No rest for Hebert

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:54 AM ET

Thanks, Mom.

Kyries Hebert is one of those guys whose motor just never stops running. The Winnipeg safety just keeps going and going and going. He keeps going at safety. He keeps going on special teams. If he was still at linebacker, he would keep going there, too. Some day, we expect him to take part on the offence (he was a wide receiver once) -- and join the Blue Lightning Dance Team for a routine between plays.

But surely, at some point, fatigue must start to set in.

"No, I'm an Hebert, we don't get tired," he declared upon returning home from yet another impressive outing in Montreal on Thursday. "It's in my genes. We don't stop, we just keep it going.

"My mother always preached aggressiveness to me if I was involved in sports. She was always saying, 'Search yourself, you have to be aggressive,' ever since I was like, seven, and it always carried on ... And she put me in the right places, like basketball camps and playing football."

It wasn't that long ago that Blue Bombers head coach Doug Berry had contemplated taking Hebert off some of the special teams just to give him some respite. Hebert begged to stay on and Berry is no longer concerned about exhausting the special teams demon.

"Not that guy, he can run all day," Berry said. "He's one of those guys ... All he does is run around. He's in great, great shape.

"The guy wants to be there, you might as well let him play. I know exactly what he's thinking, what he wants and how important this is to him. Just knowing Kyries, this is his life. When he's on the field, nothing is more rewarding than making plays."

His play on special teams will also be his ticket to the NFL and his window to that league will open this winter when he heads into his option year.

'DOMINATING'

Hebert, 26, recorded six defensive tackles and a quarterback sack from the safety position in Winnipeg's 20-18 CFL victory over the Alouettes. He added another four special teams tackles and, when the smoke clears this morning, he will likely be alone atop the standings in special teams tackles -- he was tied for first going into the weekend.

"I thought I had five (special teams tackles) but they said I had four? That's OK," said the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns product. "I plan on dominating those special teams throughout the season ... What's the secret? I don't know. I always have a good group of guys on the field with me and I guess, when they (kick returners) run out of places to run, they find me.

"It's more reading and understanding what the blocking schemes are, as opposed to running down there blindly. So, I don't try to be the first guy down there and just waste myself. I kind of read things out and then, get rid of guys, try to be the most physical guy."

And he just loves to lay a lickin' on returners.

"Oh yeah, that's what I play for," responded Hebert, who once recorded 20 defensive tackles in a single college game.

Kyries, by the way, is not the only Hebert with the Energizer genes.

"My little brother's playing football, basketball, track; he's pretty good," Hebert said. "Even the last game I saw my (six-year-old) daughter play soccer, she scored nine goals. Her team scored nine goals and she had all nine. So, we get it."

They get it thanks to heredity and a mother/grandmother who preached assertiveness.


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