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The Mike Kelly era, as short-lived as it was, kicked off a troubling five-year period
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The Mike Kelly era, as short-lived as it was, kicked off a troubling five-year period for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Custom Anaheim Ducks Jerseys . Save for the season after their Swaggerville run to the Grey Cup – one that ultimately didnt pan out – Bombers fans have been subjected to the same hope-filled off-season rhetoric; what makes this the year they turn it around when the same pre-season confidence a year ago led to just more troubling results? And in a lot of ways this year could be similar. New general manager Kyle Walters was part of the old guard and new starting quarterback Drew Willy, he of just 147 career CFL passing attempts, cannot be considered the for-sure answer at quarterback. That isnt to say these things wont turn around this season, but old GM Joe Macks hiring got a lot of people excited in 2010, returning to the city where he won a Grey Cup before gaining extensive experience in NFL front offices; and Stefan LeFors, Buck Pierce, and Alex Brink all had failed tenures as quarterback of the future. But there is some tangible evidence the team could be breaking out of their five-year fog. Mike OShea leads the list of smart moves the team made in the off-season to quietly start a foundation that could lead to success. Its been a while since the Bombers landed a coveted candidate at head coach. OShea has been ticketed as someone to watch for years now after following up a very impressive playing career with a promising stint as special teams coordinator in Toronto. The Canadian football lifer oozes leadership and has the opportunity to set the standard for the Bombers roster as he helped to do with some strong Argonauts rosters the past couple years. Keeping Marcel Bellefeuille around as OSheas offensive coordinator gives the team a play caller with both head coaching and successful coordinator experience on his resume. And adding Danny McManus, by all accounts an up-and-comer in the player evaluation world, should be of benefit to Walters in the front office. And aside from losing out on the Zach Collaros sweepstakes – Willy was a decent consolation prize – the team added some important free agents to help in the culture change Winnipeg is undertaking. Nick Moore, who some had tabbed for the NFL after his breakout season, should be a fine replacement for Terrence Edwards as the go-to option in the receiving corps. And Korey Banks, who was added after a contract squabble with the BC Lions, still has a lot of game left to go along with his leadership and winning mentality. Maybe this year wont be any different than ones previous, theres really no way of knowing if the new regime fits together to make a winner or not. And there likely wont be an easy team to pick off in the East Division. But aside from bringing with them a fresh air and new way of thinking, OShea and company have a winning attitude that could finally reverse the fortunes in Winnipeg. If youre apt to believe a change of culture is a noticeable step on the way to respectability, the Bombers could finally be making the first moves towards contending this season. Notes West Division The Blue Bombers are returning to where many CFL fans feel they belong, the West Division. With the Ottawa Redblacks joining the league and East Division, Winnipeg will jump back to the West, alongside the Lions, Stampeders, and Eskimos, and of course their longtime rivals in Saskatchewan. Terrence Edwards Retires Blue Bombers fans havent had a lot to cheer about the past couple years but one constant was Terrence Edwards tremendous play at receiver. Edwards spent seven of his nine CFL seasons in Winnipeg, five of which he surpassed 1,000 yards receiving, scoring a combined 46 touchdowns. Expansion Draft The Redblacks used the first two rounds of the expansion draft to nab from Winnipeg a promising young receiver in Wallace Miles, and a strong special teams player in FB James Green. The Bombers didnt suffer a loss in the third round however as the Redblacks selected impending free agent Rory Kohlert, a non-import receiver. Ottawa never signed Kohlert to a contract extension and he returned to Winnipeg just months later as a free agent. Free Agency Winnipeg should be relatively pleased with their off-season haul. They locked up some solid players on their own roster and landed a star receiver to replace Edwards in former BC Lion Nick Moore, and a quarterback they hope can lead the team now and in the future in former Saskatchewan Roughrider Drew Willy. CFL Draft With the second overall pick the Blue Bombers landed a solid offensive line prospect in Matthias Goossen, who they hope will be a mainstay for years to come. Winnipeg also selected McGill LB Jesse Briggs in the second round, Simon Fraser DB Derek Jones in the fourth round, Mount Allison DL Quinn Everett in the sixth round, and McMaster LB Aram Eisho in the seventh round. Ryan Kesler Jersey . Garcia had eight birdies overall to go with a lone bogey on the fourth to move to an 18-under total of 198 at the Asian Tour event. "I was able to hit some really nice shots and then was able to roll two or three really good putts in and it was nice to be able to finish birdie, birdie on this difficult finishing stretch," Garcia said. Ryan Getzlaf Jersey . Webb birdied the 18th hole to take the outright lead, then watched as Choi, who shot a course-record 62 on Saturday to take a share of the third-round lead, pushed a 10-foot putt wide of the hole at 18 to miss the chance for a playoff. http://www.authenticduckspro.com/Scott-n...ks-jersey/ . - Christophe Lalancette scored a third-period goal and added the shootout winner to lead the Drummondville Voltigeurs to a 5-4 win over the Quebec Remparts in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League play on Sunday.Zach Parise of the Minnesota Wild will be the captain of the U.S. mens hockey team at the Sochi Olympics. Minnesota defenceman Ryan Suter and centre Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings will be the alternate captains, U.S. general manager David Poile announced Friday. The 29-year-old Parise was an alternate captain at the Vancouver Olympics four years ago, scoring the goal that sent the gold-medal game into overtime. He has experience on U.S. national teams going back to 2002, and he welcomed the chance to take a leadership role in his second Olympics. "Its a special thing to be named captain of any team, but when its a national team, an Olympic team, its extra special," Parise said. "Weve got a lot of players who are great leaders. Im going to get a lot of help. Im going to need a lot of help. Its very humbling." U.S. coach Dan Bylsma said Parises work ethic and no-nonsense playing style are exemplary of the attitude he wants for his team. The Americans arent considered a gold-medal favourite, but a roster packed with NHL star power is expected to keep them in contention. "Were a team thats got a blue-collar mentality, and Zach embodies that," said Bylsma, also the coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins. "Every time we play against Zach Parise, there has been a work ethic, a never-quit, a determination, an abrasiveness about a hard-to-play-against type of player. And its every time regardless of the score (or) the situationn our respective teams might be in. Jean-Sebastien Giguere Jersey. That is exactly how we want our team to play." Parises alternate captains have extensive leadership experience as well. Brown and Suter were both alternate captains to Jamie Langenbrunner on the U.S. team at the Vancouver Olympics. Brown is the longtime captain of the Kings and an international veteran, while Suter and Parise are both alternate captains of the Wild. Suters father, Bob, won a gold medal with the "Miracle on Ice" team in 1980. "Theres plenty of guys that wear letters with their own teams, so I dont think our team is going to be lacking in leadership at all," Parise said. "There are plenty of guys that are capable of doing that." The American team will hold its first practice in Sochi late on Feb. 10. Most players wont arrive until a few hours earlier, after the NHL begins its schedule break. Parise acknowledged the unique challenges of the Sochi Olympics, including the players adjustment to a hefty time change in just a few days before their first game against Slovakia on Feb. 13. He also recognized security concerns around the Olympics, calling it "unfortunate" that security "has dominated a lot of the conversation." "You have to put your trust in the Russian police and the security were sending over there as well," Parise said. "Were going to be in good hands. We can just relax, focus and concentrate on playing hockey." 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