CFL

Blue Bombers have two healthy running backs this season

{eot}
The Canadian Press
6/3/2013 3:40:08 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

WINNIPEG -- Chad Simpson doesn't like to measure his career by statistics but the numbers certainly like the Winnipeg Blue Bombers running back.

He racked up more than 1,000 yards in his debut season last year even though he only played in 14 of 18 games.

"Pay attention to the stats, you'll miss the mark all the time," he said Monday after practice at the team's training camp.

Simpson played 25 career games with the NFL's Indianapolis Colts and three with the Washington Redskins before moving to the CFL. The five-foot-nine, 204-pound Miami native averaged six yards a carry with the Bombers last year and added 276 receiving yards.

"Great things will come if you focus on, you know, your pads getting low, your vision, (your consistency), so I don't focus on the stats -- they'll come if I play right," he said.

Simpson changed his workout and diet in the off-season and added a little weight. He also felt that he had paid perhaps too much attention to the need for speed he was told would come with a move north.

"Last year I felt like I was a little bit too light," he said.

If 2012 was a breakout season for Simpson, it was a disaster for Chris Garrett, who opened camp expecting to be Winnipeg's starter and then tore an Achilles tendon.

In 2011, he'd managed 576 yards in just six games after replacing Bombers veteran Fred Reid, who suffered what turned into a career-ending injury. Garrett is now back and says he feels great entering his fourth CFL season -- all with the Bombers.

"The foot's feeling great you know, there's no soreness, I've got good explosion off it," he said.

"I trained really hard in the off-season to come back. I'm out here running around without ... any weakness so I'm pretty happy with how things are going with it."

Winnipeg coach Tim Burke says there is room for both imports but it could mean only a practice roster spot for a third, although they might also find a spot on the expanded 46-man roster.

He knows it could be an issue.

"Not everybody wants to be on the practice roster so if that scenario comes up, that will be their decision," Burke said.

The third running back on the depth chart right now is import Will Ford, who was Simpson's backup last year.

The Bombers also have non-imports Carl Volny and Anthony Woodson on their roster. Both were injured last season.

Woodson only dressed for two games before a season-ending shoulder injury. Volny spent half the season recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament and made only one start in the finale against the Montreal Alouettes.

The Bombers lost another receiver to injury Monday when Wallace Miles pulled a hamstring. He isn't expected to be out for long, said Burke.

The team also added another Canadian to replace draft pick Michael DiCroce, gone for the season with a broken foot.

The newcomer didn't have far to travel. Taylor Renaud played high school football at St. Paul's Collegiate in Winnipeg and led the Atlantic Conference in receiving the last two years with Acadia.

He said he was back home to find a job when he got the call.

"Being a kid I always dreamed about running out of that tunnel so stepping out on that field today was an amazing experience," he said.

The team has also released import linebacker Daniel Sheffield. Burke said Sheffield decided to retire when he got a high-school coaching offer.

Chad Simpson (Photo: The Canadian Press)

zoom

(Photo: The Canadian Press)
Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story


CFL on TSN analyst Paul LaPolice opens his playbook and breaks down key plays from each week's games. More...

Ask the Panel!

The CFL on TSN panel is all set to answer your football questions!

Send your question on Twitter to @CFLonTSN using the hashtag #AskThePanel.

TSN TweetBox
© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television