Kerry catches on with Blue

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:34 AM ET

It sure seems like Kerry Johnson produces every time he gets on the field.

If that is, in fact, true it should be a banner season for the slotback, because he's going to find himself on the field quite a bit.

Johnson had a touchdown in the first pre-season game last year, and he followed that up with four catches for 49 yards in his lone regular-season appearance. He would have topped the century mark had it not been for a teammate's holding penalty away from the play.

LED BOMBERS

He then led the Bombers with 10 catches -- and a touchdown -- in the recently completed pre-season.

Johnson was too far down the Bombers' star-studded receiving depth chart to see any other game action last season, but this year is different. He has cracked the roster as the fifth receiver and will see plenty of pigskin.

"It's been fun, but the work is not over yet," Johnson said. "I'm excited about getting a chance to go out and play starting on Friday."

Johnson and Romby Bryant are the two new import starters in the receiving corps, but one of them will have to take a seat when Milt Stegall returns to the lineup in a few weeks following knee surgery.

"I'm willing to do whatever to help the team out," Johnson said. "I've always been a role player, from high school to college to wherever I've been."

If Johnson can do what he's done through one regular-season and four pre-season games, he might be able to ditch that role-player label. He certainly has a big believer in head coach Doug Berry.

"He came back here a much more polished receiver," Berry said. "He showed flashes last year, but this year in terms of his physical ability ... he's smoother. "And I think that happens when you have a better understanding of what you're doing. That allows you to express yourself better."

Johnson almost didn't return to the Bombers after signing with Team Alabama of the All-American Football League, but that loop had to postpone its start until 2009 due to financial issues.

The Bombers were more than willing to bring Johnson back to the fold, and he knew, following the release of Chris Brazzell and the likelihood of Winnipeg going with four import receivers, that he had a roster spot to pursue.

"That was motivation for him to be able to come back here and be ready to demonstrate what he can do," Berry said. "He did that the whole off-season. He came back, and it was like, Boom! Look at what I can do."


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