June 30, 2007
Westwood looking over shoulder at two new kickers
Filed under: Uncategorized — etait @ 7:01 pm
Folks, we’ve got no paper on Canada Day, but here’s some interesting news from Bomberland….
Frustrated with their kicking game, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers have made two moves that puts into jeopardy Troy Westwood’s 17-year association with the club.
And it’s already cost punter Pat Fleming his job after just one start.
The Bombers acquired Rob Pikula from the B.C. Lions on Saturday for a mid-round draft pick and then, just to further cloud things, have opted to bring in one-time Calgary Stampeder kicker Clinton Greathouse.
“It was very clear to met that after talking with our coaches they had some serious concerns about our kicking game,? said GM Brendan Taman. “I think that for whatever reason Edmonton has been a trouble spot for (Westwood) and coupling that with his percentage last year… he’s not on solid ground right now, that’s for sure.
“Now, we’ll see if he can get out this, but at this point it might be out of his control. He’s lost the confidence of the staff.?
Westwood, now 40 but still possessing power in his leg, connected on just one of his four field-goal attempts in Thursday’s 39-39 overtime tie with the Eskimos, missing from 47, 46 and 42 yards. The Bombers all-time leading scorer has been the team’s regular kicker since 1991, but saw his percentage drop last season.
Pikula is promising 25-year-old product of the University of Western Ontario who was on the Lions’ four-man reserve list while Greathouse is an American who made 82.4 per cent of his field goals (14 of 17) during a stint with Calgary in 2004.
Both can punt, placekick and handle kickoff chores and the two are expected on the field Sunday as the Bombers begin preparation for their home opener on Thursday vs. the Montreal Alouettes.
“Rob is a good prospect who is happy to be getting a chance to kick and (special teams coach) Cory McDiarmid really liked Greathouse when he worked him out in Dallas,? said Taman. “We’re not saying Troy is out, but he’s got some serious competition now.?
Greathouse was in a good battle with Dales and DeAngelis. If TW didn't have pressure before , he has it now. I'm glad the team is going to let him play himself on or off the team. At least he gets to leave with a little bit of dignity. (other than retiring which may not be a bad idea).
Things are looking dim for Westwood, could be the end for him.