Newest Bomber says he's ready to play

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:43 AM ET

So he's finally here.

Now what?

Kyries Hebert would love to make his Winnipeg Blue Bombers debut on Saturday against the Montreal Alouettes, but the brass is going to take a wait-and-see approach.

Hebert kept his 6-foot-3, 220-pound body in top-notch condition during his holdout, as evidenced by his washboard abs, but the Bomber coaches don't even know yet what position the linebacker/safety is going to play.

"I'll be out there practising this week and giving it my all, and hopefully that'll be enough to let them know that I'm ready to do what I have to do," said Hebert.

Winnipeg's defence has been stellar through four games without Hebert, so squeezing him into the lineup is going to take some nifty manoeuvering.

'NICE PROBLEM'

"It's a nice problem to have," said defensive co-ordinator Greg Marshall, who coached Hebert in Ottawa last season. "I know there's probably seven other teams in this league that would like to be adding a player of Kyries' ability.

"Kyries' strengths are blitzing and flying around to the football. He plays well in space."

There will be several options for the coaching staff once they declare Hebert ready for action.

One is Hebert replacing Ron Ockimey at safety -- "I was born at safety, so that's not a problem," said Hebert -- while another is him taking over for Donnavan Carter at outside linebacker if non-import Jon Oosterhuis starts at defensive tackle for the injured Ron Warner.

Another possibility -- for this week anyway -- is having Troy Westwood do both the placekicking and punting, and putting Hebert on the roster as a special teamer and backup designated import.

Hebert had 66 tackles, 29 special teams tackles, three forced fumbles, a blocked punt, a sack, a tackle for a loss, two pass knockdowns, two fumble recoveries, three interceptions and three touchdowns last year in Ottawa.

If he can get back on that pace with the Bombers, it's safe to say his new teammates will welcome him warmly.

"I've met a lot of guys today, and they've been very receptive," said Hebert. "It's not much to say. It's much to do.

"I go out there and I earn their respect by doing the things that I do on the field."

Bombers GM Brendan Taman was asked yesterday if he was happy to have the Hebert fiasco over and a quality player in camp.

"I'm more happy about the win (over the Argos), to be honest with you," said Taman.


Videos

Photos