Blue Bomber Report Record: 3–1–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

It's time to make some plays

Receiver with sparkling resumé has failed to stand out

  • Print

Mike Sims-Walker hadn't been in Winnipeg long -- less than 24 hours, in fact -- when the Blue Bombers trotted him out to face the media for a mini press conference back in late August.

Now, the Bombers have parachuted in a lot of new talent this season. That's simply the natural byproduct of a campaign gone horribly awry.

But Sims-Walker got the extra attention -- new recruits rarely get their own media sessions, FYI -- because his football resumé sparkled and the demand from the press corps was plenty. A third-round draft choice of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2007, he led the club in receiving two years later before injuries had him headed to Canada to reclaim his career.

For a club desperate to find any kind of offensive punch, Sims-Walker looked like a heavyweight find.

'Football is football, I'm not going to make it harder than it is'

-- Mike Sims-Walker, downplaying the differences between American and Canadian football

"Football is football, I'm not going to make it harder than it is," he said at his first introduction when asked about the differences between the American and Canadian game. "I've played this game for a long time and have been going out there and making plays. Of course the terminology will probably be a little different, but outside of that it's football."

Fast forward to the present and the 28-year-old Floridian has appeared in just one game and has zero catches. And -- depending on who you talk to -- his learning curve has been steep and pockmarked by what might seem an indifferent and apathetic attitude.

"When he first got here I just never noticed him on the field," said head coach Tim Burke on Wednesday. "We said that to him. Now he's shown that he can be a pretty good player."

So this Saturday, when the Bombers play host to the Toronto Argonauts, Sims-Walker is essentially getting a second chance to make a good impression when he steps in for the injured Aaron Kelly to make his first CFL start.

'When he first got here I just never noticed him on the field. We said that to him. Now he's shown that he can be a pretty good player'

-- head coach Tim Burke on Sims-Walker

Worth noting is this latest opportunity comes only after the injury to Kelly, who has been steady for the Bombers since his arrival. Burke said the position the two shared -- the boundary side wide receiver -- is the easiest to learn in the CFL game.

But Sims-Walker admitted Wednesday his adjustment to the three-down game -- including everything from cornerbacks who like to grab, to the waggle (receivers in motion pre-snap) to how a route is run -- has taken longer than he anticipated.

"It's more than the waggle, that's part of it. But it's a lot different, make no mistake about it," he said. "I'm adjusting to the game, to the rules. I don't take it for granted. I don't think less of it because the guys out here can play. A lot of these guys could play in the league (NFL) right now.

"I feel good. I'm always mentally prepared and my body feels good. I'm just ready to get that opportunity, man, to get out here and make some plays."

Asked if he was surprised he hadn't played more, Sims-Walker added:

"A little bit. But I'm a pro. I just keep my mouth shut, go about my business and work, come to work every day and do what I'm told to do."

The question after the next few weeks is whether Sims-Walker will be on the Bomber depth chart beyond 2013. When he first got here he spoke of this opportunity with the Bombers not being about the money, but about his passion for the game.

While that hunger hasn't always been evident in the weeks since, Sims-Walker did say he'd like to be back.

"Absolutely," he said. "I always love to play football, that's what I'm here for. I love the game. Every chance I get, I'd love to play."

 

Ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 17, 2013 D3

History

Updated on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 9:32 AM CDT: Video link added

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

    No

  • 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 winnipegfreepress.com. 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 winnipegfreepress.com. 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.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Glenn January won't blame offensive line for first loss

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 100527-Winnipeg Free Press THe Provencher Foot Bridge is lit up
  • A black swallowtail butterfly land on Lantana flowers Sunday morning at the Assiniboine Park English Gardens- standup photo – August 14, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

 

Poll

Who are the real Bombers?

View Results

Ads by Google