D-man ready to receive

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:23 AM ET

As a defensive lineman, Brian Guebert was compared to a human bowling ball.

Yet, there he was lined up as a freaky-looking wideout in certain offensive formations during the first two days of Blue Bombers training camp.

"I don't know how many 5-foot-9, 245-pound receivers there are in the league but if that's where I've got to line up, that's where I'll line up," Guebert said yesterday.

"And if somebody else catches the ball, there will be some DBs I'll be coming down on to make some big blocks. And if I'm able to catch the ball, those big shoulders will be lowered and I'll be looking for some positive yards."

Say what? Have the Winnipeg coaches gone daft?

Bomber offensive co-ordinator Kit Cartwright just laughed at the notion of a converted D-lineman lining up as a pass-catcher.

"He may not look the part but he can catch," he said. "He's got good hand-eye co-ordination."

Bomber head coach Doug Berry said it was just to give Guebert a feel for the passing game after being converted to fullback/tight end.

"Not that Guebert's going to be taking the top off any coverage," Berry joked.

And the University of Saskatchewan product welcomed the move with his typical no-holds-barred enthusiasm.

"If they need me on defence, on offence or special teams, I just want to be on the field and contribute any way I can to help this team," said the sophomore, who plays flag football in the off-season.

"You know the (CFL) is full of Canadian fullbacks, so when you're asked to play a typically Canadian position, you take that as a compliment and you want to make the most of it. So, I spent some time in the off-season losing a little weight and I worked on my hands a little bit to do what I can do to be able to contribute in any way possible."

Guebert, 26, dropped 12 pounds over the winter.

"He was carrying too much weight as a defensive end and consequently, it was hurting his game a little bit," Berry explained. "So, we asked him to drop some weight and become a little quicker player on special teams, which is going to be his primary contribution anyhow, and then, keep him up on offence so he can still play the position of fullback and maybe a little tight end."

That means Guebert should get more playing time, assuming he cracks the roster.

"He's fun to coach," said Cartwright. "He's got a big heart ... He's good for the football team. He's contagious and the guys migrate to him. He's got that personality that he makes everyone better just being around him."

Guebert has heard the comparisons to Wade Miller, a vertically-challenged linebacker whose conversion to fullback lengthened his career here.

"I'm going to open some bigger holes for (tailback) Charlie (Roberts) this year," vowed Guebert, who married a physiotherapist (Chelsea) last winter. "Hopefully, we establish the running game and knock some guys around. I bring a bigger body to the position and that's where my strength lies, whether it's on the D-line pushing O-linemen around or at fullback moving linebackers around.

"There are players out here who are faster than me but I'm stronger than them so, you have to make the most of the abilities that you have."


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