In praise of Charlie
There was joy in the face of Blue Bombers veteran receiver Terrence Edwards Tuesday when asked for his reaction to the selection of former teammate Charles Roberts to the club's Hall of Fame.
"A guy rushes for 10,000 yards deserves to be in the Hall of Fame," Edwards told reporters after Tuesday's practice. "Charlie's one of the finest teammates I ever had. I enjoyed playing with him and I can't wait to see him. I haven't seen him in a while. I'm proud of him."
Edwards said he remembers Roberts as a one-of-a-kind.
"Funny," he said. "A guy who could go out there and put up 150 yards and don't stretch. I've never seen a player like Charlie before. As small as he was, he could go out there and bang with the big guys.
"It was amazing he lasted as long as he did. Different strokes for different folks. He had his work habits. Maybe if he'd had different habits he could have played a few more years. But that being said, you can't take away what he accomplished."
Bombers quarterback Buck Pierce was also once a Roberts teammate, in B.C. after the trade in 2008.
"I loved playing with him," said Pierce. "When I first came into the league, I see this guy returning kicks, punts, doing everything out there on the field. And never got tired. It was amazing to watch.
"I grew fond of him, watching him when he played for Winnipeg and then I was thrilled when I got to play with him over in B.C."
Edwards was asked if he could share any inside stories about Roberts. Here's what he offered: "Coach (Markus) Howell told us a story the other day because coach Burke said (be here) two hours before the game and if you're less than an hour, you're not going to play.
"I don't remember (who) but Milt (Stegall) gave him some tickets and he went to the store an hour before the game and Charlie was in the store an hour before the game with a chili dog and some other food. And he probably got to the game 30 minutes before and went out and rushed for 150 yards. That was Charlie for you, but he was a great teammate."
Matthews still iffy
Winnipeg head coach Tim Burke said Tuesday receiver Chris Matthews' ankle condition is slightly improved and he could still participate in Thursday's game vs. Montreal.
"We will know the morning of the game if he can play or not," the coach said. "He's right now, I would say, closer to him playing than not playing. It depends on how fast he can heal up in the next 48 hours."
The coach said Matthews is "slightly probable."
"He's made it through all of training camp, for him to miss just a couple of days, I don't feel too bad about that," Burke said.
Key figures on D
Much is being made of the centre of the Bombers defence to start the season, brothers Henoc and Cauchy Muamba.
"You're as strong on defence as your guys down the middle," said Burke. "With Henoc at (middle linebacker) and Cauchy at free safety, that's the middle of our defence right there. They're actually the two quarterbacks of the defence as well. They get everybody lined up."
-- Tim Campbell