WINNIPEG - Coaches normally like to keep players on their toes this early in camp.
On Monday, Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice let it be known left tackle Andre Douglas doesn’t need to worry much about losing his starting job.
“The most stable guy for us last year was Andre Douglas,” LaPolice said. “I thought he was one of our best young lineman.
“I think there’ll be a good competition between Kelly (Butler), Glenn (January) and Marlon Winn for the other spot.”
Butler, a former NFLer, started all 18 games at right tackle last season, while January is trying to get back in the starting lineup after missing the 2010 campaign with a torn pectoral muscle.
BIG FAN: Turns out Jade Etienne had a big fan in Winnipeg well before the Bomber brass scooped him up with the fourth overall pick last month.
“I used to watch him play,” slotback Terrence Edwards said, “and I was like, ‘That’s my dude right there.’ Every time I watched the highlights he was making a big play.”
Edwards even mentioned Etienne’s name to fellow receiver Scott McHenry, who also played for the Saskatchewan Huskies, several times last fall.
“I told him to tell him he’s my favourite player in the CIS, and here we go drafting him,” Edwards said. “I’m eager to work with him and eager to work with all these guys.”
Edwards, who signed a contract extension in the off-season, has been tremendous through two days of camp.
NEW BLUE: The Bombers signed receiver Alex Watson on Monday.
The 5-foot-9, 185-pound California native played at Northern Arizona and had lots of work in his first day with the Bombers, making plenty of catches.
“He got thrown in with a meeting and a half, and he did OK,” LaPolice said. “He wasn’t bad for the first day.”
MASH UNIT: A boatload of Bombers were walking wounded on Monday, including four who didn’t practise at all.
Receivers Damian Sherman, Liam Mahoney and Tim Brown missed their second straight day of action, as did linebacker Rico McCoy, who should be back on Tuesday.
Then a whopping eight players left practice due to a variety of ailments: Jonathan Hefney (ankle), Doug Brown (thigh), Obby Khan (groin), Brendon LaBatte, Deon Beasley (knee), Aaron Hargreaves (ankle), Brandon Stewart (ankle) and Leslie Majors.
LaPolice didn’t know the severity of the injuries.
IMPRESSIVE: Import receiver Perry Floyd has been the star newcomer thus far, making several highlight-reel grabs.
“He continually makes plays,” LaPolice said. “Every day in practice he’s done it right, and he’s made a big play every day. If he keeps doing that, he’ll open eyes.”
DUVAL SURFACES: The Edmonton Eskimos agreed to terms with free-agent kicker Damon Duval on Monday.
Duval, an import, spent the last six seasons with the Montreal Alouettes and was a four-time East Division all-star placekicker. He will compete with Derek Schiavone for the starting punting and placekicking jobs.
“We’re not handing him the job. Derek still has every opportunity to compete against him,” Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed told QMI Agency. “We just don’t want to hand Derek the keys to the car without competition.”
LATE HITS: LaPolice is having the veterans speak to the team every night during meetings. Terrence Edwards did it on Sunday, and Clint Kent was scheduled to do it on Monday … The B.C. Lions are taking a look at Canadian slotback Kamau Peterson. They’re going to determine how healthy he is before deciding their next move … The Montreal Alouettes released former Green Bay Packers running back Ahman Green after he showed up to camp with a hamstring injury … Steven Jyles still isn’t throwing at Argos camp due to shoulder tenderness.
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Three stars of the day
LB Clint Kent looked tremendous for the second straight day, DB Johnny Sears broke up several passes, and WR Kito Poblah caught everything thrown his way.
Catch of the day
Pint-sized pass catcher Perry Floyd continues to haul everything in, including a great, leaping grab over the middle from Joey Elliott.
Quote of the day
“This year’s been the best Canadian talent I’ve seen at my position since I’ve been here.”
— receiver Terrence Edwards
Tweet of the day
“Really need a #Bruins win tonight. Got a fairly significant bet with teammate and Vancouver fan Doug Brown on this series. #NotLookingGood.”
— quarterback and New England native Alex Brink
Don’t Tweet in pain
Cornerback Deon Beasley Tweeted he was in tremendous pain after injuring his knee in practice. Paul LaPolice was then asked about that Tweet in his daily media scrum. A few minutes later Beasley “clarified” his situation, saying he wasn’t in pain and just needed a massage. Wonder if coach said something?
All CFL teams must cut to 68 counters (excluding draft picks and CIS free agents) by 11 p.m. on Tuesday. The Bombers currently have 70 counters and nine non-counters.
Tuesday’s practice begins at 8:30 a.m. and continues until 12:40 p.m. There will be a 15-minute break at about 10:30 a.m.