Kelly
Offensive Coordinator: Mike Kelly | Defensive Coordinator: Mark Nelson

Video: 2008 Rewind | 2008 Statistics | 2009 Schedule | Team Page


Key Addition: Head coach Mike Kelly - After a disappointing campaign in 2008, Kelly was brought in to make changes. And make changes he did, with close to 20 new faces on the roster this season.

Other Signings and Acquisitions: OL Kelly Bates, WR Adarius Bowman, QB Stefan LeFors, OL Luke Fritz, OL Glenn January, OL Steve Morley, WR Brock Ralph, QB Richie Williams, Defensive Coordinator Mark Nelson, DB Keyuo Craver, DB Shawn Gallant, DB James Johnson, DE Riall Johnson, DE Fred Perry, LB Siddeeq Shabazz, DB Lenny Walls, DL Tyrone Williams, K Dan Giancola

Key Deletion: SB Milt Stegall - With all the other offseason changes, not having a future Hall of Famer in the locker-room is a big disadvantage. When you overhaul the body of the franchise, it's tough to lose the face of the franchise, too.

Other Releases and Deletions: Head Coach Doug Berry, FB Graeme Bell, QB Ryan Dinwiddie, OL Alexandre Gauthier, QB Kevin Glenn, OL Dan Goodspeed, OL Kyle Koch, OL Dominic Picard, OL Matt Sheridan, RB Joe Smith, WR Jamie Stoddard, Defensive Coordinator Greg Marshall, DE Tom Canada, DE Kai Ellis, LB Cam Hall, DB Anthony Malbrough, DB Kelly Malveaux, LB Zeke Moreno, DB Jason Nugent, DB Stanford Samuels, KR Jason Armstead

Matt Dunigan's Quarterback Analysis: Blue Revolution, prepare to meet Stefan LeFors. He's been handed the ball from new head coach Mike Kelly and given his opportunity to learn and play the game. I love it!!! You see, I was given the same chance way back when in my second season in the league and ran with it. Literally, I ran with it! Why? Because I could not read a defence for 'squat'. So I ran and made plays while I learned the game. The late great legendary Jackie Parker gave me my chance. Mike Kelly is giving Stefan his!!! Stefan is a leader that has all the parts, according to my numerous conversations with Mike Kelly. My concerns are what's behind Stefan in terms of experience. Glenn and his 38-40-1 record as a starter for the Blue and Gold is gone. Enter young guns by the name of Bryan Randall and James Kilian. Know this about these two, if Mike has them in his offence and they are still around, they can throw. Look for Coach Kelly to give them small workable packages to be successful within. It was music to my ears when I heard that the Bombers brought in Richie Williams. Why? Because I believe this kid gives them the experience they lacked behind Lefors and he fits Kelly's offence extremely well. Good fit!

Jock Climie's Offensive Analysis: The Bombers went through an off-season purge at the hands of their new head coach, Mike Kelly. However, one unit went relatively untouched and it's hardly surprising. If the Bombers had one strength last year, it was their receiving corps. Derick Armstrong, Terrence Edwards and Romby Bryant are three of the best receivers in the entire league. The Bombers enjoy an embarrassment of riches at that position. However, the problem last year was finding a quarterback who could get them the ball. Kevin Glenn couldn't do it and it's hard to believe this year's pivots will fare any better. When Richie Williams leads all quarterbacks in camp with games played and wins, there promises to be plenty of struggling in the passing game. Thankfully, the Bombers are almost equally strong in the backfield with the return of Fred Reid, who promises to keep defences off balance. With young, inexperienced quarterbacks, you simply can't afford to hand the ball off every 1st and 10. If you rely too heavily on your running game, you wind up leaving your quarterback in 2nd and long far too often. It's easier to trust a veteran quarterback in that situation than one as unseasoned as Stefan LeFors, who is currently slated as the Bombers number one QB.

Glen Suitor's Defensive Analysis: The Bombers are rebuilding and it is the back end that has seen the most turn over. Last year, the Bombers finished dead last in interceptions in the league with 15 so it is not a surprise that new head coach Mike Kelly is rebuilding the defensive backfield. He has spent the off-season signing defensive backs to compete in camp and there are currently 16 listed on the team's roster for five spots. The Bombers' front seven has been one of the best in the CFL for the last few years now and, with a consistent pass rush like that, the secondary should have been better. Although there have been a lot of changes to this defensive unit, on paper it has potential. It will have leadership in players like Doug Brown and Barrin Simpson, it will have the pass rushers like Fred Perry and Gavin Walls and if it can find a few ball hawks in the secondary, this defence could surprise.

Duane Forde's Canadian Content: It has been at least a decade since the Blue Bombers could legitimately claim Canadian content as one of the team's strengths and the free agent departures of offensive linemen Alex Gauthier, Dominic Picard and Kyle Koch have made matters even worse. All is not lost for the Bombers though. Doug Brown remains one of the CFL's finest defensive tackles, and slotback Arjei Franklin, guard Brendon LaBatte, and safety Ian Logan showed great potential a year ago. Winnipeg's fortunes would also receive a major boost if offensive lineman Obby Khan could leave behind the assortment of health issues that have plagued him over the last few seasons. Among the newcomers, look for receiver Brock Ralph, tackle Luke Fritz, and defensive end Riall Johnson to make the most significant contributions.

Chris Schultz's Overview: Did you know the Blue Bombers have not won a Grey Cup since 1990? That is so long ago, I was still playing. They have had opportunities, playing in four Grey Cup Games but it has been 18 years since they have won, the longest drought of any CFL team. Now 15 starters from last year's team are not on the team this year. Is that amount of turnover in football personnel too much to recover from to make a run at this year's Grey Cup? That is a question that will be answered in July and August. More...

What Makes Them Good? Whenever you make major changes to a roster, you increase the number of players looking to impress their new teammates. And decrease the number of players who experienced last year's nightmare.

What Makes Them Vulnerable? Not many teams can overhaul the offensive line and not suffer a setback. With Stefan LeFors taking over for veteran Kevin Glenn, it could be a long year for the first-time starter.

Coach Kelly Says... "There's always great expectations here. Regardless of how the team has been, the expectation always has been that this is an optimistic city, and that the Grey Cup, it's gonna come, at some point." - Winnipeg Sun

2008 Statistics

Total 376 36 373 282 109
Rank 8th T-7th 5th 6th 6th

Total 454 46 386 304 107
Rank 4th 4th 5th 6th 3rd

2008 Team Leaders

Player, Total Romby Bryant, 9 Romby Bryant, 1,168 Fred Reid, 709

Player, Total Zeke Moreno, 97
* Led the league
Gavin Walls, 9 Jovon Johnson, 3

2009 Draft Picks

Rd Player Position School
3 Mike Morris OL UBC
4 Adam Bestard OL Wilfrid Laurier
5 Peter Quinney RB Wilfrid Laurier
6 Thaine Carter LB Queen's

CFL Feature

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