Blue Bomber Report Record: 7–11–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Auburn shootings hit hard

Bombers rookie DB Washington played with 2 of slain Tigers at Alabama power

  • Print

Rookie Demond Washington is in the battle of his life at Winnipeg Blue Bombers training camp right now, battling for a job where the Bombers have almost an embarrassment of riches at defensive back.

But as so often happens in pro sports, real life intruded over the weekend to offer Washington some perspective on the battles in life that really matter.

Washington's alma mater, Auburn, you see, was rocked on Saturday with the shooting deaths of three people, including two former Auburn football players, at a party near the university campus.

The two dead players -- former offensive lineman Edward Christian and former fullback Ladarious Phillips -- were friends of Washington's.

"I played with them and they were my friends," Washington said following practice on Monday. "It's devastating for their families and for the whole Auburn family.

"They were all like brothers to me on that team," said Washington. "My heart goes out to their families."

Washington won a national championship with Auburn in 2010 but the task in front of him this month is almost as formidable -- trying to win a job in a Bombers secondary that was the best in the CFL in 2011.

While Washington has had an exceptional camp so far -- he's fast, he's made a string of nice interceptions and has also shown an aptitude as a punt returner -- he's very unlikely to unseat incumbent import defensive backs Alex Suber, Brandon Stewart, Jonathan Hefney and the 2011 CFL defensive player of the year, Jovon Johnson.

And so a more realistic goal for an import rookie like Washington this season might be as a backup DB. But even that's going to be a tough task in a camp where veteran imports Deon Beasley, Johnny Sears and Darrell Pasco are also battling for a backup job.

Bombers defensive co-ordinator Tim Burke said Monday the team will likely keep at least two of those four players -- and possibly three of those four -- for the regular season. But all four? Not going to happen. "I don't see how we can," said Burke, "and that's the hard thing. I think they're all good players, but not everyone's going to be able to make it."

Like Washington, Pasco and Sears have also had strong camps, while Beasley -- who dressed in all 18 regular-season games for Winnipeg in 2011 and started three of them -- has missed some practices with what he describes as an assortment of minor injuries. "It's just little tweaks and things that most corners and DB's get. And the cold weather -- I'm from the south and it doesn't get this cold," Beasley said Monday. "But it's nothing major."

Beasley says he knows he's being challenged for his job and says he's up to the task. "It's a lot of competition. But that's what I come here for. I'm a competitive person, I'm a competitive player. And when you're a DB, you have to be confident.

"It is what is. I'll work, I'll play, I'll do my part. And at the end of the day, the best man should play."

All of which is pretty much the same thing Washington says. "It's tough but you have to go out there and compete. That's all the game of football is -- competing and having fun. And that's what I'm out there doing."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 12, 2012 D3

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Total Body Tune-Up: Farmer's Carry

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Geese take cover in long grass in the Tuxedo Business Park near Route 90 Wednesday- Day 28– June 27, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Ruth Bonneville Winnipeg Free Press January 18, 2011 Local Standup -

View More Gallery Photos

Soccer: A Love Story Series

2013 Mazda 5 GX AWD at

NHL's P.K. Subban grew up with the Beautiful Game

He grew up playing soccer with his brothers, and says skills learned in soccer are transferable to hockey



What do you think the punishment should be for Dustin Byfuglien's cross-check on New York Rangers forward J. T. Miller?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google