Bombers' Carr left to idle

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:29 AM ET

WINNIPEG - As good as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers have been, something just doesn’t add up.

Hands up, everybody who expected Greg Carr and Terence Jeffers-Harris to strike mortal fear into CFL defences on a weekly basis.

Now, hands up anybody who would have believed, six weeks in, that neither would be in the top-10 among receivers, and that one wouldn’t even be able to crack the lineup.

What’s that you say, Carr is out because of a pulled hamstring?

Uh, big No. 84 has something to say about that.

“Greg Carr is 100%,” the man said, Thursday. “Greg Carr has been fine since last week. That’s not the reason I’m not on the field.”

So, what is?

Carr hears the question and begins to laugh, long and out loud, as if he’s just heard a helluva good joke.

“I just laugh,” he explained. “That’s all I can do, is smile. All I can do is keep working. Everything else I can’t worry about. Greg Carr is going to work, going to grind like Greg Carr knows how. Everything else will take care of itself. But no longer should any media people put my hamstring as the reason why Greg Carr is not on the field.”

Looking up at the 6-foot-6, 214-pounder, his long goatee at about eye level, I couldn’t believe he actually talked about having to prove himself.

What did Carr do last season — hauling down 31 passes for more than 500 yards and four touchdowns in just seven games — if not prove himself?

Again, he broke into that laugh, perhaps finding humour in the absurdity.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I guess I have to prove myself every day. A lot of people will say I have, but I guess to some I haven’t. I’ve still gotta open some people’s eyes.”

Thing is, the guy popped eyeballs after joining the Bombers in September. Tore up the April mini-camp, too, signalling to everyone just what he was planning to do with a full season.

“Monster year,” Carr agreed. “Because I know I put in the work.”

Then he tweaked his hammy, Week 1, a tweak that turned into a month on the sidelines.

Last week, he was ready to go, but the man who replaced him had put up an 82-yard major a week earlier.

Clarence Denmark followed that up with five catches for 101 yards against Edmonton.

So, like a Ferrari confined to the driveway, Carr continues to idle.

The man holding the keys can’t believe it, himself, it seems.

Asked what he’d have said, going into the season, to the notion of Carr not cracking his lineup: “I would have said it was surprising,” Paul LaPolice said.

“It’s hard for Greg right now because of how the other guys have stepped up. But we evaluate that each week. Denmark and T. J., and all the DI’s that are on the defensive side, they have to earn their keep, or else we could say, ‘Hey, we’ve got a big guy here who’s pretty successful, we’ll put him on.’ ”

I’d find a way to do that.

Because as patient as Carr has been, the big man needs to be on the field.

Maybe instead of Jeffers-Harris, who has just six grabs for 46 yards in the last two games and who might benefit from a wake-up call of his own.

I don’t know how sitting out another game will play on Carr’s mind during the bye week. But I do know I heard all kinds of frustration in that hearty laugh.

“My first movie wasn’t good enough, so I have to come out with a sequel,” he said. “And hopefully ... I won’t have to keep proving myself... come out with six movies, like Rocky.

“The only thing it’s going to make me do is come back 10 times stronger, 10 times harder, 10 times better.”

Maybe that’s the coach’s plan, get him frothing at the mouth like a thoroughbred in a prolonged stint at the starting gate.

Having seen the flared nostrils up close, I’d say it’s post-time.


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