Bombers lure offensive lineman from oil fields for crack at CFL

Offensive lineman Adam Rogers gave up 'really good money' as a safety co-ordinator in the oil...

Offensive lineman Adam Rogers gave up 'really good money' as a safety co-ordinator in the oil fields to take another swing at a regular CFL job with the Bombers.

Ken Wiebe, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:11 AM ET

WINNIPEG - Adam Rogers thought he was done with professional football.

Released by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats a few weeks ago, Rogers found himself in the oil fields of Conklin, Alta. when Winnipeg Blue Bombers director of football operations Ross Hodgkinson called to offer him one more shot.

Rogers knew he’d be taking a pay cut, but figured the real world can wait.

“They called me up the other day and said ‘when can you get here?,” said Rogers, a two-time CIS First Team All-Canadian as a member of the Acadia Axemen. “I had figured I had given it up and was ready to start working, it was up in the air but eventually I came to the decision to come down. Why not? What’s one more year? I basically gave up the start of a new career.”

Rogers, a 26-year-old from Woodville, Ont., had done some of the heavy lifting in the oil patch previously, but was working as a safety co-ordinator this time around.

“I’ve slugged pipe around quite a bit before, but if I don’t have to do it, I won’t do it,” said Rogers, a history major at Acadia University. “I was doing safety and developing a security plan for Stat Oil. It’s an experimental site, essentially what they’re doing is pumping steam into the ground to draw the oil up and then pumping it out. I was making sure truckers don’t spray acid all over themselves.”

“It was nothing overly important but it paid really good money.”

Naturally, Rogers confessed that it’s tougher to keep people safe on the oil patch than keep the quarterback upright?

“At least the quarterbacks are smart,” Rogers, who is 6-foot-5 and weighs 310 pounds, deadpanned.

Where Rogers might fit in on the offensive line is still unknown.

Rogers brings 18 games of CFL experience (17 with the Edmonton Eskimos and one with the Ticats) to an offensive line that is trying to come together.

“This is my first time coming midway through camp, but last year I joined Hamilton in mid-September or something like that, so it’s not strange for me to be thrown in the mix and trying to figure it out on the fly,” said Rogers.

“I think there’s a great opportunity here. All of the guys are great guys. We’ll get it figured out and the offensive line will be great this year.”

Rogers’ primary position is guard, but he can also play tackle.

“He’s a real physical kid,” said Blue Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice. “They liked him in Edmonton and I talked to a couple players about him a few years ago, when we were researching him. He’s really tough, physical. He’s a fighter.”

 


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