Famous Amos to rescue

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:55 AM ET

A former world championship rope skipper will jump at the chance to start at corner for Winnipeg this week.

(Sweetwater) Willie Amos will replace the injured Robert Bean when the Blue Bombers play the Lions in a re-match in B.C. this Friday.

Bean will undergo surgery tomorrow to repair a ligament in his thumb and will be out of action for as much as eight weeks.

"My journey has has been a long journey full of many potholes," Amos said yesterday. "I've had injury after injury. I've had both knees done, my shoulder. Just a series of unfortunate events."

Amos spent the last two years rehabbing from his last knee problem.

"Then, I got a call from these guys up here and now, I'm here," said the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Nebraska product. "So, it's a blessing to be on the practice roster because I haven't played ball for three years. The NFL probably believes I'm done."

But even after Amos first arrived here, the Sweetwater, Tex., native suffered a groin pull that slowed his progress in training camp.

But he has since recovered and will make his debut trying to cover one of the best corps of receivers in the CFL.

"I've got to be prepared, being fresh, with the defence, my technique," said Amos, who turns 26 this month. "That squad has a great set of receivers and quarterbacks so I just have to be as prepared as I can for that squad. All of their receivers can be dangerous."

Indeed. Geroy Simon alone burned the Bombers for 192 yards and two touchdowns on seven receptions.

"(Amos) hasn't played yet but I like what I've seen in practice," said Bomber head coach Doug Berry.

Not only has he not played in the CFL, Amos is still learning to play corner.

"When I was with Chicago (2006), they (Bears) decided to switch me over to corner," said Amos, who played receiver in college. "I had never played cornerback before. This is pretty much my second year of playing it. So, I'm learning as much as I can from the veterans around me and also from the receivers."

Bean was already offering advice at yesterday's practice.

"I think he'll do pretty good," Bean said. "I mean, he can cover so hopefully, things will be OK for the game."

Amos, who represented the USA at the 1999 World Jump Rope Championships, said that unique sport helps his game.

"It definitely helps your cardio," he said.

Amos started skip-rope performances when he was in Grade 4.

"It's a team of 16 that jumps at a halftime show, so me and two other guys decided to keep on going with it after the fifth grade, and it's grown bigger and bigger," he said. "We've been teaching it since fifth grade. There's performance teams, there's competitive teams. There's teams in Canada, teams in Belgium, Germany, Australia. There's teams everywhere. But it's still in its infancy stages. I'm not competing any more but I'm still jumping and teaching."

Amos was also a track athlete in college, specializing in the 200-metre hurdles.

But he will have to jump a major hurdle by adjusting to the Canadian game while trying to cover some of the top pass-catchers in the land.

"This is different, it's like a passing league all day," Amos said. "You've got balls flying here and there and everywhere. The field is eight miles long so, of course, there's a lot more pressure on the outside in the perimeter."


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