Hargreaves must make hay, pronto

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:08 AM ET

WINNIPEG - Aaron Hargreaves has yet another chance to kickstart a career that has been unable to get off the ground.

The fourth-year Winnipeg Blue Bombers receiver, who lost his starting job in training camp, will start on Friday night in the home-opener against the Toronto Argonauts. He is taking over from Kito Poblah, the rookie who took Hargreaves’ job in camp and then tore a knee ligament in last week’s season-opening win over Hamilton.

Poblah is on the nine-game injured list, so Hargreaves, the team’s second-round draft pick in in 2008, needs to make some hay. Pronto.

“I don’t know if I’ve got my job (back) or what I’m doing. You’d have to ask the coaches that,” Hargreaves said. “I’m just taking it day by day. I came into camp and they had me listed as a starter, but that doesn’t really mean anything either.

“You gotta still fight for your job, so I’ll just take it one game at a time and play my best and do what they ask of me. If that’s enough, it’ll be good enough for them and good enough for me.”

Hargreaves started 18 games over his first three seasons but has just 23 receptions and one touchdown to show for it.

He trimmed 12 pounds in the off-season but sprained his ankle on Day 2 of training camp and didn’t play in either pre-season game.

That made it an easy decision for the coaches. Now Hargreaves has half a season to make it a more difficult one when Poblah is healthy again.

“They get evaluated every day,” Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice said.

“Here’s his chance to make plays. When you make plays you continue to stay on the field.”

Hargreaves has become a target among some Bomber fans, who wonder what he has to offer or what he’s done to stick around. It’s a valid question when you look at his stat production, but he must be doing something right considering he’s survived two regime changes.

He’s a 6-foot-4, 220-pound Canadian receiver with good hands. He doesn’t have blazing speed by any means, but he usually catches the ball when it’s thrown his way. And now the 25-year-old from Ladner, B.C., is hopeful his off-season diet and workout changes will help him break out.

“That extra weight didn’t necessarily limit me athletically, but it just kind of restricted some of the things that I know I can do,” he said. “So by dropping that weight I feel good.”


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