Just pulling your leg

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:31 AM ET

Fans should be aware that Winnipeg's newest linebacker does have a sense of humour.

So should the media covering the Blue Bombers. Just after being acquired from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats almost two weeks ago, Zeke Moreno faced the local scribes.

"When I told my wife and (ex-teammate) Marwan (Hage) the news, there were a lot of tears," Moreno said at the time. "And finally, we told Marwan, 'Just calm down and everything will be all right.'"

But nobody laughed.

"No one got that joke," Moreno said yesterday. "I sent Marwan a (copy) of that article and he was dying laughing. No one got it except (Bomber defensive lineman) Doug Brown. He came up to me and said he read the article in the morning and couldn't stop laughing. But when I made the statement, everyone was so serious, they just didn't get it.

"I know Marwan well and we always joke around. That's what's going to make this game so exciting because, knowing the guys, hanging out with them, it's going to be fun to actually go against them now."

The middle linebacker will be deadly serious in Hamilton tomorrow night when he faces his former teammates for the first time since that deal.

"Yeah, there's extra motivation for that (trade)," said Moreno, 29. "I won't say there's hard feelings but you try to send a statement. It was a shock when it happens and, like I said last week, it was a disappointment. But I think that's going to add some fuel to the flame and drive me extra, extra harder this week."

MADE A MISTAKE

Moreno will have company. The Ticats dumped offensive lineman Ryan Donnelly during the off-season and he will replace the injured Kyle Koch at right guard tomorrow.

"Any time you play against guys you've played with, you always want to show the coaches that let you go they made a mistake," Donnelly said. "And that's what I want to do."

But Donnelly knows Moreno will get the attention the next two days.

"If you leave me alone, that's fine by me," he said. "It's going to be fun playing against these guys. There's a lot of new guys there but some of the guys along the defensive line, like (Nautyn) McKay-Loescher and others that I've played against, are still there so I'm really looking forward to it."

Moreno has actually been to the visiting locker-room at Ivor Wynne Stadium, which is considered one of the CFL's worst, along with Winnipeg's.

"Unfortunately, we had a photo shoot in there and it's pretty small," said the ex-NFLer. "So it's going to be tight but ... I guess that's what you do with some of those older stadiums."

But Moreno is not worried about dashing off to the more familiar home room.

"I might just go in there just to talk some trash," he said. "But it's going to different. It's going to be weird, awkward and I might even go in just to say hi to the fellas before the game.

"You know, it's a business, it's a game but it's also your friends. You build relationships just like I'm here building relationships. But it's hard to let go of your old ties."

Moreno had seven defensive tackles in his Bomber debut last week.

"He should be even more comfortable this week and maybe we can get a little bit more from him," said Bomber head coach Doug Berry.


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