Fight for jobs is on

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:42 AM ET

After coming up just shy in 2007, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are all set to give it another go.

Six months and seven days after the Bombers fell 23-19 to the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Grey Cup, 77 players are expected to hit the Canad Inns Stadium field tomorrow at 8 a.m. for the start of Winnipeg's three-week training camp.

All sessions are open to the public.

Winnipeg's three-day rookie camp concluded yesterday, and third-year head coach Doug Berry believes the newcomers will make for an intriguing main camp.

"Based on the talent level that's here, they're going to be able to compete," Berry said yesterday. "I really feel there's going to be a lot of guys competing for jobs."

All players will undergo physicals today before hitting the field tomorrow. Berry, GM Brendan Taman and the rest of the Bomber staff will then have until 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 21, to trim the roster to 46 players.

Here's a closer look at each position, including who's back, who's new, who's gone and who has the upper hand going into camp:

QUARTERBACK

STILL HERE: Kevin Glenn, Ryan Dinwiddie.

NEW ARRIVALS: Bryan Randall, Cleveland McCoy.

ADIOS: Kliff Kingsbury, Zac Taylor.

THE SKINNY: Glenn, with a new contract in hand, is the starter. The real battle will happen behind him, where it appears Dinwiddie and Randall will fight for the backup job.

RUNNING BACK/FULLBACK

STILL HERE: Charles Roberts, Fred Reid, Chris Cvetkovic, Graeme Bell.

NEW ARRIVAL: Daryl Stephenson.

ADIOS: Gilles Lezi.

THE SKINNY: Roberts returns for his eighth season in Blue and Gold. Reid is the front-runner to back up Blink, but Stephenson had a strong rookie camp. Cvetkovic is the incumbent long snapper and will attempt to fend off his pupil, ex-Winnipeg Rifle Jordan Matechuk, for the second straight year.

RECEIVER

STILL HERE: Terrence Edwards, Derick Armstrong, Milt Stegall, Arjei Franklin, O'Neil Wilson, Jamie Stoddard, Willie Foster, Kerry Johnson.

NEW ARRIVALS: Dan Sheldon, Aaron Fairooz, Romby Bryant, Jeff Moore, Abe Morlu, Aaron Hargreaves.

ADIOS: Chris Brazzell, Keith Stokes, Albert Johnson III, Adam Eckert.

THE SKINNY: The big three of Edwards, Armstrong and Stegall won't be displaced, while Franklin is the rising Canadian star. Sheldon, Fairooz and Bryant stood out at rookie camp, so it'll be interesting to see who snags one of those precious few roster spots that are up for grabs.

OFFENSIVE LINE

STILL HERE: Dan Goodspeed, Alexandre Gauthier, Matt Sheridan, Dominic Picard, Obby Khan, Matt O'Meara, Kyle Koch.

NEW ARRIVALS: Ryan Donnelly, Brendon LaBatte, Riley Clayton, Bruce McCaleb, Andy Hunter, Kyle Sleightholm, Will Henry.

ADIOS: Andrew Greene, Paul Archer.

THE SKINNY: Four of the five starting spots appear to be spoken for, with Goodspeed and Gauthier at tackle, Sheridan at guard and Picard at centre. Donnelly has the most CFL experience among the newcomers, while LaBatte is the team's first-round draft pick. Khan isn't expected back from his latest colitis battle until at least midsummer.

PLACEKICKER/PUNTER

STILL HERE: Troy Westwood.

NEW ARRIVAL: Darryl Wheeler, Brian Monroe.

ADIOS: Pat Fleming, Rob Pikula.

THE SKINNY: The "still here" heading is apropos for the 41-year-old Westwood, who came oh so close to losing his job last season but performed remarkably well down the stretch -- doing both duties, no less -- and has the momentum going into his 18th season. Monroe, an import, and Wheeler, a Canadian, are primarily punters, so Westwood might not have much competition in the placekicking department.

KICKOFF/PUNT RETURNERS

STILL HERE: Fred Reid, Willie Foster.

NEW ARRIVAL: Dan Sheldon.

ADIOS: Albert Johnson III, Keith Stokes.

THE SKINNY: Reid doesn't return punts, so Foster and Sheldon will battle for either both jobs or just the punt-return duties. They're all quick, so it might come down to who works best with the return units. The Bombers need big improvement in this area after a dismal 2007.

DEFENSIVE LINE

STILL HERE: Doug Brown, Tom Canada, Gavin Walls, Jerome Haywood, Jon Oosterhuis, Shawn Mayne, Brian Guebert, Matt Kudu.

NEW ARRIVALS: Jauron Dailey, Nick McNeil, Josh Miller, Don Oramasionwu.

ADIOS: Jabari Issa, Stevie Baggs.

THE SKINNY: The starting four of Brown, Canada, Walls and Haywood were a dominant bunch last season. If a newcomer can unseat any member of that quartet, more power to him.

LINEBACKER

STILL HERE: Barrin Simpson, Ike Charlton, Cam Hall, Neil McKinlay, Brad Newman, Marcus Winn.

NEW ARRIVALS: Anthony Maggiacomo, Eugene Boakye, Joe Lobendahn, Tim McManigal, Dwayne Slay, Jesse Alexander, Jordan Matechuk, Pierre-Luc Labbe, Willie Tagoa'i, Justin Clayton.

ADIOS: Adrian Baird, David Lowry.

THE SKINNY: Simpson is the man in the middle, that much is true. And Charlton is a strong bet to remain at his outside position. Then it gets murky, as Cam Hall, who started at the other outside spot last season, will also get reps at safety, as will Winn, Slay and Tagoa'i. If Hall goes to the secondary, his old position will be anybody's to grab.

SECONDARY

STILL HERE: Anthony Malbrough, Kelly Malveaux, Robert Bean, Ian Logan, Jason Nugent, Greg Moss, Greg Bearman, Sam Young.

NEW ARRIVALS: Sebastian Clovis, Jovon Johnson, Art Thomas, Willie Amos, Josh Lay, Steven Holness, Marc Beswick.

ADIOS: Kyries Hebert, Juran Bolden, Davin Bush, Chijioke Onyenegecha.

THE SKINNY: This section of the squad will undergo the most change this year, as 2007 starters Hebert (safety) and Bolden (cornerback) are gone. Malbrough and Malveaux, the halfbacks, and Bean, the other corner, have head starts as the incumbents, but they will be pushed.


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