Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Bombers Look to Maintain Canadian/import Ratio as They Rebuild Receiving Corps

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Bombers Look to Maintain Canadian/import Ratio as They Rebuild Receiving Corps

Article excerpt

Bombers receiving corps needs additions

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WINNIPEG - The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are working on rebuilding their depleted receiving corps this season, but veteran Clarence Denmark says the building blocks are all there.

"The whole corps this year is probably one of the best since I've been here," he said Monday after the second day of training camp.

Denmark is entering his fifth season with the Bombers and led the team's receivers with 900 yards in 2013 as Terrence Edwards missed several games due to injury and the previous season's leader, Chris Matthews, hardly played at all.

It was a tough season all around for the Bombers as a series of quarterbacks failed to get the offence going and they finished last in the CFL at 3-15.

As the team looked to rebuild, the Bombers traded Canadian receiver Jade Etienne to Saskatchewan for quarterback Drew Willy and Kito Poblah to the B.C. Lions for defensive back Korey Banks. On the import side, Edwards retired and Matthews moved on to the NFL.

Edwards, who spent seven of his 10 CFL seasons with the Bombers, is going to be missed, said Denmark.

"We just have to step up and fill those shoes. Terrence is a great guy and a great teacher and just being behind him all those years and watching him, how you prepare for the game, how he is in meetings, was a good experience."

To help fill the gap, the team picked up some proven import talent in free agent Nick Moore from B.C. and have other promising players in camp like six-foot-six Mario Urruttia.

But they also need to bolster their Canadian talent base and head coach Mike O'Shea said it would be ideal to return to the same ratio they had of Canadians and imports.

"To have some sort of consistency in that regard would be ideal (as) it allows you to work on other areas," he said. "Once again, it's Day 2 of training camp and it doesn't always work out that way. …

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