Fans motivate Blue

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:51 AM ET

Winnipeg Blue Bomber fans sure love their team.

Despite last year's 5-13 record and a second straight season out of the playoffs, more than 300 Blue and Gold boosters showed up yesterday morning to watch the first day of training camp.

It was the biggest opening-day turnout in years.

New head coach Doug Berry, for one, was amazed at the turnout.

"On Day 1 (in Montreal) they have a scheduled fan day," Berry said of his former club, "but nobody said today was fan day. Geez, I couldn't believe it. It's really impressive."

New Bomber linebacker Barrin Simpson was excited about the turnout.

"For one thing, it makes us work harder, because we want to make sure the fans see a good product," he said. "It motivates you when your fans come out and support you. They're always a 13th man, and you want to come out here and get it done. Everybody sees the path we're trying to take."

WARN-ING SIGN: Berry said DE Ron Warner is 40 pounds heavier than he was when he played for the Bombers in 2000, which might make a move inside to the tackle position a little easier for him.

The Bombers are looking to replace Joe Fleming, who retired on Thursday after a nine-year career.

"I've already talked to him ... and he's willing to take a look inside, even though he's never played inside," said Berry. "He could be a guy that could play two spots, so we'll look at that."

LATE HITS: Other players earning Berry's praise on opening day were WR Chris Brazzell, SB Milt Stegall, RB Henri Childs, DTs Demetrius Shambley and Dante Booker, DE Tom Canada, LB Adrian Baird, and DBs Kelly Malveaux and Will Fields ... Import OL Dan Goodspeed yesterday signed a two-year contract extension, which includes an option. Goodspeed, who celebrated his 29th birthday on Saturday, is attempting to earn one of two starting tackle spots.


Photos