Sheridan's award shows O-line on mend

KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:08 AM ET

This is another example of the giant strides the Winnipeg Blue Bombers offensive line has made.

Guard Matt Sheridan was named CFL lineman of the week yesterday for his efforts in a 44-14 triumph over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Week 8.

"Any time you have close to 500 yards offence, your O-line deserves a lot of credit," said Bombers head coach Jim Daley. "This is a group we feel really good about right now and they're getting better."

Daley said Sheridan has been solid all year and even better since moving back to his natural position of left guard after beginning the season at centre.

"He's more at home where he is and he's getting better at his second position each day," said Daley.

As is his nature, Sheridan was taking very little of the credit for the award.

"It's got more to do with the unit than any single person," said Sheridan, noting he does feel more comfortable at guard. "But I just want to be out there. I don't make that a secret, I want to be on the field contributing, wherever that may be."

Sheridan is pleased with the headway the offensive line has made, but sees room for improvement.

"It's been a steady progression, the curve is definitely on the rise," he said. "We're taking baby steps, but we've still got a ways to go. You've got to be critical and try to aim for perfection and put together some solid performances."

BACK TO WORK: Daley expects slotback Milt Stegall (foot), linebacker Lamar McGriggs (ankle) and defensive back (foot) to be available for Friday's game with the Ottawa Renegades.

The trio missed practice on Monday, but were back at it yesterday.

ANOTHER MILESTONE: Speaking of Stegall, he moved into eighth spot on the CFL's all-time receptions list with his 651th catch last Saturday.

Stegall passed long-time Bombers and Edmonton Eskimos great Tom Scott and Tommy Joe Coffey, who played for Edmonton, Hamilton and Toronto during his career.

Next up on the list is former Argos great and current head coach Mike (Pinball) Clemons, who has 682.

PROPS FOR MCKINLAY: Canadian Neil McKinlay continues to catch the attention of the coaching staff.

"It's the same as last year, the more we see of him, the more impressed we are," Daley said of the former Simon Fraser standout. "He's going to be a fine linebacker. His role on special teams right now he's doing very well with. But his role in learning the defence and becoming more familiar at linebacker in our league is very evident. We have a real comfort zone with him."

SEARCH CONTINUES: The departure of Willie Fells doesn't mean the Blue and Gold will look to add a linebacker to the practice roster, but general manager Brendan Taman searching for another defensive back.

"Our numbers at linebacker are good, but the secondary is where we need to bring in a player," said Daley, noting they still have four imports and two Canadians in camp. "We're trying to do that now, preferably a man with CFL experience, preferably someone who has been active this year, either on the practice roster or on a roster."

FIRST START? The Tiger-Cats stuck around Winnipeg this week to prepare for Friday night's game in Vancouver against the undefeated B.C. Lions (7-0) and it appears former Blue Bombers pivot Khari Jones is going to get his first start with his new team.

Jones, who moved the ball effectively against the Bombers on Saturday and finished 18-of-25 for 181 yards, one touchdown and no picks, was working with the first-team offence yesterday afternoon.


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