Bombers see Sheridan as centre option

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:25 AM ET

Matt Sheridan could become a centre of attention this training camp.

Veteran hiker Moe Elewonibi left the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to join the B.C. Lions, leaving the position open to a number of possibilities. Club GM Brendan Taman has suggested that one of those could be moving the versatile Sheridan from guard to centre.

"I'm not 100% sure what my role's going to be this year," Sheridan said yesterday. "(Head) coach (Jim) Daley and I kind of came to the conclusion that I'll just be on the field. I don't have a preference in terms of position. I'm going to play wherever they need me to play."

Elewonibi was moved to centre so he could call signals for blocking assignments more easily from that position.

"Yeah, that's something we're going to need," said Sheridan, who is entering his fifth CFL campaign. "That was one of the big concerns when Moe left, that we were going to be a little short in terms of recognizing defences and stuff like that. It just means that everyone's going to have to work that much harder in camp to focus on that mental aspect of the game, as opposed to being able to sit back and say, 'We know Moe is here and he's going to take care of stuff.' He's not here now and it's up to us to step up to the plate.

"No way do I have anywhere near the experience that Moe does. But I certainly view it not only as a professional challenge but a personal challenge to try to refine the mental aspect of my personal game. That's one of the things that I will be concentrating on -- to be able to recognize the defence."

The other possibilities are promoting Cory Annett from a backup, starting import Orlando Bobo at centre, giving rookie Geoff St. Denis a shot or acquiring a veteran via trade.

DUCAT UPDATE: Bombers have cracked the 16,000 season ticket sales mark. They had sold a total of 16,125 by noon yesterday.

"We're tracking about the same (as last year)," said Jerry Maslowsky, club vice-president of sales and marketing.

The club sold about 18,000 last season but the Bombers are coming off a 7-11 season when they missed the playoffs for the first time this century.

"It's hard to say if it's a tougher sell," Maslowsky said. "Certainly in 2001, we were in the Grey Cup (but) we haven't gone the way we've liked (since). If somebody had the million dollar question of what sells tickets -- winning, there's no doubt about it."

QB FLAP: Now that QB Doug Flutie has shattered Hamilton's dream by remaining in the NFL, veteran Danny McManus can breathe a little easier as the Tiger-Cats' starter. Word was that McManus had his nose out of joint when the 'Cats started chasing Flutie.

"I just want a quarterback who wins," head coach Greg Marshall told the Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, by the way, has reportedly invited WR/KR Hugh Smith -- who finished last season on the Bomber practice roster -- to training camp.


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