Samuels gets call

KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:05 AM ET

Stanford Samuels is quick to embrace the physical side of the game.

That's why he's more than happy to change positions for this week's game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Samuels, normally a shutdown corner for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, will line up this week at outside linebacker because of an injury to Ike Charlton.

Charlton was officially ruled "out" yesterday for Friday's game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats by head coach Doug Berry.

"Anytime you get a chance to be around the heat of the action, being the type of player that I am, that's always a good thing and it always gets you excited," said Samuels. "The biggest thing when you're in the action is that you've got to be physical. The difference is because I play the field corner, which is the least physical position. But that's the type of player that I am. A physical, in your face, I might put you in the hospital type of player. It's not a problem."

Berry isn't the least bit concerned about Samuels changing positions.

"If you go back to training camp, he was competing for that job so he knows exactly what's going on there," said Berry. "Moving him to linebacker should not be a big deal for us because he's done it. He's a good athlete, a great cover corner. He's certainly going to have the cover skills and now we'll finally get a test to how he responds to the running game."

SHERIDAN UPDATE: Injured offensive lineman Matt Sheridan (pulled groin) was out on the practice field yesterday offering plenty of encouragement to his teammates.

He was in uniform but isn't expected back in the lineup for another couple of weeks.

"When you get a severe groin pull, it's a tough one," said Berry. "It's not as bad as it could be. It's more of a strain-pull than a total tear but those are painful and it's tough to stride and push off and everything. It's going to take him a while."

Along with cornerback Omar Evans (groin) returning to the active roster, Berry expects to have linebacker Neil McKinlay (foot) and defensive lineman Cameron Legault (shoulder) at his disposal.

MR. POSITIVITY: One big thing Berry has shown during the early stages of his head coaching career is an ability to accentuate the positives he sees in his football team.

"I'm always going to try and accent positive things," said Berry. "Even when things are going the worst, there's always something good that happens. The bad things get noticed, don't get me wrong but people don't get complimented in life as it is. What we want to do is let players know when they're doing good things. If our players don't believe that they're the best, they'll never be the best."

Through the first third of the CFL season, the Blue Bombers are doing things the old-fashioned way and it's led to positive results.

"These guys are learning how to win games and it's not coming easy," said Berry. "We've had one easy victory this year and when you earn the wins, you feel it afterwards. It's just a stronger feeling.

"Sometimes when a victory is so easy, you start feeling that victory through the third quarter and the fourth quarter and by the time the game's over, a lot of that euphoria has dissipated. But when you're playing the close games and it goes down to the end and you don't know until the final possession, that's the feeling that gets carried over into the locker room. The reason we're good is that we're winning some of these close games and the guys are feeling what that's all about."


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