Training Camp opened for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Mother’s Day, May 14.
The Bombers had been busy in the offseason making moves and signing players. That is fairly typical for CFL teams leading up to training camp, and many of the men brought aboard will never seen an actual snap with the Bombers in the 2023 season…that is just the reality of the situation.
However, a notable signing did occur and we will see which of these men get a chance to play.
Bomber fans need not be reminded of Winnipeg’s kicking woes in 2022. Marc Liegghio struggled at times, and unfortunately did so when it mattered. If your kicker is going to struggle, you want it to be at a time where it does not really matter. Maybe the game is locked up, maybe the standings are set, maybe your team is getting blown out and nobody is having a good game. In any of those instances a poor kicking game is easier to overlook. But not when the stakes matter the most, and not in the Grey Cup.
In early 2023 Bomber’s General Manager, Kyle Walters promised a “legit competition,” for Bomber kickers. Right now the Bombers have four kickers on their roster. If you would argu that Marc Liegghio, along with newly signed Sheahan Jamieson, and also newly signed Staton Chandler would not constitute a “legit competiton,” I would have to agree. However, on May 4 the Bombers signed Sergio Castillo, which now made the kicking competition “legit.”
To Bomber fans Castillo is the 2021 hero that was signed late in the season and helped the Bombers win a back-to-back Grey Cup. And Liegghio is the guy that struggled and potentially stopped the Bombers from going back-to-back-to-back champions.
However, their 2022 numbers are very similar.
In 2022 Marc went 32/39, for an 82.1% average with the longest field goal being 55 yards.
For his part, Castillo went 37/44 for an 84.1% average with the longest field goal being 52 yards.
I have always said that I do not like this statistic when comparing kickers. Situational punting can really skew the average punt distance. As a fan we can think a longer punt is always better, but that may not be the case. If you only need to punt it 35 yards to pin the other team on the 1 yard line, then 35 yards is far better than a 56 yard punt that goes through the end zone.
Marc had an average punt distance of 46.9 yards with the longest being 74 yards.
Sergio averaged 38.5 yards with the longest being 50 yards.
I simply can not imagine an instance where both players stay on the roster, but I have been wrong in the past. It certainly sounds like Castillo hopes he is the guy!
Fan’s let me know in the comments who you would like to see stay.
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