Initiation gets rookie tight with vets

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:36 AM ET

MONTREAL -- Arjei Franklin knew there was going to be trouble when Milt Stegall dropped a plastic bag beside him yesterday morning at Winnipeg International Airport and said: "Put them on."

Franklin, the rookie Bombers receiver out of the University of Windsor, opened the bag to find a bright yellow, short-sleeve dress shirt, a grey vest and tight slacks that stopped halfway down his shin.

It was time for a little rookie initiation.

Stegall and the rest of the veteran Bomber receivers made Franklin wear the outlandish clothes and do juice runs to Tim Hortons before getting on the plane to Montreal for tonight's season opener against the Alouettes.

It wasn't that embarrassing in Winnipeg, Franklin said, because most people saw he was with the Bombers. Montreal, however, was a different story.

"Everyone thought that's what I was wearing," said Franklin, who took his initiation in stride.

"Those pants were so tight. By the time I got here, I couldn't get them off quick enough"

QUICK CHANGE: Despite spending last season and most of this year's training camp at right guard, Bombers offensive lineman Mike Abou-Mechrek will begin the season at right tackle.

The former Ottawa Renegade has played approximately 20 career games at the position, and he's ready to serve and protect.

"I'm super cool with it, but maybe I'm not oozing confidence like I would be if I was playing something that I was more comfortable with," he said.

LATE HITS: Alouettes SB and Winnipeg native Adam Eckert will be a game-time decision tonight. He's on the 46-man roster, but teams now have until one hour before kickoff to declare their 42-man roster for the game ... The Bombers moved backup S John Sullivan from the practice squad to the active roster and released WR Scott Robinson ... Alouettes QB Anthony Calvillo expects the Bombers to occasionally use a three-man defensive line tonight.


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