Blue lucky No. 7?

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:00 AM ET

He's a former first overall pick who spent two years in the NFL.

Yet Steve Morley is still trying to find his football niche. There's nothing to suggest it won't happen in Winnipeg, but there's nothing to suggest it will, either.

The offensive linemen left the Saskatchewan Roughriders in February to sign with the Bombers as a free agent. The Roughriders paid him $115,000 last season, but all they got out of the 28-year-old was two starts.

Some question the work ethic and desire of the 6-foot-7, 314-pound Halifax native, but he plans to keep ignoring them as he tries to find his way.

"You definitely gotta block the haters out," Morley said yesterday after his first practice. "If you listen to all that stuff, then you're living an up-and-down lifestyle, a roller-coaster. Then it's a train wreck."

Morley was Calgary's first overall pick in the 2003 CFL draft, and started nine games at left tackle that season. The Green Bay Packers then ponied up, giving him boatloads of money up front to come play with Brett Favre.

He appeared in one game for the Packers in 2004 and was traded to the New York Jets a year later after a stint in NFL Europe. He dressed for six games with the Jets in 2005 and was cut prior to the 2006 campaign.

There was much glee in Toronto when the Argos signed him in June 2007, but he made only one start for the Boatmen. He was traded to Saskatchewan last off-season and failed to pan out yet again.

Now it's another year and another team.

"When you think about the big picture, yeah, I definitely want to establish myself as an every-play starter," said Morley, a former St. Mary's University star who prefers playing left tackle. "That's a big thing. That's what the main focus has always been."

Opportunities don't come much more glorious than the one staring at him now. There's basically one starting spot up for grabs on Winnipeg's offensive line, and it just so happens to be at tackle.

Bombers head coach Mike Kelly knows there are no guarantees when it comes to Morley, who is playing for his seventh team in seven years, but he's willing to try to get everything he can out of him.

"Potential is a scary word. It really is," Kelly said. "But they kept him down south for a reason, because they saw something also. I want to see for myself, and maybe this is his coming-out party. We'll just have to see."


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