Fred Perry, despite being only two years removed from a 14-sack season, feels he has a lot to prove with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
And maybe he does. The 34-year-old defensive end has only three sacks in his last 16 games, a span that dates back to Labour Day 2007 and was interrupted by a badly broken leg and dislocated ankle that shelved him for 11 contests last season.
"I'm anxious to really just play a whole season again, just to prove my point that an injury can't affect a player as much as people think it can," Perry said yesterday from Edmonton, where he was busy packing up his belongings.
It should be noted that Perry returned from his leg injury four or five games earlier than expected. He said that grit and determination will be accompanying him to Winnipeg in a couple of weeks.
"I'm bringing what I always bring to the table," he said. "I'll get to the quarterback as fast I can and cause turnovers and do what I do best."
The Bombers acquired Perry from Edmonton on Friday for defensive back Kelly Malveaux. Perry was surprised to be dealt just a few weeks before training camp, but he's looking forward to being reunited with fellow Arkansas native and defensive end Gavin Walls.
"One of my real good friends is Gavin Walls," he said.
Perry, who is 6-foot-1 and 240 pounds, is not concerned that the Bombers might have too many defensive ends. In addition to Walls, the Blue and Gold also have an established bookend in Canadian Riall Johnson.
"I'm not worried about that. I'm going to get in there and do what I'm supposed to do. The rest will take care of itself," Perry said. "My reputation pretty much speaks for itself.
"I'm just anxious to get in there and do what I've got to do, and hopefully get a Grey Cup again."
Perry tried to join the Bombers in 2004, but he failed his physical and ended up sitting out that season. He ended up in Saskatchewan in 2005 and helped beat Winnipeg in the 2007 Grey Cup.
He was traded to Edmonton last February, reportedly after a business venture with teammate Marcus Crandell went bad, but word has it the Roughriders also felt his play had levelled off too much in the second half of the '07 campaign.
Two years later, the Bombers obviously feel he still has plenty of hits left to give, and Perry plans to prove them right.