When Kamau Peterson signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in April, GM Brendan Taman called it one of the most significant acquisitions of his tenure.
Peterson was, after all, a non-import receiver who was coming off three solid seasons with the Calgary Stampeders.
"I expect to be an impact player, to be honest," Peterson told The Sun the day he signed.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out he hasn't made much of an impact. Yesterday, he went so far as to say even a Grey Cup victory wouldn't erase the devastating season it's been for him -- and for everyone else wearing Blue and Gold.
"I'm not going to forget about the rest of the year whether we win these last two and get in (the playoffs) or not," the 26-year-old said yesterday. "The fact remains we stunk this season, and personally I stunk this season. Ask every guy in a skill position on our offence and most of them will say that this has been one of their worst years, if not their worst, and that's not something that's going to change with getting in the playoffs or even winning the Grey Cup.
"The fact remains we weren't where we needed to be. That's going to stick with me, through the off-season and help get me back to where I need to be."
Peterson missed the last two games with a knee injury, but he was given medical clearance by his doctor yesterday afternoon and should be in the lineup Sunday in Edmonton when the Bombers (6-10) play the Eskimos (8-9) in the first of two must-win games.
"I look forward to my knee healing completely, but we don't have time for that right now," Peterson said.
Peterson, who had 62 catches for 931 yards and six touchdowns for the Stamps in 2002, has 44 receptions for 563 yards and three touchdowns this season. He began the season at slotback but had a hard time hanging onto the ball. In early September he was moved to wideout, where he has seven passes for 104 yards and one major in three games.
"Lord knows I've exposed myself to some weaknesses," he said. "Even if it was a funk -- guys tell me every receiver gets in a funk where they drop a couple of balls -- I feel like I battled out of it. But still, even if I catch those balls I still don't have the season that felt like I should have or I'm capable of having.
"With that in mind, I've got some things to prove to myself and to everybody around here. And to everybody around the league, really."
You can accuse Peterson of having a sub-par season, but you can't say he hides from the criticism. He often logs on to the website for Bomber fans, which is always opinionated and sometimes vicious, to offer insight and answer questions.
"... Half the people probably don't believe it's me and the other half aren't too fond of me right now."
Peterson hopes every Bomber fan loves him before his time in Winnipeg is through.
"I believe I'll prove a lot of people wrong," he said.