Jamie Stoddard admitted yesterday that his training camp performance has "tailed off" in the past week or so.
So you can only imagine the 27-year-old's reaction Tuesday morning when new receiver Scott Cloman emerged from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers locker-room, ready to steal the job that Stoddard is after.
Cloman, who was cut by the Edmonton Eskimos on Monday, joins the cluster of players battling for the Bombers fourth starting receiver spot. Stoddard, Vinny Sutherland, Elgin Hicks and Gilles Colon are the others.
Cloman will get his first shot and the other four will get their final attempts at the spot tonight at Canad Inns Stadium when the Bombers battle the Eskimos in the final pre-season game for both teams.
"There's no mistake that they want to bring competition into camp, and obviously they're not satisfied with the people in camp that they brought in at the receiver's position," Stoddard said. "So they brought another guy in. This is sort of the way the business works and the way that this team is working right now.
"It's great. We have a lot of competition."
Cloman, a 6-foot-3, 214-pound Californian, will play at Kamau Peterson's short-side receiver position tonight, but only when his good friend and former NFL Europe teammate, quarterback Tee Martin, is at the controls. Winnipeg head coach Jim Daley thinks that will make the transition easier for Cloman.
"We had a slogan in Edmonton," Cloman said. "The receiving corps called themselves playmakers. That's what I am. I'm a playmaker.
"So I'm just going to bring that playmaking ability to this corps."
Colon will start at the wide-side receiver spot up for grabs, Sutherland will play at slotback, Hicks will line up at short-side wideout, and Stoddard will be all over the map -- fifth receiver, wide-side receiver and slotback.
The six-year veteran knows he can turn things around in a hurry with a huge performance tonight.
"Everything that happens in a game is what makes or breaks your camp," he said. "It doesn't matter how good your camp is or how poor your camp is, if you go down the field and consistently do what you're supposed to do -- and get the opportunity to make plays and take advantage of them -- those are the people who are going to be on the field.
"It's going to be interesting."
LATE HITS: The Winnipeg Football Club and Canad Inns strengthened their corporate relationship yesterday by entering into an exclusive catering and management agreement for the Blue and Gold Room. Canad Inns will provide complete food and beverage services for Bomber home games and all other events in the facility. Both the Bombers and Canad Inns will book events in the room ... The Bombers must declare their final 40-man roster, including 19 Canadians, 18 imports and three quarterbacks, by 3 p.m. on Saturday ... More than 25,000 tickets have been sold for tonight's game.