April 23, 2012
Bombers open season at mini-camp this week
By PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency
WINNIPEG - The way Deon Beasley sees it, he doesn’t have any ground to make up with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers or GM Joe Mack.
The defensive back, in town for this week’s mini-camp, says his off-season Twitter controversy is ancient history, although he did address it, Monday.
“I basically spoke when I didn’t need to,” Beasley told the Sun. “I was just voicing my opinion at the time. I don’t think they understood my point of view. It definitely wasn’t directed towards any one individual.”
Mack, though, saw it as a shot at him and the organization when Beasley called the Bombers “cheap” after the loss of free agents Brendon LaBatte and Greg Carr in February.
“I just love my teammates, man, that’s the bottom line,” Beasley said. “I gelled with those guys. I felt part of me, part of us (was gone).”
With Mack threatening fines to both Beasley and fellow tweeter Jonathan Hefney, and the Bombers promising a strict social media policy beginning in training camp, Beasley quickly apologized.
“We’re over this. We’re good,” he said. “That was a little miscommunication, and it exploded really quick.”
Cheap or not, the Bombers picked up the tab for Beasley to fly in to see his doctor this week after he had some relatively minor, off-season surgery on his thumb.
He, Hefney and CFL defensive player of the year Jovon Johnson, who had his own winter Twitter troubles, will be among those getting a head start on the season.
“Work on the basics,” Beasley said of the plan. “Get a step ahead of the game, doing some of the things you probably wouldn’t be doing at home. Learn some of the drills, then go back and practise for a couple of months before coming to training camp.”
By collective bargaining rules, the camp is voluntary.
All four quarterbacks — Buck Pierce, Alex Brink, Justin Goltz and Joey Elliott, who’s recovering from a serious knee injury — will be here.
Beasley says the only concern is avoiding injury.
“You’ve got to know how to practise,” Beasley said. “You can’t try to do too much.”
Full contact drills are not allowed, and players can’t be in full pads — helmets and sweats, only.
“I’ve just been working out and staying in shape, so why not?” Chris Garrett, one of four running backs expected, said. “This is a great opportunity to get back up there and interact with some fans and see some of my teammates, try to get a little chemistry with some of the other guys.”
The workouts (10:30 to noon each day at Canad-Inns Stadium) are open to the public.
HASH MARKS: The Bombers have released quarterback Brandon Summers and running back Nick FitzGibbon, while signing import O-lineman Jordan Taormina (6-foot-7, 330 pounds)... Retired D-lineman Doug Brown has joined CJOB as a colour analyst... The Bombers will unveil a new logo and helmet design, Tuesday morning.
— When: Wednesday to Friday, 10:30 to Noon (open to the public)
— Where: Canad-Inns Stadium
— No full gear (helmet and sweats only).
— No full contact drills.
— Three days, max.
— Practice/meetings 4.5 hours/day, max.
— Rookies and veterans can participate.