Blue reload with young guns

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:48 AM ET

The local CFL club has decided to reload with Rifles at this year's training camp.

Towards that end, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers signed three players who have all played for the Winnipeg Rifles at one time or another.

"We felt it was time to re-convene that policy after getting away from it for a bit," Bombers GM Brendan Taman said yesterday. "It's a good learning experience for these juniors and it should help the Rifles, too.

"Of course, we're not going to bring in a guy who's going to get his mental state beaten up as well as physically."

In other words, not just any old Rifle will do.

Among those inked to CFL pacts and expected to be at tomorrow's rookie camp is linebacker/long snapper Jordan Matechuk, who attended last year's main camp in Winnipeg. The 6-foot, 218-pound Yorkton, Sask., native impressed with his bullet-like hikes last year but is unlikely to beat out incumbent long snapper Chris Cvetkovic.

"If he's going to make it, it will have to be on special teams," Taman said. "But he could make it on special teams and that long snapping ability will help. The more you can do ..."

The others are linebacker Justin Clayton and offensive lineman Will Henry.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Clayton will join his brother Riley, an O-lineman, at camp. The 6-foot-3, 285-pound Henry spent two years with the University of Manitoba Bisons before joining the Rifles last year.

STILL TALKING: Taman is still negotiating with CB Juran Bolden and a decision on whether he will return to training camp will be made by the end of this week ... OL Andrew Greene is not likely to be invited to camp but will be advised to stick close to his phone if a need develops ... LB Ike Charlton is apparently upset with a Sun report saying he "demanded" a raise at the end of last year. "He didn't demand one but he expected one," Taman said. Hmm, what's the difference? Charlton could not be reached for comment.

HASHMARKS: Expect the Bombers to announce the re-signing of WR Kerry Johnson today as well as an import P/K ... About 35 players are expected to attend tomorrow's rookie camp, including all four QBs ... Bombers have sold 17,000 season tickets to date ... Edmonton acquired P Duncan O'Mahony, who was almost a Bomber a couple of years ago, from Calgary for a conditional draft pick. As a results, the Eskies released former Bomber kicker Rob Pikula ... Toronto has signed WR Bethel Johnson, who won two Super Bowls with New England.


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