Franklin on track for big year

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:12 AM ET

CALGARY — Arjei Franklin had a chance to sign a contract extension with the Bombers a year and a half ago, but he decided to wait with the intention of going to free agency.

Franklin chose to play out his option in 2009, but the situation changed when he got hurt and then traded to the Stampeders along with Romby Bryant in September.

He decided to re-sign with the Stamps this past off-season and is on target for career highs in catches and receiving yards with one of the CFL’s best, Henry Burris, tossing the pigskin his way.

“Regardless of how many chances I get to make plays, I gotta make every single one,” Franklin said Friday. “I can’t control how many times Hank throws me the ball, but I can control how many times I catch it.”

Franklin could have renegotiated with the Bombers after the 2008 campaign, but he felt it wouldn’t have been a wise business decision.

“I didn’t yet have the year that I was capable of having. With Milt (Stegall) having retired, I thought my opportunity to have a big year was coming up,” Franklin said. “It was a business move. It didn’t mean I didn’t want to be with Winnipeg. It just meant that I thought my stock would rise after the season with a good year. That’s why I didn’t re-sign at the time.”

Franklin said it won’t be too odd playing the Bombers on Saturday night since so many faces have changed since he left. He will, however, be on the lookout for safety Ian Logan, his road roommate for the first two years of his career.

“Great guy,” Franklin said. “I just don’t want to be on the receiving end of one of his big hits.”

DOUBLE- DUTY WATCH: Bomber placekicker Alexis Serna will also do the punting on Saturday night in place of the injured Mike Renaud, and the stats indicate his field goal kicking will suffer.

Serna’s career field goal success rate when he’s not also punting is 79.6%. It drops to 67.2% when he does both.

The third-year pro, who was the NCAA’s top placekicker in 2005, said the fact that the coaching staff wants him to do both against the Stampeders is a vote of confidence.

“I’ve done it before, and I’m used to the game speed,” Serna said. “I’ll be ready to go.”

QUOTABLE: “We’re like a jack-in-the-box. You don’t know when it’s going to explode or what’s coming out. We’ll just keep winding it.”

— Bomber defensive tackle Doug Brown, figuring Winnipeg should win in Calgary one of these days.

ROSTER MOVES: The Bombers will be making five roster changes, and they’re all on the defensive side of the ball.

In are safety Ian Logan, defensive back Alex Suber, and linebackers Courtney Smith, Chris Smith and Merrill Johnson, who will make his CFL debut. Out are linebackers Derrick Doggett (released) and Marcellus Bowman (hand), punter Mike Renaud (knee), safety Shawn Gallant (knees) and defensive back Donald Brown Jr.

In for the Stamps are receivers Ken-Yon Rambo and former Bomber Jabari Arthur, along with linebacker Ray Cheatham. Out are receivers P.K. Sam, who has been placed on the nine-game injured list, and Johnny Forzani, and offensive lineman Zac Carlson.

LATE HITS: Calgary quarterback Henry Burris is making his 122nd career start on Saturday. Winnipeg’s Steven Jyles is starting his third … The Bombers have given up only 20 points on 10 turnovers this season while scoring 38 off eight takeaways … The forecast for the game isn’t pretty. Environment Canada is calling for 20 mm of rain on Saturday night with a risk of a thunderstorm.


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