Bombers impressed with Ockimey's debut at safety

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:28 AM ET

Ron Ockimey had to learn to reverse his approach on the fly. Literally.

Converted from linebacker to safety late in the Winnipeg training camp, the import proved to be up to the challenge when the Blue Bombers opened their CFL season in Montreal last weekend.

"It's definitely an adjustment and what you've got to do is remember to keep going backwards," Ockimey explained. "You've got to stay in your backpedal but as far as footwork and stuff like that, that's all I work on during the off-season. I do DB workouts so, it wasn't too strange. It wasn't like I was going to a foreign position.

"But you have to kind of retrain yourself after being in camp coming downhill playing linebacker, forcing the issue versus going back there to play safety and having to stay in your backpedal and stay the furthest man back, so nobody gets beat deep. You're the last line of defence back there."

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound San Jose product won the starting safety spot over rookie Ian Logan and Robert Grant.

"For a guy who's had limited action at free safety -- and he's a bigger guy with tremendous speed -- and we felt like he would be disciplined enough to align in the middle," said head coach Doug Berry. "He was probably out of position one or two times during the whole game and did very well. We're going to continue to go in that vein."

Yet, Ockimey is still seeking perfection.

"He said two mistakes, that's pretty decent for my first time lining up at free safety playing professional ball," he said. "Everything worked out, man. I expected (Montreal quarterback Anthony) Calvillo to kind of challenge me back there but he never did. He kind of threw a lot of outs because the defence had him rattled from the jump. All around, we played a good game, not just myself.

"It went real good. The coaches got confidence in me, I've got confidence in myself always. But I still want to build and get better. It's little steps at a time. There's still things like adjustments and landmarks that I need to correct, especially going into this game against Toronto. (Argos quarterback Spergon Wynn) likes to throw it downfield so, we'll see."

LATE HITS: Bombers OL Val St. Germain has a minor injury and may not be able to start Friday against the Argos (1-0). If St. Germain can't go, Aaron Fiacconi will replace him at right guard ... WR Blair Atkinson has given up his eligibility with the University of Manitoba Bisons and has joined the Bombers practice squad ... RB/WR Henri Childs (knee) and SB/KR Albert Johnson III (shoulder) might be ready to play next week against Edmonton.


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