Big Eric's back

Eric Wilson charges at Stevie Baggs during his first practice yesterday at the Stadium. (Toronto...

Eric Wilson charges at Stevie Baggs during his first practice yesterday at the Stadium. (Toronto Sun/Jason Halstead)

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:29 AM ET

He's one of the nicest, gregarious fellows off the field, but he's one mean SOB when he straps on the pads.

And it didn't take long for Eric Wilson to prove that again yesterday when he reacquainted himself with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

After flying in from Miami yesterday morning and re-signing with the team, the 6-foot-3, 300-pound offensive lineman hit the practice field and immediately got into it with rookie Bombers defensive end Stevie Baggs.

The two exchanged words after the first play of the practice, and a few minutes later Wilson asked a fellow offensive lineman what the deal was with Baggs, whose engine always runs hot.

"He goes like that all the time," was the response.

"Not anymore," Wilson said.

And that, in a nutshell, is why diehard Bomber fans were rejoicing yesterday, because they remember the fiery Wilson from his days with the Blue and Gold in 2002 and 2003.

"It's fun to be back," Wilson said. "It's good to be back in the town where you were accepted before and you've got a good fan base.

"We just gotta get back on a winning streak, so hopefully I can bring my attitude back, which hasn't left. I've been doing some business, so it's been held back a little bit, but now I get to let it out."

It's likely not a coincidence that Wilson was signed just four days after the Bombers showed a lack of intensity in a 39-12 defeat to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, which was their fourth loss in a row.

Wilson brings an attitude, and he can't wait to unleash it on Sunday when the Bombers and Roughriders meet in the Banjo Bowl rematch at Canad Inns Stadium.

Wilson will start at right tackle.

"I guarantee you something will happen on Sunday," Wilson said. "I don't know what, but something will happen. And it will be entertaining."

Wilson was Winnipeg's utility man before bolting to the NFL's Miami Dolphins in January 2004. He was brought in originally as a defensive tackle, but he quickly ended up on the other side of the ball after injuries decimated the O-line early in 2002.

He remained on the O-line in 2003, but he played on both sides of the ball in the last two regular-season games. He then started at defensive tackle in Winnipeg's West Division semifinal loss to Saskatchewan.

Wilson never played a game for the Dolphins, but he did start several matches for Hamburg during the 2005 NFL Europe campaign. He spent last season on Miami's injured reserve list after undergoing shoulder surgery a year ago.

Wilson hadn't donned a helmet in more than a year until yesterday, and even though he's never played right tackle before, he's confident in his abilities. He looked impressive during yesterday's workout.

"I told (GM) Brendan (Taman) last night: That's one thing you don't have to worry about me," Wilson said. "I'm going to do whatever I can to get the job done. You know how I play. You know my attitude, what I bring to the game, and I'll do the best that I can.

"And in my mind, I think it'll get done."


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