Little man, big heart

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:58 AM ET

First impressions are often dead wrong.

Doug Berry, for example, took one look at Winnipeg defensive end Brian Guebert and shook his head.

"He's about 5-foot-8 or 9 and roughly 245 pounds," the Blue Bombers head coach said yesterday. "You look at him and you go, 'No.' But he plays hard.

"He gives 110% all the time." And defensive line coach Richard Harris relishes having Guebert, who is actually listed at 5-foot-9 and 257 pounds, around.

"That's a good description -- a little man with a big heart," Harris said with a smile. "He's infectious. He's having fun ... He's fun to see running around and all the veterans are getting a kick out of him." And Guebert is well aware that the sports world is full of little guys making it in a bigger man's world.

"There's a lot of success stories out there about little guys who have gone on to do good things and hopefully, I'm the next," said the Saskatoon native.

And, for inspiration, he only has to look across the line of scrimmage at Charles Roberts, the 5-foot-6, 182-pound scatback who is well on his way to becoming Winnipeg's all-time leading rusher.

"Just look at the things he's done with his career," said Guebert, 25. "I thought he was a lot bigger watching him on TV my whole life and I come in here and go, 'Wow!' He's done a lot of great things for a man of his stature ... (Import defensive lineman) Jerome Haywood is another guy who's been in the league for five or six years now and he's the same height as me." Guebert was named a CIS first-team all-star after another superb year with the University of Saskatchewan last season.

"I've always been short and I've always been told that I'm probably too small to play this game and that's where the effort really has to make up for the lack of size, I guess," he said. "I found that, as many critics as I have out there, the only critic that really matters is myself. If I come out here and give it my best and good things happen, then good for me." Guebert is also perhaps the most versatile player in camp. He can both long-snap and kick field goals and has been getting a lot of work at fullback in tight-end situations.

"We're looking at him at a number of different positions right now and each one of those will give him more of an opportunity to play," Harris said. "He does have a shot at making the team." Berry concurred.

"Brian's done a really good job," he said. "He's done more than what was expected initially and it's going to be interesting to watch him play (tomorrow)." Winnipeg plays host to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in a CFL pre-season contest tomorrow.


Videos

Photos