Blue Bomber Report Record: 6–6–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Rifles receiver shooting for the top

Unheralded Carter wows Blue coaches

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Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Brett Carter (72) catches a pass during a drill at practice at Investors Group Field, Saturday, June 8, 2013. (TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

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Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Brett Carter (72) catches a pass during a drill at practice at Investors Group Field, Saturday, June 8, 2013. (TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

Sometimes you need to be good and sometimes you need to be lucky.

And sometimes -- when you're a long shot like Winnipeg Blue Bombers homegrown receiving prospect Brett Carter, for instance -- you need to be both.

And he has been.

Carter has been taking fullest advantage during his first professional training camp of a rash of injuries that have decimated the Bombers receiving corps and is poised right now to become the Bombers' feel-good story this month.

'He's got a chance... I'm not going to say definitely, but he's got a chance'

-- head coach Tim Burke on Brett Carter

The 20-year-old University of Winnipeg business administration student doesn't even have a contract with the Bombers and was brought to camp as an unsigned junior. But while the injured receivers ahead of him on the depth chart have watched from the sidelines the last few days, Carter has shown excellent hands and an ability to get open.

And he's not gone unnoticed, with Bombers head coach Tim Burke saying Saturday that Carter is right now sitting fourth or fifth on the non-import receiver depth chart.

That would put him behind only starters Kito Poblah and Cory Watson and probably Jade Etienne, who the Bombers are hoping will finally make a breakthrough in his third year with the club.

The other fourth or fifth man on that depth chart would likely be Rory Kohlert, but he's out for a few weeks with a hamstring injury and is now face-to-face with the old adage "you can't make the club from the tub."

Burke says Carter's play has had tongues wagging in the coaches' offices.

"We were just talking about him," Burke said. "He's doing a really good job. He's got a chance... I'm not going to say definitely (he's going to make the team), but he's got a chance."

The Bombers coaching staff will have to decide how serious they are about Carter soon -- if they want to see him in a pre-season game, they will have to offer him a contract first.

Whatever happens, Carter's thrilled just to have a chance. The Winnipeg Rifles product says the whole experience so far has been a dream come true for a local kid.

"There's obviously dreams of playing for your hometown team, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. For sure," says Carter. "Just being on the field with these guys, it's a dream."

The general consensus is Carter has looked at home during the first week of camp and he says that's all he was hoping to do.

"I didn't want to look out of place. I wanted to get into the playbook right from the start and just not lack anything and just come here and try to be one of the guys."

Carter also attended the Bombers rookie camp in April and gives full credit to Kohlert, who he says has been a big help to him as he tries to learn the pro game.

"He tells me what was good, what was bad, what I need to work on," said Carter.

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 9, 2013 B5

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