Imports impress

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:01 AM ET

Ask Dan Goodspeed about trying to retain his starting tackle position on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers offensive line, and all you get are cliches about working hard and doing your job.

Ask a third party about import Goodspeed trying to prevent the Bombers from starting an all-Canadian O-line, and you get the truth.

GOING AFTER IT

"I've had both the American tackles (Jermese Jones is the other) personally tell me that that job is theirs," said head coach Doug Berry. "That's the attitude, that they're going after it. 'That job's mine.' "

All-Canadian offensive lines are coveted in the CFL because it allows teams to start more imports at defensive back and receiver -- positions where star Canadians are few and far between.

The Bombers showed how serious they were about an all-Canadian O-line when they drafted Obby Khan and Val St. Germain in the Ottawa Renegades dispersal draft, but Goodspeed and Jones are ruining those plans.

"They both are real confident in their abilities, and I love that," said Berry.

When Goodspeed signed with the Bombers last July, he had just finished trying out for the Washington Redskins as a tight end, so he was a relatively light O-lineman last season.

He had the whole off-season to bulk up, and he showed up in Winnipeg 10 days ago packing lots of muscle on his 320-pound frame.

"I was in the weight room hitting it non-stop, and I feel a lot stronger on the field," said the 29-year-old Tampa, Fla., resident. "That's a huge difference for me."

Bomber brass may be raving about his play through a week of camp, but Goodspeed will keep his head down and keep showing up for work.

"Can I do more? Sure," he said. "Can I worry about the ratio? Can't do that."


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