Boreham on target

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 10:11 AM ET

Ron Lancaster's words last November couldn't have come as good news to Jamie Boreham.

The former University of Manitoba Bisons kicker-safety made just 22 of 37 field goals last year in his rookie CFL season for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and The Little General said reinforcements were on the way.

"There are a lot of kickers in this league who have started out with bad years or below average," Lancaster told the Hamilton Spectator a few days after the Ticats' 2004 season ended. "The one thing we know is he has a strong leg. We need to get him some competition next year.

"He has to be ready to pick it up next year and come in, because it will be his second year. Hopefully he'll come in ready to go."

SOLID YEAR

Boreham, 27, has not only fought off the competition, he's currently one of the CFL's top placekickers. Going into last night's game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, he had successfully booted 12 of 14 attempts for an 85.7% success rate, the second-best mark in the league.

In fact, Boreham had connected on 10 straight attempts going into last night's contest, but the superstitious Vancouver native didn't want to talk about it on Friday.

"Things are going real well this year," said Boreham, who is also the team's punter. "I've have some good times working with (holder Marcus) Brady and (snapper Ryan) Donnelly. We're just getting our timing down, and that's been great.

"It's nice not having broken ribs, so that makes it easier to do my job."

Yes, Boreham's rookie campaign was injury plagued. He had the aforementioned broken ribs, and he also sustained a concussion.

The bottom line, however, was that his placekicking wasn't up to par.

"I won't beat around the bush: Did I kick as well as I could? Definitely not," he said. "I'm not going to make any excuse for it. I know I can do better than what happened last year.

"Whether it's reasons or excuses, it doesn't matter. If I'm on the field, I should do the job. So I expected them to bring people in. And that'd be fine. Why? It doesn't matter how many people came in.

"You bring 20 guys in, but not one of those guys is going to make me kick better than I'll make myself kick. I've got too much drive within myself to let myself let me down and my team down."

Boreham, whose rights were traded to Hamilton by Winnipeg in February 2004, has been getting some mental help this season from former Bomber and Ticat punter-placekicker Bernie Ruoff, who lives in the Hamilton area.

"Bernie's been out a bunch of times," Boreham said. "It's just great. He's helped teach me how to just be a kicker. I struggled a little bit last year, how to fit in, what to do during practice. ... It's helped a lot.""

Asked if he yearns to line up at safety again and smack a few receivers around, Boreham hesitated.

"At times, yeah, but I'm finding my spot here, finding my spot kicking," he said. "And there's a rumour you can kick a lot longer than you can play safety."


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