‘I’ll be back playing’

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:59 PM ET

Even though it will be tough for him to find another job, Ike Charlton would love to face the Winnipeg Blue Bombers as soon as possible.

“I’ll be back playing, and trust me, when I come back here I know everything,” Charlton said Monday. “Offence, defence. I’m one of those players who actually studies and knows personnel. I know everything.

“It’s a case where I’m not going to be bitter off the field, but when I get on the field I know everything. So I will make sure that where I go, they know.”

Charlton hinted that he would love to play for defensive co-ordinator Greg Marshall with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, who have a home-and-home series with the Bombers over the next two weeks, but they appear to be set at strong-side linebacker with Markeith Knowlton.

Charlton also pointed out that he is a natural safety, and he would be willing to be a team’s designated import as well.

“I know I can play this game and I can still play at a high level,” Charlton said. “I’ve made some mistakes myself, but the mistakes I’ve made haven’t cost us a game. When you try to portray that and try to make it look like I’m the reason, then I can’t accept that.”

The 32-year-old also viewed himself as one of the leaders in the Bomber locker-room, and he figures his dismissal could have negative consequences on the younger players who looked to him for guidance.

“We’re 2-3, but we’re still good,” Charlton said. “You get in a panic mode this early in the season, it’s not a good thing. It’s going to be funny in that locker-room (on Tuesday). What are you going to say to your team now when you make a move like that?

“You’re going to try to rally the guys, try to keep them there, but it’s going to be tough. It’s a situation where it’s going to be tough on them for the rest of this season.”

Charlton said he passed on more money elsewhere, including Hamilton in 2009, to remain with the Bombers. Iceman, as he likes to be called, was always one of the team’s more popular players — except, of course, when things went wrong on the playing field.

“The city’s been good to me,” he said. “I’d say 90% of the fans have shown me a lot of respect and welcomed me here, and I’m never going to forget that.”

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca


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