Even though they got to the Grey cup, The Winnipeg Blue Bombers weren't happy with the performance of their offence in 2011.
Becoming more consistent and productive on that side of the ball is a top priority as the Bombers prepare for the upcoming 2012 season.
Vice President and General Manager of Football Operations Joe Mack told a CFL pre-season media teleconference that they have to start by reducing their turnovers.
"There is a direct correlation between winning and losing, and the turnover ratio. Hopefully we can eliminate many of the turnovers that were bothersome in the second half of last season" said Mack.
"We also have to cut down on the number of penalties we take. Those two factors should enhance the overall production of our offence," he added.
Mack also pointed to the need for continued strong production from running back Chris Garrett, who was outstanding after replacing injured Fred Reid last season.
The GM also said it's essential that quarterback Buck Pierce improves on his touchdown to interception ratio. Pierce had only 14 touchdown passes with 18 interceptions in 2011.
On the question of "leadership" both Mack and head coach Paul LaPolice acknowledged that losing veteran players like Doug Brown, Obby Khan and Brendon Labatte creates a void in that area.
Losing Brown's "prescence" creates a real challenge according to Mack.
"Trying to find a way to continue the high level of play of our defence while losing a player of Doug's caliber is probably going to be one of our biggest challenges," Mack said.
Lapolice said that Brown, Khan and LaBatte were tremendous leaders, but he is confident there are players who will step up and take their place.
"The young guys will never get to lead until the older leaders are out of the room. So when there is change, there is opportunity for new leaders to step up. We think we have the character guys here that can do the job. They have tough guys to replace, guys who have played here a long time, but that's part of the business, it's a change business," said LaPolice, entering his third season as Winnipeg’s sideline boss.
The Bombers plan to play an import in Brown's defensive tackle position, while starting a Canadian at middle-linebacker.
Bob Irving has covered the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for CJOB Radio in Winnipeg since 1973. Bob is the Sports Director at CJOB and is in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, reporters division. Follow Bob on Twitter @BobIrvingCJOB
|2||Blue Bombers||DE||Mulumba, Andy|
|3||Alouettes via EDM||LB||Edem, Mike|