NON-IMPORT offensive lineman Paul Swiston has committed to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for "a couple of years" as the football club announced his contract extension on Monday.
Swiston, a 6-foot-9, 317-pound native of Calgary, has dressed in every game this season for the 3-9 Bombers. Swiston's role has mostly been as a backup, coming in on short-yardage situations and lining up as an extra blocker in certain packages. He has also played a handful of snaps at right guard.
"I'm excited. The city and province have been great to me, the team has been great to me and the fans are crazy, so this (extension) means all good things for me," Swiston said. "This year is going really well, there's a lot of really good guys on the offensive line and I'm learning a lot."
Swiston said the club had been working with him on the contract extension since last week and he signed it on the weekend. He said he committed to the Bombers for "a couple of years" as his goal is to become a starter.
"It's nice to get this (contract) stuff out of the way but I wasn't worrying about it. I was here for the season no matter what. The focus for me has always been getting better," he said.
The Bombers, who beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 34-12 on Friday to break their four-game losing skid, were given Saturday, Sunday and Monday off. They will return to the practice field today.
"Getting the win will make film session go a little bit better. But there's always things you can work on to keep improving," Swiston said.
Drafted by the Bombers in the fourth round (24th overall) of the 2011 CFL Draft, Swiston spent all of last season on the nine-game injured list. His first professional start was at right tackle in the 2012 season opener in B.C.
In a statement, Bombers GM Joe Mack praised Swiston's play so far this season
"Paul is a bright young player with tremendous upside who has done a great job this season at doing everything he has been asked of," said Mack.
Also Monday, the Bombers added non-import defensive lineman Ryan Lucas to the practice roster. The 6-foot-5, 290-pound Lucas was one of the last cuts from this season's training camp.
Lucas has appeared in eight regular-season games with Saskatchewan and Montreal. He was with Saskatchewan in 2010 and played in all three playoff games including the 98th Grey Cup.
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