All starts here for Blue Bombers

Terrence Edwards is one of the incumbents at receiver in Winnipeg Blue Bombers training camp, a...

Terrence Edwards is one of the incumbents at receiver in Winnipeg Blue Bombers training camp, a position battle that should prove to be one of the most intriguing for the CFL team.

Kirk Penton, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:01 PM ET

WINNIPEG - Six months ago the Winnipeg Blue Bombers lost the Grey Cup game to the B.C. Lions.

Six months from now they hope to be hoisting the venerable trophy above their heads at Rogers Centre, the site of the 100th Grey Cup.

On Sunday at Canad Inns Stadium, 46 players who were with the team last year and 30 players who hope to be with the team this year will hit the field in an attempt to help the Bombers go one step further in 2012 than they did in 2011.

Here is a position-by-position look at the Bombers heading into training camp.

QUARTERBACKS

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4 Buck Pierce

7 Alex Brink

14 Joey Elliott

18 Justin Goltz

WHO’S IN

None

WHO’S OUT

Brandon Summers (released, Edm)

THE SKINNY

Pierce is the No. 1 gun, while Brink will start camp as the backup. Elliott is coming off knee surgery and looking to move back to No. 2 on the depth chart.

RUNNING BACKS

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19 Chris Garrett

24 Carl Volny*

26 Bloi-Dei Dorzon

39 Michel-Pierre Pontbriand*

WHO’S IN

5 Chad Simpson

29 Anthony Woodson*

WHO’S OUT

Fred Reid (released)

Nick FitzGibbon* (released)

THE SKINNY

Garrett replaced the injured Reid midway through last season and increased production at the position. Simpson has 28 games of NFL experience, so it could be an interesting camp battle. Pontbriand saw plenty of action as the fullback after joining the Bombers in August. Woodson has looked good in rookie camp, while Volny is coming off knee surgery for a torn ACL.

RECEIVERS

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82 Terrence Edwards

81 Cory Watson*

89 Clarence Denmark

12 Kurt Adams

1 Kito Poblah*

88 Jade Etienne*

WHO’S IN

87 Rory Kohlert*

13 Chris Matthews

83 Doug Pierce

86 Jeremy Blount

80 Cassidy Doneff*

84 Paul Hubbard

71 Victor James

70 Isaac Anderson

WHO’S OUT

Greg Carr (free agent, Edm)

Aaron Hargreaves (free agent, Edm)

THE SKINNY

Edwards, Denmark, Watson and Poblah are four of the five starting pass catchers, so one of the most fascinating camp battles to watch is for that fifth spot. Matthews and Pierce have the size to create mismatches, while Blount has the speed. Hubbard is another to watch. Another interesting subplot is watching how Etienne, the fourth overall draft pick in 2011, develops in his second year.

OFFENSIVE LINE

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62 Steve Morley*

69 Glenn January

64 Chris Greaves*

59 Andre Douglas

67 Chris Kowalczuk*

66 Justin Sorensen*

55 Paul Swiston*

WHO’S IN

61 Brendan Dunn*

66 Jordan Taormina

58 Tyson Pencer*

65 J-S Laberge*

53 Sam Nemis*

WHO’S OUT

Brendon LaBatte* (free agent, Sask)

Obby Khan* (retired)

Kelly Butler (retired)

THE SKINNY

This is, without a doubt, the biggest question mark going into the season. Douglas, January and Morley are the only returning starters. Greaves starts camp as the left guard, while Morley, Kowalczuk and Sorensen will be the main combatants at centre. One to keep an eye on is Pencer, the third overall pick from last month’s draft.

DEFENSIVE LINE

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98 Jason Vega

92 Bryant Turner

90 Dorian Smith

54 Kenny Mainor

45 Rodney Fritz

56 Fernand Kashama*

WHO’S IN

99 Andre Caroll

96 Alex Hall

94 Ryan Lucas*

91 Brandon Collier

40 Brandon Akpunku

95 Jake Thomas*

93 Rob Jubenville*

WHO’S OUT

Doug Brown* (retired)

Odell Willis (traded, Sask)

Don Oramasionwu* (free agent, Edm)

Deji Oduwole* (released)

THE SKINNY

There is quite a bit of turnover here with the departures of Brown and Willis, both of whom started the Grey Cup. Vega and Turner are the two returning starters, and the team is high on Fritz, who saw some action in 2011. Hall brings NFL experience, and Caroll could be Brown’s replacement at tackle.

LINEBACKERS

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10 Henoc Muamba*

47 Pierre-Luc Labbe*

38 Marcellus Bowman

41 Clint Kent

3 Dustin Doe

51 Javon McKinnon

WHO’S IN

27 Terrell Parker

42 Rene Stephan*

WHO’S OUT

Joe Lobendahn (released, Cgy)

Merrill Johnson (traded, Edm)

THE SKINNY

The most intriguing camp battle on defence will be at middle linebacker, where Canadians Muamba and Labbe will fight it out for the starting role. Muamba was the first overall pick in 2011, while Labbe went 47th overall in 2008. Bowman and Kent are the returning starters at weak and strong side, respectively.

DEFENSIVE BACKS

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2 Jovon Johnson

23 Jonathan Hefney

31 Ian Logan*

21 Alex Suber

8 Brandon Stewart

0 Johnny Sears

22 Darrell Pasco

20 Deon Beasley

25 Brady Browne*

WHO’S IN

33 Dan West*

30 Giovanni Aprile*

15 David Pender Jr.

34 Jeremy McGee

37 Demond Washington

WHO’S OUT

Jerry-Ralph Jules* (released)

THE SKINNY

All five starters are back, but that doesn’t mean it will be status quo. GM Joe Mack warned there would be plenty of DBs in camp after Johnson, last year’s CFL defensive player of the year, and Hefney had Twitter trouble in the off-season, and he wasn’t kidding. Logan is a lock at safety, Suber returns to his strong-side halfback spot, and Stewart is sure to face some stiff competition at strong-side cornerback. Pasco looked great in rookie camp.

SPECIALISTS

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9 Mike Renaud* (punter)

17 Justin Palardy* (kicker)

50 Chris Cvetkovic* (long snapper)

WHO’S IN

35 Eric Wilbur (punter)

44 Jordan Matechuk* (long snapper)

WHO’S OUT

Jamie Boreham* (released)

James Green* (released)

Merrill Johnson (traded, Edm)

THE SKINNY

Punter will be another position to watch during camp. Renaud lost the job last season but gets a chance to earn it back against Wilbur, who is at a bit of a disadvantage because he’s American. Cvetkovic is the veteran long snapper who will be pushed by Matechuk, and the Bombers will have to replace two of their top three special teams tacklers last season in Green and Johnson.

RETURNERS

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2 Jovon Johnson

20 Deon Beasley

WHO’S IN

86 Jeremy Blount

5 Chad Simpson

37 Demond Washington

26 Bloi-Dei Dorzon

WHO’S OUT

None

THE SKINNY

The Bombers keep saying they’re going to take the punt return job away from Johnson, yet he continues to be the best option. Simpson brings an NFL resume to his kick return tryout, but there is a long list of those kind of players who have failed in their quest to earn the job. Beasley did most of the kick returning last year, and he wasn’t the worst in the league.


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