Bombers' Simpson aims for century mark
Winnipeg Blue Bombers QB Joey Elliott hands off to RB Chad Simpson during Thursday's practice. (Jason Halstead/QMI Agency)
Is this the week the Winnipeg Blue Bombers finally have a guy break through and have a 100-yard runner?
That’s the million-dollar question as the Blue Bombers get set to face the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the ninth annual Banjo Bowl on Sunday afternoon at Canad Inns Stadium.
The Blue Bombers haven’t had an individual hit the century mark since Chris Garrett bulled his way to 190 yards on 29 carries against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the East Division final.
And in case you're curious, the man with the best chance of snapping the streak is eager to do so.
“Yeah, it bothers me a lot actually,” said Blue Bombers running back Chad Simpson. “Sometimes in life, you can’t do certain things about situations and how the game goes. It’s three-down football.
“It’s frustrating, but I have faith that we’ll get things rolling.”
Since bursting onto the scene with 15 carries for 91 yards in his Blue Bombers debut against the Toronto Argonauts back on July 18, Simpson has seen his numbers decline.
A big part of the decline has to do with limited carries as the Blue Bombers trend of falling behind early in games hasn’t helped matters.
Simpson has also been dealing with a foot problem that has prevented him from being at full speed.
However, he believes it’s only a matter of time before he hits his stride.
“I’m trying to get 100 yards every game and I’m sure the offensive line is too,” said Simpson. “You have to get in a rhythm. When you get the ball, then you don’t think anymore. On the first few carries, you’re still trying to sort them out and probably after 10 (carries), it’s all reaction.”
Is the offensive line concerned about the lack of a 100-yard game?
“Yes and no,” said Blue Bombers offensive tackle Glenn January. “The rush is not always going to be there. Teams have been stacking the box against us a bit and we’ve had some inconsistency in our backfield, as far as personnel is concerned.
“We feel we’ve found our running back (Simpson) and he’s proven he can do some great things. We have to continue to block for him and I think, that (100-yard game) will come for sure.”
Chad Simpson: 2012 rushing stats
July 18 vs Toronto Argonauts 15 carries, 91 yards
July 26 vs Edmonton Eskimos 14 carries, 73 yards
Aug. 3 vs Montreal Alouettes 7 carries, 65 yards
Aug. 16 vs Hamilton Tiger-Cats 18 carries, 86 yards
Aug. 24 vs B.C. Lions 11 carries, 39 yards
Sept. 2 vs Saskatchewan Roughriders 8 carries, 34 yards