Blue Bombers add speedy receiver

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:30 AM ET

WINNIPEG - Could Isaac Anderson be the next September sensation for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers?

Somebody always seems to step up at this point of the season for the Blue and Gold and solidify roster spots for the following year with strong performances down the stretch.

Last year it was running back Chris Garrett. The year before it was Greg Carr. Three seasons ago it was Phillip Hunt, Titus Ryan and — for one game, anyway — Otis Amey. In 2008 it was Fred Reid.

Anderson, who will be the sixth receiver on Friday night when the Bombers (2-8) visit the Calgary Stampeders (6-4), will no doubt hope he's more Carr than Amey (who had 118 yards in his first game but not much after that) when he makes his CFL debut at McMahon Stadium.

"I'm just trying to do what's best for our team, accept my role and be very detailed in my assignments and just do what the coaches ask," said Anderson, who has spent the entire season on the practice roster. "When my number's called I gotta make a play for my team and get everybody fired up."

Anderson will bring plenty of speed to Friday's clash with the Stamps, even though he might not be the fastest member of his family. His dad, Melvin, played two games as a wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1987 and currently coaches track athletes in Minneapolis. His mom, Lisa, ran track at the University of Minnesota, and his little sister, 17-year-old Taylor, is a top-level high school sprinter who has already received several NCAA scholarship offers despite being in Grade 11.

"Man, I come from speed," Anderson said Wednesday after running a few extra routes with quarterback Justin Goltz following practice.

Head coach Tim Burke likes the sound of that. He wants more speed on the field against the Stampeders.

"He's a real dynamic guy once he gets the ball in his hands," Burke said. "He's a guy who can make people miss and get extra yards. He's got a lot of speed, so we're hoping (to have) that element, especially against a team that's going to play a lot of press coverage.

"I can tell you as a defensive back coach, the thing I hate to see the most is a really fast receiver, and that's what he is."

Anderson was the third receiver at the University of Wisconsin, and he had an excellent tryout with the Washington Redskins last summer. He got caught up in the numbers game, and he can't wait to show that he can be a receiver at the pro level.

"I think I can play on that level as well as on this level," Anderson said. "I just want to go out there, run fast and do what's best for the team."

If he one thing going for him, it's his nearly three months on the practice roster.

"Isaac has been getting ready all along," Burke said. "I see him in there every day watching video. He goes out on the days that we have off and runs routes and runs receiver drills and things like that.

"He's just one of those guys who's always getting ready. I'm expecting good things from him."

SEPTEMBER SENSATIONS

A look at Bomber players who have burst on to the scene midway through the season:

2011

Chris Garrett, RB

Signed: Sept. 8, 2010

Made a bang: Sept. 30, 2011

Credentials: Garrett spent the last part of the 2010 season as Winnipeg's kick returner and part-time running back, got cut after the 2011 training camp and then returned in August. He took over for the injured Fred Reid and had 689 rushing yards and four touchdowns in the last six games. Reid was released in the off-season, but Garrett tore his Achilles tendon three days before the start of the 2012 season.

2010

Greg Carr, WR

Signed: Sept. 1, 2010

Made a bang: Sept. 24, 2010

Credentials: Carr caught four passes for 185 yards in his first game, on Sept. 24, 2010, against the Montreal Alouettes and finished the season with 31 catches for 568 yards and four touchdowns in seven games. He had an injury-plagued 2011 campaign and signed with the Edmonton Eskimos in February. He was traded to Saskatchewan earlier this month.

2009

Phillip Hunt, DE

Signed: Sept. 16, 2009

Made a bang: Oct. 12, 2009

Credentials: Hunt made his debut on Sept. 26, 2009, against the Argos, but he moved into a starter's role after just two games. He had a sack and three tackles in his first start, on Oct. 12, 2009, against the Tiger-Cats. He led the CFL in sacks in 2010, and the Philadelphia Eagles signed him the following February. He's still in Philly.

2008

Fred Reid, RB

Signed: April 5, 2007

Made a bang: Sept. 12, 2008

Credentials: Reid was in the background for a year and a half, returning kickoffs and backing up Charles Roberts, until Blink was traded to the B.C. Lions after the 2008 Labour Day Classic. Although he platooned with Joe Smith, he had 13 carries for 101 yards in his second game after the Roberts trade, on Sept. 12, 2008, against Toronto. He was Winnipeg's starting tailback until blowing out his knee in September 2011 and was released in the off-season.


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