Good memories with many of those names. To think what could have been given todays sports memorabilia prices.

Sounds like KW has his eyes on safeties and special teamers at the combine. Looking for athletes is my interpretation.

Jesse Briggs will pass the 100 games played mark this year. Rush, Gauthier, Miller, and Tom Miles not far behind. Giving Derek Jones a pass given his long coming but seemingly imminent promotion to starter this season.

Nice to have depth but good to have a few openings to bring a new recruit into the system. I was surprised they re-signed Mike Miller and not because he is not good but because of the team depth. Conteh and Firlotte will have to fight to just win a special team spot in camp by the look of things. Possibly there is a plan.

Draft priority would appear to be at OL. Always a gamble with the big boys with skill.

Hearing Brett Jones name and liking that idea. Doubtful there is room for another $200,000 player though but if you were going for the cup… Jon Gott not as good but less expensive is another.

…And for myself

Leo ‘the Lincoln Locomotive’ Lewis #29
Charlie ‘Choo Choo’ Shepard #21
Ernie ‘ZaZu’ Pitts #77

…Lyle …you forgot to work in ‘Tricky’ on #14’s jersey

Gotta get me one of them "Tricky Coach T. #14" bomber jerseys now.

Here's a little article about Thornton when he passed. There was nobody like him - then, now and perhaps ever!

He got too big for Winnipeg (kinda like Bobby Hull, Teemu Selanne, Dale Hawerchuk) and was dispatched to Toronto to wallow in dirt with another big personality - argo coach Leo "The Lip" Cahill . . .

No love for Billy Cooper :slight_smile:

Used to watch Cooper with the Rods at old Wpg Stadium. Obviously, the faster kid on the gridiron, once he got the ball - guys would exhaust all angles and give up on Billy the Kid; either TD or long run

Once he started with the Bombers he was no longer the fastest man on the field. He was stunned by how U.S. trained DBs could work the coverage angle and tackle him for limited gains.

Also, didn’t have much in the way of upgraded pro training once he hit the pros. A mope like Joe Zaleski was the bombers offensive coach and Joe was only interested in two things: 1. Not missing a meal & 2. Making sure his paycheque was in the box.

Getting Cooper trained up in fine aspects like route-running, ball possession, safe-guarding the pigskin, reading defenses, etc. were lost on Joe - and thus Billy had little to no mentorship to get him to the next level.

Once he realized how hard the guys in the CFL hit, that many DBs were as fast, if not faster than him - he lost confidence. His returns were tentative and often negative as he tried to outrun coverage to the boundary - and he developed some frying pan hands trying to catch duck-balls from Ken Ploen or Van Burkleo!

Could have been coached up to all-star levels. Instead, became a CFL hobo as he moved to Ottawa and I believe one other team before he washed out of the league!

…One of a kind for sure was Dick Thornton…Loved watching the guy play…You just never knew what he would do half the time or what he would say (kept Grant on his toes for sure) …Unconventional as they come but what a talent…Last of his breed in the CFL and we’re poorer for it…He could throw ,run, and kick with the best of them and out think the lot of them…Hence the name ‘Tricky’…Probably never the see the likes of that colourful character again in the CFL and that’s a shame

Seems Tricky Dick did not get his due from the MBB forum All time Bomber guys. From both your and Lyles comments I will assume that to be an oversight due to the length of time that has passed since he was a Bomber. Hefney and Juran Bolden were the all time DHBs. No mention of Thornton in other categories that I saw. I remember Bolden as a corner and Hefney as one of the best of a poor lot at the time. Most memories of Thornton for me are of him being an Argo.

Combine starting to look iffy given the defections and no shows. Could see how it might make draft prep even harder than it is. Noticed a highly ranked OL from Guelph so will not be surprised if Bombers go that route. The U of M receiver looks as good as any to me so far but where would he play.

Globals not setting the combine world on fire.

…Thornton left on a bit of a sour note when he joined the argo’s…Seems to me he had a run in with Bomber management but can’t remember just what…HOWEVER he was a big part of Bomber Cups of the day and can’t see why he would’ve been scorned… ::slight_smile:

Thornton was screwed over by the WBB fan forums and also current Bomber management. The other thing against him is that he was a renegade, not a HHH type house-boy that does exactly what the owner or manager tell him to do.

Thornton was his own man. From the wild-man, backwoodsian haircut to his flair on the field.

From about 1983 on (Cal Murphy era) the bombers have had disdain for renegades who speak their mind and yet can back it up with great play on the field.

If a Dick Thornton showed up today - you can be assured fatuous little trolls in bomber mgmt. would find a way to tell their current GM, coach to dispatch the guy out of town. Bombers only interested in clean-cuts who won’t rock da boat. Guys like Thornton, Mack Heron, Dave Raimey, Farrell Funston, even Chris Walby would be looked upon in disdain if they showed up today. And thats sad!

Thornton deal sounds like the same one Korey Banks got. Gerald Wilcox before him.

Tricky business not toeing the bosses line, even when your right, your wrong.

Walters says he likes what he sees and is confident of getting two good players in round one. Guess we’ll see. Time to start landing some picks or to find someone who can imo.

Maybe the Danish guy.

One fact thats emerged from the recent player combine (apart from over 500,000 watching it on live streaming, 300,000 from Italy alone)
is that the Bombers place more weight on interviews with prospective draftees than evaluating height, weight, speed, accomplishments, flexibility, etc.

That goes to the heart of drafting weakness. You aren’t drafting for the church choir, fgs - you’re drafting potential football players - grunts, hogs, special teamers, the odd starting WR & DB. Its not rocket science.

Bombers still glued to character - which is fine - but if you’re drafting a dud with character (Faith Ekakitie) I’d rather have a scalded dog who can hunt (Kwaki Boatang, etc.). Thats why the Bombers will continue to draft nice talkers who can visit hospitals and pat kids on the forehead but can’t do much on the gridiron - - - you gotta get real. The nicey-nice stuff is very disconcerting!

Lyle, it kinda sounds like you are saying we should hire whatever/whoever it takes to win the Cup.

Many on here far more knowledgeable than moi but wouldn’t our team be better off trading away all draft picks for established players?
Even if The WBBFC (Winnipeg Blue Bomber Friends Club) bundled three picks for a sixth NI OL, wouldn’t they be further ahead than our past draft performance has been?
Ok, take your best shot…

Bombers won’t trade much cuz they’re like gold-miners, always thinking there’s gonna be gold at the bottom of the river, or down from the tunnel . . . unfortunately based on past mining mis-adventures its mostly fool’s gold (Ekatitie, Etienne, etc.)

If the knife 'n forkers & jock-sniffing club could trade our 4th & 5th overall for Kwaku Boatang then do it in a minute - - - - other squads could yield some gems in the 4th & 5th spots - but not the Bombers, they’re snakebit.

That’s actually an interesting point…for any team really. If you can package your 1st and 5th and your 2nd and 4th for 2 guys who have shown they can play…are you really behind? That leaves you a 3rd and some late rounders + free agency to fill ST gaps and maybe land the odd player who is now ready to take reps.

I mean…if you can get guys on mainly 2+ year deals, that is 2 starter ready players every year. If the ratio does indeed drop to 5…depending on exactly what that means…this makes piles of sense. every 2 years you are picking up 4 starter ready players…that means that in the 3rd year, you only have to have retained one of them into a new contract.

The main reason Bombers keep drafting with alarming failure rates is easy.

Cheap labour!

Because they’re tied into paying maximum money for mopes like Matt Nichols ($475k) and Dressler ($220k) plus others (Bighill, Harris, Stanley, etc.) and above average money for too many average players they have to employ minimum wage guys.

Trading 4 & 5 for Boateng would be a godsend field-wise but a disaster for Wad Miller’s crooked set of books. Boateng would demand too much moolah even though the chances of getting to the Grey Cup increased.

Thats the primary kryptonite of the Winnipeg organization.

Not sure a team could ever get to elite level without developing players of their own at some point.

In the time it has taken for Kwaku Boateng to become a fixture and a star for Edmonton, the Bombers have rebuilt their D line 3 times. Another on the way next year with the one year deals while Boateng is locked in.

Easy to say “bad picks” but giving the player a chance to play has a lot to do with it as well.

Abu Conteh went one pick ahead of Adeleke. They are very similar in size and ability and play the same position. It is a possibility the names could easily be swapped and Conteh might have been the guy signing a new deal had he fallen to Calgary instead of looking at a crowded depth chart for playing time and fighting for a spot on special teams while thinking about a future career.

They will know early what kind of team they have. I see it as 9 - 9 at this point and fighting for a playoff spot. Predicting season comes down to Medlock from 54 yds on a cold prairie day.

Thinking more about it, the big difference between Tunde Adeleke and Abu Conteh is one came out of the CIS and the other played for a big US school. Possibly Conteh was perceived as having been exposed to better coaching or maybe he was just a guy from Winnipeg.

Calgary pulled Tre Roberson out of a hat again last year.

Bombers not on par with other teams in developing talent. Even with a strong starting lineup, depth is razor thin.

Still waiting to hear news on contract extensions for O’Shea and KW and the announcement of the coaching staff. I get the jobs for life but at least humor the fan base a bit into thinking some rational thought is still involved with team operations.

Interesting to learn about 300,000 Italians tuning in for the combine. I would jump on that and sign someone in hopes of selling jerseys. Imagine the horror if Italians started wearing Sask colors. No brainer having the Valour need of players.

Some real concerns about season ticket sales lagging in Bomberville. No wonder Wadzilla is now big-begging for that NFL exhibition - - - - funny thing, that game could easily backfire on the Bombers if they can’t sell 25,000 ducats at max price.

If they end up with the game, having to underwrite the cost themselves and only sell 22,000 ducats at full bore - the rest “papered” they could easily drop another $450k to a million into the abyss.

That could easily be covered by their current reserve fund surplus - but would expedite the process of going on the beg to the province; especially if this year goes south - at the box office first (declining season tickets and minimal game walk-ups) and then sub-standard on-field performance - ie. a rounder as #1 QB, paper-thin depth, mediocre to sub-par coaching)

Bang on Joe but i would go one further and say giving the player a chance to play has EVERYTHING to do with it !

I worry that with the way things are going there will be no Canadians in OUR league. It ain’t just the Bombers who are at fault of not developing homegrown talent. The whole league is guilty. And for a long time now !