Go north young man

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:02 AM ET

Brock Ralph wonders what took Casey Bramlet so long to join him in the Canadian Football League.

Ralph called his former University of Wyoming teammate a couple years ago and tried to convince the quarterback to come north.

"I've always thought that this league would suit him," Ralph said yesterday. "I think I was with Hamilton when I was talking to him before, trying to get him up there, and he wasn't ready to do it at that point."

TURNED THE TABLES

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Bramlet turned the tables a few days ago, however, calling Ralph to inquire about the Bomber locker-room and the team's coaching staff. The 28-year-old then agreed to sign with the Blue and Gold and arrived in Winnipeg yesterday. He will practise with his new team today.

He is the fourth quarterback on Winnipeg's roster, joining starter Michael Bishop and backups Stefan LeFors and Bryan Randall.

And considering how the Bomber offence is sputtering and gagging these days under Bishop, Bramlet's future with the Blue and Gold has to be considered wide open.

Not only that, but running backs coach Manny Matsakis, who was essentially running the Bomber offence during yesterday's practice, was Bramlet's offensive co-ordinator when he was a redshirt freshman at Wyoming in 1999.

For now, though, Bramlet will learn the playbook and try to pick up the nuances of the three-down game like so many before him have failed to do.

"You always want to play," Bramlet said. "I'm not a guy who's going to come in and try to cause controversy. But I'm going to come in and do everything I can and try to be as good a player as I can so that if they do call on me I'll be ready."

PLAYED IT COOL

Head coach Mike Kelly played it cool yesterday, indicating there's no harm in taking a look at somebody.

"We want to take a look at some people as we're going down the stretch here, and we felt that he fit some of the criteria that we're looking for," Kelly said. "So we'll get him in here and take a look. Nothing is better than seeing a guy first-hand rather than just watching film."

The Cincinnati Bengals drafted Bramlet in 2004, but the Wyoming native still hasn't thrown an NFL regular-season pass. He played two seasons in NFL Europe and won the 2007 World Bowl with the Hamburg Sea Devils.

"He's a tall, lanky specimen of a quarterback," said Ralph, who was Bramlet's teammate for four seasons with the Cowboys. "He's got a real strong arm. He's a smart guy, but his physical tools are some of his assets.

"He's got probably one of the stronger arms I've played for, and his mobility is pretty good for a big guy."

Ralph is also pleased to have his friend become his teammate again.

"It's great to see a face that you know, and if he ever does line up out there, we've logged some quality time together," he said. "I'm definitely excited to see him.

"He's a good guy, he's going to be a great addition to the locker-room, and with time he's going to fit right in here."

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca


Videos

Photos