Bombers wont play name game

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:44 PM ET

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have two starting receivers from Georgia with the same first name.

They are Terrence Edwards, the veteran who hails from Tennille, Ga., and Terence Jeffers-Harris, the fresh-faced rookie from Lawrenceville, Ga., 200 km to the northwest.

There wont be any confusion in the locker-room, however.

His name is T.J., and Im Terrence, Edwards said matter of factly. Because Im the oldest I get to stick with my name.

It doesnt sound like the youngster had much of a say in the matter, either.

Yeah, hes all right with being called T.J., the 31-year-old Edwards said. I think hes always been called T.J. If he wasnt, hes going to be called T.J. now.

Hes gotta respect his elders and be called T.J.

On Saturday afternoon at Canad Inns Stadium, the newly minted version of the 2010 Bombers will hit the practice field for the first time to begin preparations for Fridays season- and home-opener against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

How the receiving corps bounces back after a rough 2009 campaign will likely go a long way in determining how the Bombers do this season.

Last year, thanks to the teams woeful quarterback situation, Winnipeg had only 256 pass completions, or 98 fewer than the seventh-place Calgary Stampeders.

Now with Buck Pierce at the controls and two promising young pass catchers in Jeffers-Harris and Cory Watson, Edwards believes good things are in store.

Were learning coachs system and the way he wants to do things, Edwards said. Weve got a great group of guys that are willing to learn. Weve got a great mesh of all type of athletes: big, tall, short, fast, willing to make plays and sacrifice for the team.

Edwards, who had his 1,000-yard season streak snapped at two last year, has not been afraid to put on a teachers hat this year.

They come to me since Im the oldest guy, and I try to tell them, in the game and in practice, things to work on and things to expect, Edwards said. I just try to take everyone under my wing, all the young guys, because we need all of them to get where we want to go.

Edwards is paying close attention to his fellow Georgian, Jeffers-Harris, in particular.

Hes learning, hes willing to learn, and he wants to be good, Edwards said. Hes done a great job. Hes big, hes physical, hes fast. Hes still learning the game, but once he learns everything hes going to be pretty good.

BACK AT IT: Jovon Johnson doesnt like seeing anyone cut, but Travis Sheltons release earlier this week means the cornerback gets to return punts and missed field goals once again this season.

It feels good, going into it on Day 1 knowing that Im going to be back there, Johnson said. It makes the preparation a lot different. I just gotta be focused and go back there and just try to have continued success.

Johnson took both a punt return and a missed field goal return to the house last year in only half a season of doing the job. He believes hell be back at top form right away, even though he didnt play in either pre-season game due to a knee injury.

Im always ready, Johnson said. Ive been working hard and training hard this off-season to be in shape to go. Ill be ready come Day 1.

One duty he wont be performing is returning kickoffs.

Its fine with me, Johnson said with a smile. Itll give me a breather.

The tryout for the kickoff return jobs will continue at Saturdays practice, which runs from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Stadium.

LATE HITS: Six teams named their practice rosters on Friday. Even though they said they were going to do it on Friday as well, the Bombers werent one of them. They were apparently unable to finalize the list Notable names on CFL practice rosters include former Manitoba Bisons defensive tackle and Winnipeg native Eddie Steele (Hamilton), former Bomber special teamer Steven Holness (Montreal), Canadian quarterback Danny Brannagan (Toronto) and defensive end Adam Braidwood (Edmonton). Steeles practice roster placement means theres a chance he wont be returned to the Bisons after all Former Oak Park Raiders running back Andrew Harris has cracked B.C.s 46-man roster.


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