Berry toasts Dom

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:39 AM ET

He has become the centre of attention for all the right reasons this season.

Sophomore Dominic Picard has replaced the ailing Obby Khan -- Winnipeg's nominee for top offensive lineman last year -- at centre and the Blue Bombers have not suffered.

"Dom has been really consistent," said Bomber head coach Doug Berry. "We've probably attempted as many passes as anybody has in the CFL and we're the lowest in terms of sacks (surrendered -- two) so, that's a tribute to the offensive line."

To a guy that Berry dared to dress for only one game last season. Now the 6-foot-2, 285-pound Laval product is a full-time starter.

"I'm feeling pretty excited about it," said Picard, 25. "I'm trying to improve my game week after week. The first game (versus Edmonton) was tougher. Last week (against Montreal), I felt more comfortable with that and I'm looking forward to being much better this week again."

Berry decided to groom Picard slowly but even he has to be surprised at how quickly he has fit in as Khan's replacement. Then again, Picard is known for his perseverance after overcoming testicular cancer in college.

"That's the kind of guy he is and I can't say more than that," Berry said.

"He's a true competitor whether it's on or off the field.

"Dom is not only physically doing his job but he's doing a lot with the direction calls and all the things that need to be done. So, he's the leader that we're looking for."

Trouble is, Picard knows Khan will return sometime.

"You know, I want to enjoy myself every day and as soon as he's back, it will be good for the team," he said. "I don't want to think about that. I want to get mentally and physically prepared for each game each day. As soon as he's back, we'll see at that time."

WALLS TOPS: Bomber defensive end Gavin Walls, who recorded five defensive tackles, two quarterback sacks and a fumble recovery, was named the CFL's defensive player of the week.

"It feels good," said Walls. "If I put my mind to it, I feel like I can get player of the week every week but it's not about that. It's not really about me as an individual, it just so happened to be me that got it."

Saskatchewan's Kerry Joseph (offensive), B.C.'s Brent Johnson (Canadian) and B.C.'s Barron Miles (special teams) were the other players of the week.

Winnipeg's Greg Bearman was the special teams runner-up.

K-DAY: Berry will announce his decision today on whether veteran Troy Westwood will placekick against the Eskimos tomorrow.

"I don't want (the situation) to be week to week but ... everything we're doing is what we perceive is the best for the team and has nothing to do with any individual," he said.

HASHMARKS: WR Derick Armstrong will be replaced by Kerry Johnson (practice roster) tomorrow while Gabriel Fulbright and Chijioke Onyenegecha will share a DB spot ... S Jeremy Steeves will replace SB Pat Woodcock (knee) for Edmonton ... Bombers had sold 25,982 to tomorrow's match by 5 p.m. yesterday.


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