Bombers fill gap with ex-NFLer

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:35 AM ET

You might say this was a well-timed announcement.

In the wake of linebacker Sean Woodson's sudden retirement and the uncertainty over whether Kyries Hebert will report to camp, the Blue Bombers have signed ex-NFL linebacker Donny Green.

The 6-foot-2, 240-pound Virginia product was most recently in the camp of the NFL's Atlanta Falcons last year. Prior to that, Green had stints with Oakland, San Diego, Jacksonville and Washington.

"He's a hard-nosed, physical specimen and he probably would have started on our team last year," Winnipeg GM Brendan Taman said yesterday. "When Woodson retired, it opened an easier way to get him here.

"I saw him play when I was watching (quarterback) Tee Martin in 2004 and he's a pretty good football player. I would compare him to (former Bomber linebacker) James West but bigger -- although I'm not saying he's James West, who is a hall-of-famer."

Green, 28, posted 109 tackles in his senior college season.

"I'm ready to play right now," Green, who played with Bombers offensive lineman Jermese Jones in college, said in a release. "I just want to go up there and hit somebody."

Woodson, who led the Bombers in defensive tackles last season, has yet to offer an explanation for his decision and could not be reached for comment again yesterday.

Hebert's agent, J.R. Rickert, is pursuing the possibility of taking his client's case to arbitration and the CFL Players' Association lawyer Ed Molstad is discussing the situation with Hebert.

"We're hoping this gets expedited rather quickly," Rickert said. "My understanding is that Ed will make a complaint on behalf of Kyries, then it goes to an arbitration hearing and the arbitrator's decision is binding."

Rickert is also aware that some CFL clubs, including Winnipeg, have sold the rights to CFL players to NFL teams in the past, although it is rare.

"I can't see Winnipeg ever wanting to go down that road," Rickert said. "I can understand how badly Winnipeg wants him there but all we can do is wait and see."

BRUCE IV?: Green will be joined by wide receiver Quentin McCord, who appeared in 25 NFL games with the Falcons. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound Kentucky product was a seventh-round draft choice by Atlanta in 2001.

"I would compare him in style to (Toronto's Arland Bruce III) but not Bruce in his ability," Taman said. "He's more of a finesse guy who can turn a five-yard pass into a long gain. He's very fluid with decent speed and good hands."

"Basically, my opportunities were running out in the NFL and Canada seemed like my best bet," said McCord, 27.

Taman, meanwhile, has no interest veteran defensive end Joe Montford, who was released by Edmonton yesterday.

CASE-Y SOLVED: Lions head coach/GM Wally Buono figures B.C.'s biggest problem was solved when quarterback Casey Printers signed with the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs.

"You can never have too many good quarterbacks but that can create some controversy and it did have an adverse effect on our team," Buono admitted.


Videos

Photos