AND so much for that idea.
A day after two-time CFL all-star defensive back Jonathan Hefney complained loudly about a plan to move him to linebacker this season, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers coaching staff declared the idea dead and buried and announced fellow DB Brandon Stewart will take over the strong-side linebacker position this year instead.
"Coach (Tim) Burke and I discussed what we wanted to do," head coach Paul LaPolice told the media Monday afternoon, "and we think it's probably our best matchup to have two big guys to the (wide side of the) field with Johnny Sears (at defensive back) and Brandon (at SAM).
"Brandon's pretty physical inside so we think that's going to be a really good set up for us."
LaPolice was asked whether Hefney's loud reluctance on Sunday to take over the SAM position this year played into the decision to give the job of replacing the recently released Clint Kent to Stewart instead.
LaPolice laughed. "No," he said. "I certainly had a conversation with Hef, but if we felt our best lineup would have been with Hef at SAM, we would have put Hef at SAM. And he would have handled it like a pro."
LaPolice certainly quelled any dissent within his defence with the move because Stewart, unlike Hefney, says he's happy to take over Kent's old job.
Hefney told the media Sunday that he strongly preferred to remain at halfback this season and said he felt he would be "100 per cent" more helpful to his club playing his old position than moving to linebacker.
Stewart, on the other hand, seems to think he'd be great at just about every position in the sport.
"I'm an athlete. If they wanted me to play receiver, I'd go play receiver and I'd feel like I could start at receiver in this league," Stewart said Monday. "I'll play wherever they want me to."
Meanwhile, LaPolice revealed that backup defensive back Deon Beasley -- who along with defensive end Jason Vega and running back Chad Simpson sat out Monday's two-hour practice -- might not be available Friday in Vancouver against the Lions.
LaPolice said Beasley hurt his hip. "We might hold him out this game," said LaPolice.
LaPolice said Vega had a pulled muscle and is expected back at practice today, while Simpson is day-to-day with a lower leg injury suffered in practice on Sunday.
Bombers Go High-Tech
Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice revealed that for the first time, the team is posting video of practice and upcoming opponents on an internal website that the players can study from home, an idea offensive co-ordinator Gary Crowton came up with. LaPolice said the players and coaching staff love it. "I'll tell you what, Apple has done well by the Bombers because at least 10 players have bought iPads" to view the new site, said LaPolice. "It's been a great thing."
Buck Reacts to Changes
Bombers QB Buck Pierce was asked how he'd have reacted if he'd known last November that almost half of the starters on the field at BC Place for the Grey Cup -- six on offence and five on defence -- would not be starting in Vancouver this week for the regular-season opener.
"Wow, it's a change business," said Pierce. "That's part of the life that we live. We like our talent though. I think we've made some improvements."