Bombers turn up heat

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 9:19 AM ET

It is weird enough to walk into locker-room where your mere presence threatens the livelihood of another pro.

It is even stranger when you do it for the second time in less than two weeks. Like John Feugill.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers first sent for the import offensive lineman when Feugill was released by Toronto. But when head coach Jim Daley decided that Feugill would not dress for last Thursday's game against Edmonton, the Bombers allowed him to return to his New York home -- and wait by the telephone.

Bomber GM Brendan Taman called Feugill first thing Friday on the heels of another poor performance by the offensive line. And because he answered the call, Feugill will finally get to suit up for the Bombers when they host the Calgary Stampeders on Thursday. But, to do so, he will replace a veteran, possibly non-import tackle Dave Mudge.

So, forgive Feugill if he had a funny feeling about being back in the locker-room this week.

"It's tough because we've all been on both sides of that situation," said Feugill, who was beaten out in Toronto. "We've all been the guy walking in and we've all been the guy that someone's been walking in for. It's tough but, at the same time, you try to put personal feelings aside and realize that it's just business and everyone's just looking for an opportunity to play. So, anyone would take it. It's not personal."

And the 6-foot-7, 300-pounder has not been treated like a leper by his new O-line comrades.

"Actually, these guys have been really good, man," said Feugill, 29. "This time around, there's another new guy (Dan Goodspeed), too so not all the heat's on me. They're good guys, though. Ultimately, everyone wants to win and if they think that switching things up is going to help them win, then they'll put their feelings aside and help me through."

Meanwhile, an injury to Cedric Dickerson (broken hand) led to import defensive back Brad Franklin's arrival in the same room, where he was also greeted by some players whose careers he threatens. But he is just looking to get his own off the gridiron ground.

"This is a good situation for me," said Franklin, 26. "I had the privilege to be with the Eskimos (training camp) and it didn't work out. I don't hold any grudge or anything but, I know I can play and I know there's a home for someone who can play like myself somewhere."

Taman had been pursuing the 6-foot-1, 184-pounder for two years but he was on Edmonton's neg list.

"He has what they call deceptive speed for a tall, lanky guy," Daley said. "And he's physical. He will hit you."

Taman actually called Franklin, who could replace sophomore Justin Coleman, when he was first cut and told him to sit tight until the Bombers found room for him.

"I stayed optimistic," said Franklin, 26. "I had to find a home so I could show people what I can do.

"I've learned from one of the best defences in the CFL -- Edmonton. I didn't know anything about the CFL game so, I credit them a lot for moulding me into a player who can turn into a good player up here. That's going to help me grow and to make a mark for myself here in the CFL."


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