Time to shut revolving door

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:15 AM ET

Ever since the Winnipeg Blue Bombers lost the 2001 Grey Cup to the Calgary Stampeders, there has been a revolving door at the strong-side halfback position in the secondary.

The list of players is long and, in most cases, not exactly memorable. Here they are, in order, since the start of the 2002 CFL season: Mustafah Muhammad (five games), Byron Capers (2), Glenn Davis (1), Dave Donaldson (5), Milo Lewis (15), Tim Carter (4), Lewis again (5), Harold Nash Jr. (1), Lewis again (1), Cedric Dickerson (2), Justin Coleman (3), Jayson Bray (3), Coleman again (7), Stephen Fisher (3), Dickerson again (1), Coleman again (4), Dickerson again (1), Coleman again (5), Syniker Taylor (1), Stanford Samuels (5) and, finally, William Fields (1).

Whew!

That's 14 players and 20 changes in only four seasons, and it's enough to make one's head spin. Coincidentally, that's usually how each and every one of these players felt as he walked off the field after each game at the position.

As the Bombers enter the 2006 season under new head coach Doug Berry, it looks like there's a chance -- a chance -- that they might go with only one player at the position all year.

His name is Kelly Malveaux.

The 29-year-old from Pasadena, Calif., has 11 interceptions and 35 pass knockdowns in 88 career games with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Calgary Stampeders and Montreal Alouettes.

The Bombers acquired his services from the Alouettes in April for only a sixth-round draft pick. Berry, who was an offensive assistant in Montreal for the past seven years, is a Malveaux admirer.

"He's a really good football player, and the reason he is is because he's a professional," said Berry. "... He knows what it takes to win. He keeps a written report of everyone he goes against. He's one of those baseball pitchers that keeps a record of every batter.

"... I really enjoy having veterans back there who have been through it and know what it's all about."

Malveaux and fellow halfback Anthony Malbrough, acquired last October from the Stampeders, will be expected to anchor a Winnipeg secondary that allowed the most passing yards in CFL history last season.

"Anthony and I are two consummate professionals in this league," said Malveaux. "... We bring a lot to the table, and, if nothing else, we bring veteran leadership and we can get the guys on board.

"We have a great group of guys, like Willie Fields, Samuels and Omar Evans. It's not like we've just got bums running around here. We've got some quality guys around here that's going to get things done."

Malveaux is going back to Montreal to face his old team on Friday night in the regular season opener for both teams. He should have quite the book on Montreal quarterback Anthony Calvillo and his superb stable of receivers.

Malveaux, however, wouldn't guarantee that he'll shut down all of them.

"Everybody goes out and hones up their skills a little tighter and gets a little better in the off-season," he said. "The advantage is to the one who prepares the hardest."

Good luck, Mr. Malveaux. If history is any indication, you're going to need it.


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