Who are these guys?

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:39 AM ET

Amey, Guice, Bowman, even Hargreaves.

The question from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid echoes: Who are those guys?

Well, along with Canadian veteran Brock Ralph, they will comprise the pass-catching crew that the Blue Bombers will field when they host the Toronto Argonauts at Canad Inns Stadium.

Yes, now that you mention it, they are not exactly household names. In fact, Otis Amey, a 5-foot-11, 200-pound Sacramento State product, will make his CFL debut. The 6-foot-3, 217-pound Dudley Guice Jr. will play just his second CFL game. Aaron Hargreaves has been here as a backup Canadian receiver since last season.

With veteran pass catcher Terrence Edwards (concussion) out, wide receiver Adarius Bowman has become The Man among import receivers.

"I wouldn't say that but, at this point, I've probably got the most experience on the field as far as import receivers we have right now," Bowman said yesterday. "I've always been the rookie; now, I'm kind of a leader.

"But we're all going through a learning process, I just don't feel that I'm the one doing all the learning. I kind of know what's going on. But I kind of like the group of receivers we've got right now. They come in and they've been working real hard and we've gotten better this week. A lot better."

Bomber head coach Mike Kelly likes what he has seen thus far.

"Adarius Bowman is bouncing around like he's a new kid in a candy store, as the vet from pre-season," Kelly said. "I like the energy the guys are bringing right now, and the fact I have to look up to most of our receivers."

Import receiver Romby Bryant was dealt to Calgary last Sunday, along with non-import pass catcher Arjei Franklin.

"It has been an interesting year," said Ralph, a seven-year veteran acquired from Edmonton last winter. "It's one of those things you don't see coming, and you don't want to have to get to this point because it usually means something hasn't gone right along the way. Rather than dwell on why we're here, it's what are we going to do to get things right?"

But Kelly knows it will take time to get the new receivers to gell with their quarterbacks.

"I think we'll see better production than maybe we anticipate," he said. "I hope, anyway, that that's the case. But yeah, it's always about timing and understanding and adjustments and all those things. Are we going blow some? Probably. But I do think it won't be from a lack of effort. These guys are bouncing around here and are excited about their opportunities. There's a nice feel about it right now."

Bowman, who was with Saskatchewan last year, has spent all season learning the offensive system.

"It would be tough for anybody to come in and learn a new offence on a new team and try to get right into flow that week," said the 6-foot-4, 220-pound import. "That would be hard on any player but I think our guys are doing a great job."

But it will make things even tougher for starting quarterback Michael Bishop.

"You hope they run the right routes, catch the ball and be able to turn it on after they make the catch," Bishop said. "It's an opportunity for those guys to step up and make plays. Why not seize the moment?"

Hargreaves and Edwards are the only two receivers left from last season.

The changes come as the 3-8 Bombers are desperate for a victory.

"If there was ever a must-win, this is probably a must-win," Kelly said. "And I don't normally say those things. But I also understand the climate."

jim.bender@sunmedia.ca


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