Pressure's on hopefuls

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:22 AM ET

The temperature in Kuwait City on Saturday is supposed to reach a balmy 52 C.

Ask most of the players how hot it is on the Canad Inns Stadium field tonight, and you're likely to hear a number even higher than that.

It's pre-season game No. 1 for both the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats tonight, and the collars are going to be tight on both sidelines as the campaign for jobs reaches a fever pitch.

"I'm excited," Bomber receiver Kerry Johnson said. "I'm just excited to get another chance to come out and play.

"I'm ready to just get out there and give it another shot and just go out there and have fun."

REAL DOGFIGHT

Johnson is in a real dogfight at import receiver, as there are seven Americans fighting for one -- or possibly two -- starting spots.

"Everybody talks about the numbers and everything, but I talked to Milt last night," said Johnson, who hasn't played a football game since August 2005. "Milt was just saying when you're a good player, they find a way to keep good players."

Like Johnson, Winnipeg linebacker Corey Jenkins is another former NFLer trying to extend his playing career north of the border. He's battling two CFL veterans, Kyries Hebert and Neil McKinlay, for one of the two outside linebacker jobs.

"I'm trying not to be excited," Jenkins said. "I don't want to exert too much too soon, but I'm ready to go. I feel like this situation's pretty good, and I'm going to make the most of it. I promise."


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