Khan has good day at centre

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:00 AM ET

He was the centre of attention during the Ottawa dispersal draft.

Now, all of a sudden, Ibrahim (Obby) Khan has become a new centre of the Winnipeg offensive line.

"We made more of a commitment for Obby Khan to be a centre and he had a really good day," Blue Bombers head coach Doug Berry said yesterday.

Why?

"Shotgun snaps," replied Berry, who does not want his quarterbacks worrying about fielding wayward hikes. "The snap to him should be automatic. And when he has to go down and up and over and out to get a snap, he loses his focus on what he's got to be concentrating on in his passing game, running game, whatever he's supposed to be doing. So, we're trying to find somebody who can gives us consistency with the snap and still can execute their position and Khan had a good morning in there at centre.

"You take a guy like (Aaron) Fiacconi, who has been a centre but has been a little erratic with his snaps and moves over to a guard position and all of a sudden, it's a ton being taken off his shoulders. Now he executes much better as a guard than he was at centre because he's been under the gun to try to make that shotgun snap better."

BOOTERS CAMP: Although Berry welcomed two new import kickers -- placekicker Kirk Yliniemi and punter Brian Claybourn -- to camp yesterday, it was too soon to truly assess their talent.

"We won't get those guys really evaluated until we get to the pre-season games," Berry said.

The kickers were invited after kicker Duncan O'Mahony failed to show under mysterious circumstances. Bombers still have not heard from O'Mahony.

BLUE BLOSSOMS: Berry has been impressed with a couple of Canucks.

"(Converted defensive end Adrian) Baird has never played linebacker and just continues to blossom like a flower," he said. "(Neil) McKinlay is better than I or any of the defensive coaches thought he might be. So, he's had a real good camp so far."

Bombers have also moved import DE Ron Warner to the interior.

"He's got a great attitude and he's adjusting well," Berry said.

Berry, by the way, is not likely to make any cuts until after next week's exhibition game.


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