Don't give him 'Crap'

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:54 AM ET

You can call him Craphonso or you can call him Cro.

Just don't call him 'Crap.'

A high school coach shortened Craphonso Thorpe's given name to Cro and yes, he had his fill of 'Crap' while growing up.

"I used to get into a lot of fights at elementary and middle school because of that," the Winnipeg Blue Bombers receiver/kick returner admitted yesterday. "I always had to (fight). It was probably a struggle growing up (in Tallahassee, Fla.) for me and a lot of other people in this locker-room."

RETURNING KICKS

Thorpe, 26, was taking a lot of turns on both punt and kick returns and will be activated to improve on the club's poor return game when Winnipeg plays host to the Toronto Argonauts this Friday. And there has been nothing crappy about his returns in the past.

"We brought Craphonso Thorpe in here and that is one of his main assets," said Bomber head coach Mike Kelly. "He's coming along very well in his knowledge of the offensive scheme but where he makes the biggest impact has been as a returner."

The 6-foot, 187-pound Florida State product will likely replace receiver Adarius Bowman on the roster Friday.

"In the NFL, I pretty much did punt returns, kick returns," said Thorpe, who played for several different NFL teams. "So, I was pretty comfortable back there. I've done it before ... I think that was probably one of the main reasons they wanted me in here."

Bomber defensive back Jonathan Hefney was also returning kicks in practice.

NO YARDS NO-NO: On the other side of the kick return game, the Bombers were nailed for four no-yards penalties, all for 15 yards, because the Hamilton punt returners actually caught the ball in the air.

"We just have to be smarter about that and know where the ball is," Kelly said. "I don't want to take any of our aggressiveness away. I've liked our aggressiveness. We just have to be a little more astute as to where the ball is coming down and give that space."

MIKE IN MIRROR: After his first three games as a CFL head coach, Kelly admitted he is still trying to find himself.

"It's a learning curve and I haven't gotten a lot of sleep," he said. "I've done a lot of self-evaluating ... My approach probably hindered some of the execution because I was expecting too much too soon so, I have to pull the reins back on myself a little bit and let us grow naturally rather than force growth.

"When you look in the mirror, you've got to like what you see and I don't know if I've liked what I've seen, particularly in this last week ... I know it's there ... We'll get it right; we'll get it right."

WORRIED WIFE: Winnipeg QB Stefan LeFors said his wife was worried when she witnessed the collision with Hamilton LB Otis Floyd during the last match.

"She left messages and text messages that she was worried but once she saw me back in there, she knew everything was all right," he said. "I told my wife I'm always getting up, she doesn't have to worry about it. I might be in pain but I'm always getting up."

HASHMARKS: Winnipeg LB Siddeeq Shabazz has already scored two touchdowns on interception returns this season -- one short of the club record. Rather surprisingly, Shabazz had never scored a touchdown before ... Toronto receiver Andre Talbot suffered an ankle injury last week and is doubtful to play this week ... CFL official Al McColman suffered an Achilles injury during the Winnipeg-Hamilton game and the Hamilton native underwent surgery Saturday night.


Videos

Photos