Garrett ready to tote for Blue

JIM BENDER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:42 AM ET

WINNIPEG - The Blue Bombers are about to replace an all-star tailback with a player they deemed expendable earlier this season.

Chris Garrett will have to fill some rather large cleats after all-star tailback Fred Reid was lost for the season with a torn ACL. That wont be easy.

First and foremost, (Reids) a well-liked guy on the team that guys really respond to, Winnipeg head coach Paul LaPolice said Tuesday. He works hard, he keeps his mouth shut, he does his job and hes an explosive, talented back. The thing he does better than any back that Ive been around is his blocking. Its just tremendous. He does a really good job of understanding our schemes.

So, thats going to be a big loss, but we think that Chris Garrett, whom we played last year, has some spark. Hes explosive and well bring him along.

Yet, the Bombers cut Garrett earlier this year, then brought him back when they soured on Perry Floyd as a kick returner.

We went through the process of evaluating some other guys, but we felt that Chris was the guy we liked the most so, we brought him back, LaPolice said. Hes got a second chance. I had a long talk with him and he said, Coach, Im going to be the best pro I can be. Im going to be better, and hes really been great since hes come back.

Thats what these guys want, an opportunity, and he gets to prove whether he can do it at this level.

Yet, Garrett denied he has anything to prove.

Im not here to prove anyone wrong (for cutting him), he said. Im just here to do a job and thats it Im very confident.

The Bombers signed the 5-foot-8, 185-pound import mainly as a kick returner last September. Garrett, 24, did replace Reid at running back for part of one game, rushing for 82 yards on 13 carries against Calgary.

Im ready, Garrett declared, adding he has learned a lot from Reid. Just how to be a professional, whether its blocking, running or catching the ball out of the backfield, and just to see a running back like Fred Reid do all those things helps me how to tailor my game a little bit to, I dont want to say Fred Reid-esque, but hes a good person to learn from.

Garrett added that he is already familiar with the same offence that was used last season.

I feel like Im capable and Im ready to step in and do the job, he said.

Reid was not available for comment.


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