Now you see them, now you don't. And some you will see again.
Although the Winnipeg Blue Bombers declared their official 40-man roster by the CFL's deadline yesterday, there is still a lot of tinkering to do before the club opens the season against the Roughriders in Saskatchewan this Saturday.
"We have a tentative depth chart and it's critical that everybody understands that that will change by Saturday," said head coach Jim Daley.
For example, both import defensive ends Antwone Young and Gavin Walls were named to the same spot and that is expected to change. And, although injured import middle linebacker Ryland Wickman (groin) was moved to the inactive list, he could still be healthy enough to play Saturday.
KEPT QUARTET OF QBS
The club has kept all four quarterbacks in camp. Starter Kevin Glenn, Tee Martin and Spergon Wynn were on the 40-man roster with Russ Michna moved to the inactive list.
"There's no question in our minds that we want Russ Michna here," Daley said. "He has shown rapid, rapid development as a quarterback with only three weeks' exposure to our game and has a set of skills and intangibles that are hard to replace."
And Michna, who arrived in town on the eve of training camp after the St. Louis Rams released him, was happy to have survived the last cuts.
"I didn't get the note (on his locker), that was the best part of my day," said Michna, referring to the notices posted to players to see the coach and hand in their playbooks. "All I know is, I'm still here in Winnipeg. They're still trying to determine what my roster status will be but I'm not planning on being anywhere but here in this city."
There were some mild surprises. Former University of Manitoba Bisons teammates, linebacker Scott Mennie and cornerback Boyd Barrett, made the final 40. Defensive back Cedric Dickerson and recently-arrived wide receiver Scott Cloman were named starters. And veteran Dan Gyetvai, a non-import, will start at guard.
"Scott Mennie has made the team," Daley said. "He still had college eligibility left but he just forced us to keep him. His play at the middle linebacker spot and on special teams is certainly of the calibre that we need to compete in the CFL."
Also moved to the inactive list and expected to go to either the injury or disabled list were: running back Cory Olynick (ankle), linebackers Travis Ortega (pectoral muscle) and Ron Ockimey (groin, root canal), receiver Gilles Colon (hand) and safety John Sullivan.
Some players were cut but asked to accept practice roster spots, including: slotback Vinny Sutherland, offensive lineman Ryan Bachman, defensive back Justin Coleman, running back Jarrett Smith, long snapper Michel Dupuis and defensive lineman Martin Lapostolle.
Cut outright were: offensive linemen Junior Louissaint and Jean-Francoise Ostiguy, wide receiver Elgin Hicks, DB Maurice Tucker and pivot Jon Hooton, who will return to the U of M.
"It's a good group of people and we do have some very skilled players," Daley concluded. "We have a lot of work to do to be a good football team. We said that at the outset. That's scary to some people, it's not to me. It's a challenge."