LISTEN to Moe Leggett for any length of time and there is a been-there, done-that feel to every word that comes out of his mouth.
Maybe that's part of his time in the NFL, including the 2008 season when he was the Kansas City Chiefs rookie of the year. And so while the 28-year-old safety might be new to the CFL, there is also a quiet confidence that bubbles out with every answer.
That's a big part as to why Bomber head coach Mike O'Shea isn't sweating the uncertainty surrounding the availability of Johnny Sears, Jr. for this Friday's game in Vancouver against the B.C. Lions. Leggett, just like Sears, has already proven he can be a versatile defender at a few spots in the club's defence.
And he's only getting better. Consider his own progress report since the first day he stepped on the field for the club's rookie camp:
"I've learned to slow the game down in your mind, not to be so fast and not having anxiety attacks out there," said Leggett. I'm just excited to be back and to just play the game I know."
Leggett said adjusting to Gary Etcheverry's defensive schemes hasn't been part of the learning curve. In fact, he's embraced it.
"I wouldn't say it's 'backyard football', but it's fun defence," he said. "The best way to play it is having fun. It's running around, flying around making plays. You don't have to worry about anything other than what you're doing.
"We're not there yet, completely, but we're on the verge of making a lot of progress."
The same could be said of Leggett himself.
"He's a pretty smart football player," said O'Shea. "He's smooth, smooth, smooth out there. He's competitive, he can do a bunch of different things. We were pretty happy with Moe Leggett from the get-go so it's not a stretch to see him in there."
SICK BAY UPDATE: LB E.J. Kuale did not practise Tuesday after having his foot stepped on near the end of practice on Monday. He'll likely suit up against the Lions. O'Shea said he may wait one more day before deciding whether Sears will play, but defensive end Jason Vega, punter Mike Renaud and slotback Cory Watson are all out.
DON'T SWEAT IT: If there are any emotional scars from their first loss of the 2014 CFL season, the Bombers are hiding them well. The club's practice Tuesday at the Bison practice facility west of Investors Group Field Tuesday (work is already being done to set up the stage for this weekend's Beyonce/Jay-Z concert) was spirited and upbeat.
And it left the distinct impression the loss to the Edmonton Eskimos is well in the rear-view mirror.
"We've been talking this since Day 1: we wanted guys who are passionate about playing football, guys that love to play the game," said O'Shea. "And if you love to play the game it doesn't matter where the game is, whether you're out here, whether you're one-on-one, you're pass rush, the special teams... that's the game, too. It's not just on Friday night.
"The game is every competition you can make it on every single rep out here. We've got a bunch of guys who are in that mode and I think you saw it today. It was a fun practice to watch, so I imagine it was even quite more enjoyable being a part of it."
REAL PRO: Here's O'Shea on veteran defensive back Alex Suber, who continues to practice but can't get back into the starting lineup:
"Alex has been extremely professional, he works extremely hard every day and I think he makes the people around him better. And that's the guys competing against him from the offensive side... he makes them work. I can appreciate that it's got to be frustrating for Alex. But as camp broke and Alex wasn't ready to start the season, Bruce Johnson stepped in and hasn't shown any reason why he shouldn't be there."
A LEGEND PASSES: Bob McNamara, a former Bomber from 1955-58 and star at the University of Minnesota, passed away this week at the age of 82. McNamara, who hailed from Hastings, Minn., still holds the CFL record for most touchdowns in a game with six, scored in a game against the B.C. Lions in 1957. He left the Bombers in 1959 and played two years with the Denver Broncos in the AFL before retiring in 1961.
ELITE COMPANY: Kevin Glenn will make his fifth-straight start for the Leos on Friday. The former Bomber QB eclipsed the 300-yard passing mark for the 39th time in his career last week and also became just the 10th quarterback in CFL history to eclipse the 40,000-yard mark.
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