Hebert a safety first

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:48 AM ET

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers love the fact that Kyries Hebert flies around the football field in search of the nearest head to knock off.

It's just that, well, there is such a thing as being too aggressive.

Head coach Doug Berry admitted earlier this week that the coaching staff made a mistake by moving Hebert from safety to weak-side linebacker two weeks ago. There were just too many broken assignments in his relentless pursuit of the ball carrier.

Basically, the man whose fan club is called "The Hebert HeadHunters" was trying to do too much head hunting.

"You can't blame Kyries for lack of trying. You can't," Berry said. "He played hard, but the thing that he does is he's so aggressive in the way that he plays that sometimes his aggressive nature overcomes the discipline."

Berry loves attitude, and Hebert has plenty of it. In fact, Hebert is so confident that he doesn't know what all the fuss is about.

"As far as me going down (to linebacker) and being confused and what-not, no," Hebert said. "Considering the situation, that I only had maybe six practices at it ever, I was cool. It was all coming together."

Call that confidence, or call that denial, but the Bombers can't afford to wait for it to come together. Despite losing five of its last six, Winnipeg (6-7) is just two points out of first place in the East Division and has a monumental home-and-home series with the Montreal Alouettes (7-5) on the agenda.

The first game is Sunday afternoon at Molson Stadium, and Hebert will be back at safety -- reluctantly.

"I don't like moving back and forth," he said. "I would prefer to stay at linebacker, but I'll do safety. I can do safety with my eyes closed.

"Challenges aren't something I'm used to backing down from, but if they feel like it'd be better for the team for me to be at safety, then, hey, I'm all for it. Full speed back to safety."

In case you were wondering, the Bombers aren't going to bench a player who is making $140,000 this season and for whom they went the extra mile to get into Canada following some off-season legal troubles.

He is also a force on special teams. Despite missing the first four games of the season trying to get out of his contract with the Bombers, Hebert is tied for ninth in the CFL in special teams takedowns.

"Don't be surprised if you find me leading the league in special teams tackles," he said.

There's that Hebert confidence, which apparently runs in the family. Hebert's five-year-old daughter, Caylynn, had just two days of practice before playing the first soccer game of her life recently in Lake Charles, La.

"She went out there and scored six goals," Hebert said proudly. "First game, six goals. Young Hebert is kicking ass and taking names."

The Bombers hope -- and believe -- old Hebert is about to do the same.


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