Portable inspiration

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:40 AM ET

Fred Reid looks to the past with the hope that it will help his football future.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers running back-returner brought with him to Canada a portable DVD player and a DVD containing his personal highlights from his days at Mississippi State University.

Whenever he needs a pick-me-up late at night while sitting in his hotel room in a foreign country, he fires up the DVD player and relives the glory.

"I still watch my highlight films just to remind me what I'm capable of doing, to give me a little extra boost and more power," Reid said yesterday. "I think about those days every day. I had a good career there. Yes, sir."

The 25-year-old from Tampa won't be making the Blue and Gold as the starting tailback thanks to Charles Roberts being ahead of him on the depth chart, but he has a legitimate shot at cracking the squad as Blink's backup and possibly a kick returner.

"Everything's going good," Reid said. "I'm liking Winnipeg so far. I wouldn't mind being here. I'll just keep working, and hopefully I'll be sticking around."

The 5-foot-10, 190-pound Reid has displayed great bursts of speed and excellent vision out of the backfield in practice, but he has yet to showcase his bread and butter: returning kicks. He should finally get that chance this Friday night in Hamilton in Winnipeg's final pre-season game.

"That's what I do right there," Reid said. "(Returning kicks) is definitely the way to make it up here. I'm just trying to help out, mostly on special teams. That'd really help me make the team up here."

Reid owns the Mississippi State record for longest kickoff return touchdown -- a 100-yarder in a win over Memphis in 2003 -- and he had the sixth-best game in Southeastern Conference history when he had 176 return yards against Kentucky in 2002.

All that, of course, means squat in his quest to beat out fellow returner hopefuls Albert Johnson III, Dominique Dorsey and Antoine Bagwell. And Reid is going to have to do something special on Friday to be noticed by head coach Doug Berry.

LIMITED

"He's had very limited reps," Berry said. "He didn't get a ball carry during (Thursday's pre-season) game, so it's hard to comment a whole bunch on how great he is, because I haven't seen him play yet."

So you can bet Reid will watch his 15-minute highlight reel a time or two between now and Friday's game, and the 100-yard touchdown will be viewed for the umpteenth time.

"It's on there," Reid said. "It's probably not the first one, but it's at the beginning of the tape, so you're going to see it. That's the main highlight on there."


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