Bombers O-lineman starting from scratch

Winnipeg Blue Bombers offensive lineman Glenn January, left, works out against fellow lineman...

Winnipeg Blue Bombers offensive lineman Glenn January, left, works out against fellow lineman Brendan Dunn during practice in Winnipeg, June 05, 2011. (BRIAN DONOGH/QMI AGENCY)

Kirk Penton, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:46 PM ET

Glenn January never thought about calling it a football career, even when he was strapped to his couch for a month and a half last summer following surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle.

“I was unable to break a sweat because the incision was so large that if I got sweat in the incision it risked infection,” the Bombers offensive lineman said Sunday after the first day of main training camp.

January suffered the injury on the first drive of Winnipeg’s first pre-season game last year. Because it was a frayed muscle instead of a clean tear, his 2010 campaign was over before it began. He’s healthy now, and he would love to get his starting job back.

“You hope for the best,” January said. “I know that I’ll probably be playing somewhere, and I hope it’s here on this line. But it’s always tough to unseat a guy who started all year last year. Either one. Andre (Douglas) and Kelly (Butler) are both great guys, great athletes and great competitors.”

Head coach Paul LaPolice said it “won’t be tough at all” for January to get back in the starting rotation. All he has to do is be one of the two best import tackles in camp.

January, 28, started all 18 games at right tackle for the Bombers in 2009, and LaPolice, who took over in Winnipeg last winter, was looking forward to the big Texan continuing his strong play in 2010.

“He was a very good player, he was a starter, and he was playing the best in his career,” LaPolice said.

Missing an entire year in his prime, however, took its toll. Not only did the Texas Tech product have to deal with a serious and painful injury, but his conditioning took a major hit as well. It was months before he could lift a five-pound weight or do pushups.

January goes into camp as Douglas’ backup at left tackle on the depth chart, but he has the advantage of being able to play right tackle as well. A source said January has already received a significant reporting bonus, so his prospects of remaining in Winnipeg, which he has made his off-season home, look good.

“Obviously my contract isn’t too big of an issue if I’m still here at this point,” he said. “That’s for them to decide. I don’t think that it’s too big of a factor. I’m not making Rob Murphy money or anything.”

LaPolice doesn’t sound like a man who will care much about bonuses when he decides on his starters later this month.

“Kelly Butler and all those American tackles better understand that we’re going to compete,” LaPolice said, “and just because you played last year doesn’t mean you’ll play this year.”

Or, in January’s case, vice-versa.

Bomber camp

Day One

Three stars of the day

Wide receiver/kick returner Perry Floyd, wide receiver Kito Poblah and linebacker Clint Kent all had moments of brilliance on Day 1.

Catch of the day

Slotback Terrence Edwards made a superb, over-the-shoulder touchdown grab — in double coverage, no less — on a pass from Buck Pierce and got big cheers from the crowd.

Quote of the day

“He’s one of the best pros I’ve ever worked with. He’s somebody I’m going to miss tremendously.”
— Head coach Paul LaPolice, talking about the released Jon Oosterhuis

Tweet of the day

“Just got pump-faked on the breakfast. Dang food ain’t out yet. This sleep is too crucial. Back to bed yes!”

— Rookie linebacker Henoc Muamba (@HenocMuamba), who awoke at 5 a.m. only to find breakfast in the hotel wasn’t ready yet.

Big support

After attracting approximately 2,500 spectators last year, the Bombers on Sunday drew about 4,000 spectators to what is scheduled to be the last first day of training camp at Canad Inns Stadium. The players saluted the fans and signed autographs after the practice.

Schedule

After having only one practice on Sunday, the Bombers will get down to the nitty gritty bright and early Monday morning. The first session of two-a-days begins at 8:15 a.m. at the Stadium.
 


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