Going strong on weak side

KEN WIEBE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 12:04 PM ET

Being one of the few bright spots in an otherwise disappointing start to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers season isn't enough for Cam Hall.

First and foremost, the second-year linebacker is focused on helping the defence get back to its dominant levels and helping his team eliminate the zero in the win column tomorrow night at Canad Inns Stadium against the B.C. Lions.

"Whatever the problem was, I think it was a one-time thing," said Hall, who was second in tackles to teammate Barrin Simpson in 2007 with 77. "We've got a lot of good guys on defence that can make a lot of plays. I expect us to continue to be a strong point on this team."

It's clear the Blue Bombers defence is looking to respond after giving up 531 yards and 38 points to the Montreal Alouettes last week.

As for his individual play, Hall has much loftier goals in mind.

ROOKIE LAST YEAR

"I was a rookie last year and I think I did fairly well, but I've got a lot more to give," said Hall, who played free safety in college for Boise State but has made a seamless transition to the weak-side linebacker position. "Personally, I want to go out and make plays and be a difference-maker on defence. Ultimately, I want to be the best at my position in the league, that's my goal."

It may sound like a lofty goal for someone who was out of football and possibly on his last legs when Blue Bombers general manager Brendan Taman offered Hall a shot at training camp last year.

But if the first two weeks are any indication, Hall could be well on his way to making it happen.

He's tied for fourth in the CFL in tackles with 14, has a forced fumble and also recorded one of five sacks for the Blue Bombers defence.

"I just need to keep my motor running," said Hall.

"For my position, I bring good speed to the game

Being a naturally gifted athlete helped Hall adjust easily to the nuances of the CFL game, but it's clear he has a high football IQ as well.

"To this day, I still play three or four sports a year. You name it, I'll go do it," said Hall. "In the off-season, I go play basketball, softball, golf. I feel I'm a well-rounded athlete.

"To a certain extent, it was nice to pick up (the CFL) game like I did but it wasn't a surprise. That's why they brought me in, they knew I could do something on the football field. They just wanted to see if I could knock the rust off quick enough."

So how did Hall knock the rust off last season?

"Good question," he said. "Honestly, the biggest thing coming in was knowing that I came in and didn't have a spot and knowing I had to put everything on the line in training camp. I had to get noticed, but I knew I didn't have to come out and make a spectacular play every time I was on the field.

"This game, in the long run, is more about consistency. It's great if you can make a huge play one out of every 10 plays, but if the other nine plays you're extremely wishy-washy, that one play doens't make up for the busts."

Blue Bombers head coach Doug Berry is thrilled by Hall's start to the season.

"I think he's playing really solid," said Berry.

"His game is very much where he left off last year. We do so much with him as a player that rotates back into the deep end, plays middle third, plays quarters coverage, can play man. We do a lot with him."

When asked for Hall's biggest strengths as a player, Berry didn't hesitate to rattle off a solid list.

"Speed, intelligence and skill," said Berry. "He's a good football player."


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