Revamped receivers in spotlight

KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:46 AM ET

Jim Daley is calling it a work in progress.

And in all likelihood, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers revamped receiving corps needs to progress awfully fast if the team hopes to get itself back in the CFL playoff picture.

There will be several noticeable changes at receiver this week, the biggest being the addition of Chris Brazzell at slotback. Brazzell was acquired in a trade for Kamau Peterson on Monday.

"The group is evolving," Daley said yesterday.

Brazzell, who produced a 1,000-yard season with the B.C. Lions in 2003, joins perennial all-star Milt Stegall in the slots, while non-import Gilles Colon makes his first start of the campaign at one of the two wide receiver positions.

As of yesterday afternoon, the second wideout spot was still a toss-up between Vinny Sutherland, newcomer Darnell McDonald and return man Keith Stokes, who Daley said would be getting a lot more playing time at receiver tomorrow against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

INTERESTING ELEMENT

"(Stokes) is a productive weapon after the catch," said Daley. "He adds an interesting element to the pass game."

Colon is excited about finally getting the opportunity to nail down a starting spot on offence.

"I'll do whatever they ask me to do," said Colon. "I hope I get the ball and get a chance to shine because I'm ready. My goal this year was to start. I've been focused on that for a long time."

Colon, who appeared in 11 games with the Blue Bombers in 2004 and made two starts at wide receiver, was challenging for a starting spot in training camp but that opportunity was derailed by a broken hand.

REGULAR

"Gilles has outstanding speed and good hands," said Daley. "He has a shot at being a regular starter. We think he's got some potential, but you don't know until they play."

Sure-handed slotback Jamie Stoddard, who said he will continue to be ready when called upon as the fifth receiver, doesn't think there is any additional pressure on the receiving corps this week to help get things turned around.

"As a group of receivers, we've been unhappy with our performance all year," said Stoddard. "At this point, if there is any pressure, it is spread evenly throughout the team. We just basically need a win and we need to go out and perform at a high level. We've got the guys in here to do that. I wouldn't say there was added pressure. The guys we have on the team are very competitive and failure is something we don't take lightly."

The addition of Brazzell should help stretch out the defence, which could open up some more holes for running back Charles Roberts.

"He's a good vertical threat and he catches the ball," said Blue Bombers starting quarterback Kevin Glenn of Brazzell. "When you can add a guy like that, it's always a positive. We'll see what we can put together. Chris is a professional and he's grasping our offensive scheme pretty quickly."


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