Winnipeg Blue Bombers: One and Done, the End of Training Camp

Dorian McLeanContributor IIIJune 23, 2011

For some players tonight, this will be their final game as a member of the Winnipeg Blue Bomber football club. Either by a lack of impression or for other reasons bestowed upon them, their duties were not sought any further.

For others, it will be the start of a new chapter in their professional football career, the rookies, looking to make a name for themselves, given an opportunity tonight to showcase their talents and impress the bosses, hoping for enough to land themselves a spot on the roster.

As for the veterans, they are looking to produce enough to keep their starting job, as many rookies look to battle for key positions on the team. All together, they produce the Blue Bomber football team, looking to improve on their 4-14 record one year ago.

Sophomore head coach, Paul LaPolice has spent the last seven months rebuilding and retooling this team with the hopes of making the playoffs and going forward, building off the positives from last season’s less than impressive record.

For one pivot, it will be a sort of second chance, as Buck Pierce will make his return to Winnipeg for a second season, following offseason surgery and rehab after dislocating his elbow during the September 5 game in Regina.

Then you look towards a certain draft pick, one who went fourth overall, Jade Etienne. A rookie in the Canadian Football League, looking for any shot at cracking the Bombers 46-player roster, Etienne will be out under the lights playing one of his biggest games of his young career.

With 71 players currently on the roster, the coaching staff will have their hands full evaluating players tonight and tomorrow, ahead of Saturday’s roster cut down deadline. They will finish up, hoping they made the right choices heading into the regular season.

The receiving core will be immediately upgraded with the return of veterans, Terrence Edwards and Cory Watson, as well as the addition of supplemental draftee, Kito Poblah, who had an astounding training camp, after missing all of rookie camp.

Rushing leader, Fred Reid, will make his fifth appearance for the Blue and Gold, but is being heavily flanked by running backs, Chris Garrett and Alex Henderson. Both players had sparks in their first preseason tilt last week and look to land a spot, backing up Reid.

Defensively, the team has high hopes for one returning linebacker, Odell Willis, who will look for his leadership to help bridge the defensive unit. The emergence of Johnny Sears and Leslie Majors in training camp will have them fighting to keep at least a backup spot to Jonathan Hefney and Clint Kent.

With Joe Lobendahn just shy of locking up the starting position, first overall draft pick Henoc Muamba will be a spectator from the sidelines, hoping to educate himself even further as he looks to crack the roster in some shape or form this season.

For several seasons, one Jovon Johnson would take in the majority of the returning duties; however, with the additions of Perry Floyd and Alex Watson, it is possible that Johnson could find himself a one-dimensional player this season, allowing him to rest during the game.

Overall, tonight’s matchup against the Toronto Argonauts will be a crucial game for some, a scrimmage for others, but a fun spectator event for all the fans.