Wee beast of East

Winnipeg Blue Bombers RB Charles Roberts busts through against the Calgary Stampeders during action...

Winnipeg Blue Bombers RB Charles Roberts busts through against the Calgary Stampeders during action at Canad Inns Stadium in Winnipeg on Saturday. (Winnipeg Sun/Jason Halstead)

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:31 AM ET

Awhile ago, it was suggested quarterback Kevin Glenn should be the Winnipeg MVP because the Blue Bombers couldn't win without him.

But since, tailback Charles Roberts has emerged as the CFL club's most outstanding player and is the odds-on favourite to become the Eastern Division representative that will likely lose to B.C. slotback Geroy Simon at the annual awards show in Winnipeg.

With one game left in the regular season, Roberts has already defended his CFL rushing title -- his third in the last four years, equalling a club record.

'SHOULD BE IN RUNNING'

"I think I should be in the running," Roberts said after rushing for 151 yards in Winnipeg's 28-13 victory over the Calgary Stampeders on Saturday.

"You know, (slotback) Milt (Stegall) has missed a few games, but at the same time that goes to show you how important he is to our team. I know we were less than .500 when Milt was out. He's a very important piece to our offence.

"But it's all political and really, I don't care. The rushing title is what I wanted and I got it, and I'm satisfied."

Bombers GM Brendan Taman believes Roberts deserves such consideration.

"Sure he does," Taman said. "He's productive."

MILESTONE

Roberts has now gained 1,560 yards, the fourth straight season he has exceeded 1,500 yards. Only Mike Pringle has achieved that milestone previously.

"That's a lot of yards -- four years in a row and hopefully, I can keep doing it," said the 5-foot-6, 170-pound Sacramento State product. "It goes back to good offensive linemen and a good team, and a team willing to run the ball in the CFL."

Roberts had been in danger of losing his title to Calgary's Joffrey Reynolds, who was leading him by 58 yards going into the game and had rushed for 162 yards the last time the Stampeders faced Winnipeg.

"My thing was to go out here and not let him out-rush me by 30-40 yards and make me have to go out and rush for 100 yards against a team like B.C., probably the best team in the league, next week," said Roberts, 27.

Since Calgary ends the regular season with a bye, Reynolds cannot catch Roberts.

There was no exchange between the two after the match.

"I didn't talk to him," Roberts said. "I really respect him but that's not something I do. It was cold out there and I was trying to get into the locker-room."

But Roberts was swarmed by his teammates on the sidelines when they realized he had clinched the title in a game that the Bombers wanted to win so badly.

"That was special," Roberts admitted. "You know, there were some articles written over the weeks that I've lost my team and my team revelled in my embarrassment over a joke post on ourbombers.com.

"I haven't lost my team. These guys love me and I love them. They know I come to work hard and I'm a team player and I'm going to go to battle with them every day all year long."

Of course, his refusal to explain the joke to the media led to all sorts of negative speculation. But Roberts has been playing like a man possessed ever since.


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