Defensive tackle relishes shot at old teammates

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:40 AM ET

It may be coincidence but it looks like Jerome Haywood will get his first taste of action as a Blue Bomber against his old team.

The import defensive tackle is expected to replace Nate Davis when Winnipeg plays host to the Montreal Alouettes in its CFL home-opener tomorrow night.

Haywood, 29, signed with the Bombers after the Als allowed him to become a free agent.

"I always have a blast playing against Montreal because I know it's going to be hard-nosed football," the former Ottawa Renegade said yesterday.

"And being against my old team will be kind of fun because I have a personal relationship with all five of those (defensive linemen)."

The Montreal offensive line also surrendered eight sacks to Saskatchewan last week.

"It was their first game and they've got a new system there so, we'll see," said the 5-foot-9, 285-pound San Diego State product.

"If they want to give us some freebies again, we'll be more than happy to take some."

Haywood was forced to stay home when the Bombers travelled to Edmonton last week.

"That's all part of the game," he said.

"It's just one of those things that you have to deal with as a player. I just do what I can do and whatever happens, I can deal with it.."

Davis recorded one defensive tackle as the Eskimos rushed for a total of 166 yards against the Winnipeg defence.

WILSON IN: Former Als receiver O'Neil Wilson will also play his first game as a Bomber against his old team tomorrow.

"They saw what I could do out there and I don't know if I need to prove anything," said the non-import who sat out last week's game due to a calf injury. "When the ball comes to me, I catch it and make plays. That will let them know that they could have had a chance to keep me. But there's no bad feelings, it's a business."

Wilson will likely replace Canadian receiver Blair Atkinson on the roster.

NOTHING SPECIAL: Berry was asked if it was still special to coach against the Als, his former squad.

"Not at all," he replied.

"Maybe a little more last year when I knew more of the guys. But there are so many new faces over there that I'm not familiar with at least half the team any more anyhow."

And head coach Don Matthews is gone.

HASHMARKS: DB Davin Bush will also return from injury (ankle) to replace injured DB Gabriel Fulbright (foot) ... WR Derick Armstrong (hamstring) also returned to practice yesterday and is expected to play tomorrow ... C Obby Khan, who has still not practised due to illness, will sit out his second straight contest ... The Bombers have sold almost 25,000 tickets to the game where SB Milt Stegall could break the CFL's all-time record for most touchdowns.


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