Carpenter to make most of new position

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:55 AM ET

When Dwaine Carpenter arrived in Calgary for his second CFL season, he was given surprising news.

Instead of getting ready to go back to his safety spot, Carpenter was pencilled in at outside linebacker.

Not only was that disappointing, but the man occupying that spot was the Calgary Stampeders defensive player of the year in 2007, Shannon James.

But the 6-ft.-1, 210-pounder is taking it all in stride.

"The bottom line is you are a professional, so you adjust to it and go out and play," said the 31-year-old Carpenter.

"I found out when I got here, in the first meeting we had. I just said 'Wow, what's going on?'

"But I had to adjust to it. What else can you do?"

Although Carpenter is now competing with James for a starting role, the two have gotten along well during training camp.

The two players have much different styles for the position. James is only 5-ft.-9 and uses his skill as a cover player to be effective.

Carpenter also covers well, but his size allows him to lay some huge hits.

James, who missed a day of camp with a groin injury, doesn't mind offering his advice because he is already well-versed in the position.

"I talk to him in every meeting," said James, who is in his third season with the Stamps.

"They put us at the same spot, and I can't do anything about it. I'm not going to be his enemy because we're teammates. He asks me things, and I also ask him things. The same thing with (fellow outside linebacker) Marc (Calixte).

"I was going to have to compete regardless. I didn't think about it because I just have to worry about myself. I don't worry about what other people do, especially in camp. That's where you can go wrong."

Carpenter finds the biggest adjustment in changing positions is he has to pay attention to the backfield instead of just following receivers.

"It's a learning gap, but I'm adjusting to it," Carpenter said. "I feel once I've made the adjustment, I can fly around and make plays."


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