Peterson credits success to watching Stegall

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:57 AM ET

Kamau Peterson reveres Milt Stegall so much that he imitated the legendary slotback whenever he could.

Peterson almost went a little too far.

"Milt's the type of guy where if he says he's doing something you want to try it because he makes it looks so easy," the Edmonton Eskimos slotback said. "Even surgery. You'd try anything."

Peterson didn't go under the knife like Stegall, who retired on Wednesday after 14 CFL seasons, but he basically tried to live Turtle Man's professional life as much as he could without getting arrested for identity theft.

"Milt was instrumental for me at the time I came across him in '04," said Peterson, who played for Winnipeg in 2004 and '05. "I worked very hard but not very smart, both on and off the field. ... He taught me a new way to attack, a much more efficient way. Through watching him and through his guidance I've become such a much better receiver.

"I still peruse my Milt Stegall tapes, and I had to wrestle them away from the film guys in Winnipeg. Really, I would just get practice film of Milt and watch that."

B.C. Lions GM and head coach Wally Buono coached Allen Pitts, who used to own most of the receiving records Stegall has today. He wouldn't say which one was better, but Buono called Stegall "a special guy" and said he always had "great admiration" for him. Buono knew, however, it was right time for the 39-year-old to move on to new pursuits.

"I think Milt would say this himself: It's important for him to pass the torch on," Buono said from Vancouver. "And that's what makes the CFL great. There's going to be another Milt Stegall, there's going to be another Allen Pitts, and eventually there's going to be another Geroy (Simon).

"The great players are what make this a great league, because it's the history, it's the tradition, it's the standard that these guys have established. It's the joy, it's the entertainment that they've brought people for years and years. These guys will live on forever, right?"

Bomber fans can catch up with Stegall this afternoon at The Bomber Store in St. Vital Centre. Stegall will sign autographs between 1 and 4 p.m.

BLUE MOVES: The Bombers announced the signings of two Canadian players yesterday: safety Shawn Gallant and defensive tackle Don Oramasionwu.

Gallant, 32, played for the Bombers in 2005 and 2006 but spent the past two seasons in Montreal.

He has 123 special teams tackles in his nine-year career.

Oramasionwu, 22, was Winnipeg's fifth-round draft pick last year out of the University of Manitoba. He attended Bomber training camp but returned to the Bisons, where he was a second-team all-Canadian last fall.

"We're just trying to stay with that philosophy of gathering as much Canadian talent as you can and put the Americans in around them," head coach Mike Kelly said. "Good Canadian talent and your quarterback position, that's where you start. From there you fill in around it."

The Bombers released Canadian safety Greg Bearman, who has 56 special teams tackles in 95 career games.

LATE HITS: The Toronto Argonauts signed quarterback Kerry Joseph to a two-year contract extension yesterday. The CFL's most outstanding player in 2007 threw 17 touchdowns and 14 interceptions last season, but the Argos were 4-14 ... The Saskatchewan Roughriders have hired former Argos defensive co-ordinator Kavis Reed as their special teams co-ordinator and running backs coach ... The CFL has changed the start time of the Labour Day Classic, to be held in Regina on Sunday, Sept. 6, from 6:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.


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