Another day, another new player for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers as they prepare to face the Saskatchewan Roughriders Sunday in Regina.
The Bombers (1-7) announced they had signed import defensive end Greg Peach Thursday and then confirmed he will play in Sunday’s game against Saskatchewan (7-1).
Defensive co-ordinator Casey Creehan says he likes the way Peach goes all out in a game.
“After the performance we put out there in the first quarter of last week — we had guys turning down hits we had guys not running to the ball — we played uninspired football and we aren’t going to tolerate it,” he said.
“Bringing a guy like Greg Peach in, I know that he will play balls to the wall, 100 miles an hour every snap.”
Peach agrees with Creehan’s assessment that the effort he puts in is one of biggest strengths.
“I might not be the most freakish athlete, I just give everything I’ve got, every play and I work my pass rush,” he said.
“It’s worked for me and here I am, five years later, and I hope to play another five at least.”
He was released by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats where he appeared in 15 games last season, registering 36 tackles and six sacks. He’s worked with Creehan before and feels comfortable with his style of defence.
Peach came into the CFL with the Edmonton Eskimos in 2009 and said Thursday he was happy to get plucked out of free agency quickly.
Meanwhile, head coach Tim Burke says the Bombers won’t announce who their starting quarterback will be until Friday morning.
Max Hall has been nursing an injured hand but it didn’t seem to hamper his throwing much in practice Thursday. Buck Pierce is also out with an unspecified injury.
Justin Goltz is healthy and was also taking lots of snaps Thursday. He says he feels comfortable with the new offence Marcel Bellefeuille has brought to the team since replacing Gary Crowton this month at offensive co-ordinator.
It’s just one of the many changes the Bombers have implemented to turn around a dismal season that has already led to the firing of general manager Joe Mack and team president Garth Buchko.
This week alone the Bombers cut place-kicker Justin Palardy and receiver Isaac Anderson.
They also signed new receivers Mike Sims-Walker, a five-season NFL veteran, and Aaron Kelly, who spent two years with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats before being released this spring.
Also new in town is quarterback Jason Boltus.
Like Peach has with Creehan, Boltus has connections to Bellefeuille. He spent three seasons as a backup in Hamilton when Bellefeuille was head coach.
Burke has told his current starters that their jobs are on the line and veteran receiver Terrence Edwards says players have to show their maturity.
“We’ve just to keep fighting and keep pushing and try to get this thing turned around one game at a time, starting with this game,” he said.
“I’m going to try and lead by example.”
On paper it doesn’t look like the Bombers have much of a chance against the Roughriders.
Saskatchewan has scored a league high 264 points so far this season and allowed just 177, while Winnipeg has allowed a league high 247 and scored just 167.
The Bombers haven’t managed to beat Saskatchewan in their annual Labour Day weekend game since 2004 and last year were humiliated 52-0.
Their one and only win this season was July 4 in Montreal but Burke says he expects his team to go out and do their best Sunday.
“My expectations are that we play hard and we are competitive,” he said.
“If you play hard and are competitive then you have a chance to win. That’s my main focus, to make sure we are the best we can be going into that game.”
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