Rookie lineman a steal

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:22 AM ET

The rookie defensive lineman has yet to crack the final roster but head coach Jim Daley still believes the Winnipeg Blue Bombers pulled one off on draft day.

Yet, the Bombers thought there must have been something wrong with Martin Lapostolle when he survived the first four rounds of the Canadian Football League entry draft untouched.

"We drafted him in the fifth round and we thought we got a steal when we did it, and we're convinced now that we did get a steal," Daley said yesterday. "He is a very good football player.

"(Lapostolle) is an interesting guy. He is pushing for a roster spot and he did nothing in that first exhibition game (versus the Edmonton Eskimos) to dissuade us from that. Right now, we're trying to factor how we could fit him into the group. It's very hard, with a 40-man roster, to have another D-lineman because you need special teams players."

And veteran Jon Oosterhuis is already entrenched as the swing man in that interior.

'EXCITING'

Lapostolle, however, proved he can handle the pros after experiencing his very first CFL encounter in Edmonton.

"It was really, really exciting," said the 6-foot-1, 183-pound Quebec native. "I had a great, great time. I was really nervous during the week before the game because I knew I had to do good -- not just to win the game but to have a spot on the team."

Lapostolle, 25, recorded a sack against Edmonton but was unaware of Daley's praise of his overall performance after the match.

"Well, I'm really happy about that," he said. "I really did everything I could. I left everything on the field and I'm glad he liked it. I just want to make a place on the team."

Lapostolle, who played for Indiana, contrasted the play in the Big 10 with the CFL.

"This is a lot different," he said. "Big 10 football is smashmouth and there's a lot of running and there's some big guys in the middle whereas the CFL has a little more finesse. It's more of a passing game but the guys are a lot better than the Big 10 because it's pros.

"I'm really impressed with the O-line. There were some guys I played against in Edmonton who were unbelievable. But I think I can play in this league and I'm going to do everything I can to do it."

And, despite Daley's encouraging words, Lapostolle spent some sleepless nights as the cuts were coming.

"It was driving me crazy," he admitted. "I mean, I know we're kind of protected because we got drafted but I saw the process (Saturday) night and (yesterday) morning when some guys started leaving. Although I knew I was not supposed to leave, my mind was still going crazy.

"I will do everything I can to stay around here. I really like it here."


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