Winnipeg Bombers: May Have Solved Only One Third of Their Problem

Steve ThompsonAnalyst IIISeptember 22, 2009

TORONTO - NOVEMBER 25:  Anthony Malbrough #3 of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers knocks away a pass in the endzone  from D.J. Flick #3 of the Saskatchewan Rough Riders during the third quarter in the 95th Grey Cup on November 25, 2007 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  The Rough Riders won 23-19.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

So Winnipeg is bringing in another new quarterback.  Since the Michael Bishop experiment has produced unsatisfactory results, the team has traded with Montreal to bring in Ricky Santos (instead of looking at Casey Printers as Glen Suitor pleaded) to be the Bombers' latest savior.

But after watching the Montreal-Winnipeg game on Sunday, it seems to me there is a lot more wrong with the Winnipeg passing attack than just the quarterback.  It's true Michael Bishop has a lot to be desired but Winnipeg has been making quarterback changes all season and has nothing to show to it.

To me, there are two other problems to be addressed.  First after watching Sunday's game, few receivers get open. 

You can blame the quarterback all you want but there were too many times when Bishop or whoever else quarterbacks the team had to throw the ball away, get sacked, or run out of bounds because there was no one to throw the ball to.

The Winnipeg receiving corps has a way of making any quarterback look bad.  The most obvious thing watching Sunday's game is that they don't get much separation from their defenders.

Then the quarterback either has to thread the needle, risk an interception, or run with the football.  This could be due to lack of speed and experience, or it points to a second problem which is the Winnipeg offensive game plan.

Mike Kelly has refused to hire an offensive coordinator and his play-calling has left lots to be desired.  If your receivers can't get open it means two things: bad personnel, or a bad game plan.

Since some of the Winnipeg receivers have had big seasons in other years, I vote for the latter.  Kelly has designed a passing attack that his receivers can't execute.

If they're covered all the time, no quarterback can complete passes, no matter how well he is protected.  Bishop, Lefors, and whoever else quarterbacks the team are constantly on the run and suffer coverage sacks, not in just one game but in every game.  Opponents find it easy to defend against Winnipeg and plan accordingly.

The Winnipeg defense and the running game are decent but the passing attack is laughable, confused, and lacks direction.

Since Kelly is personally responsible for it, he has to take the blame and it is no wonder that there are lots of calls for his head.

Something has to give.  I'm betting that Santos will find it no better than Bishop or the others.

Then there should be other changes made and the biggest one might not be on the roster but at the coaching level.