Bombers' prospects out to prove size doesn't matter

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:23 PM ET

They’d already been noticed, for various reasons, through two days of mini-camp.

Tuesday, they officially signed on with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers: three import receivers who may or may not still be around when the nights stay warm and the footballs begin to fly in anger at Wrecking Ball Stadium.

Two Smurfs and the Tower.

Bobby Guillory and Timothy Brown look like they could crawl into Kelly Butler’s back pocket.

Guillory, a 23-year-old whose shoes were a blur of yellow on Day 1, is generously listed at 5-foot-10, Brown at 5-foot-7.

Let’s just say Brown’s listing is more accurate.

At the other end of the scale, 6-foot-4, 213-pound Damian Sherman, one of the few non-linemen who can almost walk shoulder-to-shoulder with incumbent receiver Greg Carr (6-foot-6).

“I don’t care whether they’re big, whether they’re small,” head coach Paul LaPolice said, Tuesday. “I just hope they make plays.”

That’s where things got off to a bit of a rocky start.

Brown went down with a bad ankle, Day 1, and was hobbling around in a boot.

Tuesday, Guillory was limping, and had to get the extra tape job.

“Both those little guys kind of got banged up,” LaPolice said. “But they’re both explosive, and have got ability on a wide field to make people miss.”

The amount of real estate up here is what attracted Guillory, a Californian who starred as a receiver and kick returner at Central Missouri. That and the salaries, compared to the Arena League.

“Obviously, there’s more pay involved,” Guillory said. “But at the same time, I’m not the guy that’s on a smaller field. I like to be in space. It’s a bigger field. And I could do a lot of damage on it because of my speed.”

So when his agent told him the Bombers were interested, he got his first passport and came to Canada for the first time in his life.

After getting a taste of Winnipeg in April, Guillory’s mind is made up.

“I’m going to be back here in June. That’s my goal,” he said. “Because I don’t want to be back in Cali.”

He’s got some sizable competition if he wants to make the Bombers. Literally.

In Sherman, the Bombers have recruited a potential twin tower to Carr, who showed flashes of unstopability in his first partial season.

Just 24, Sherman hadn’t done one-on-ones since his NFL dream was cut short buy a torn-up knee, two years ago — just before a tryout with Detroit.

While he dropped a few balls, he didn’t look out of place.

And his size didn’t hurt.

“I say just throw the ball up and it’s physics,” Sherman said.

Actually, the Southern Illinois product says his ace in the hole isn’t his height.

“My speed. A lot of people don’t know I have speed. I have the total package. I can be physical with DBs and I can also run past DBs.”

While LaPolice said he didn’t care about size, we all know quarterbacks do.

“A quarterback is going to tell you he loves a big receiver because you have an opportunity to spot the ball,” the coach said. “They’re big targets, easy to throw to. It’s very hard with all the little guys.”

Seeing all the talented, if hobbled, competition seemed to bring out the best in Carr, who stood out for all the right reasons.

“Regardless of who’s out there, you want to be the best,” he said. “It’s going to be just as tough for us to keep our jobs as it is for people to try to take our jobs.”

I don’t know about that.

But if there’s room for another import pass catcher or two on the roster to compliment the Big Three, the Two Smurfs and the Tower could be fun to watch when main training camp rolls around.

Up next

Day 3, Blue Bomber Mini-Camp

— When: Today, 10-11:35 a.m.

— Where: Indoor soccer complex, 211 Chancellor Matheson Rd (U of M)

— Who: Invited quarterbacks, receivers, running backs, defensive backs and O-linemen

— Day 2 Additions: WR Damian Sherman, DB Deon Beasley, FB Chad Young, FB Lance Stillborn, DB Andre Clarke

— Injured: WR Timothy Brown (ankle)


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