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Bombers get down and dirty with draft picks

'Phone’s been ringing off the hook. There’s still a lot of stuff going on between now and 7 o’clock tomorrow night,' Bombers GM Kyle Walters said today.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

'Phone’s been ringing off the hook. There’s still a lot of stuff going on between now and 7 o’clock tomorrow night,' Bombers GM Kyle Walters said today.

If a football team takes its personality from the men along the line of scrimmage — as the old adage goes — then the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are a whole lot meaner, surlier and, yes, dirtier today.

And Drew Willy, the man who spent more time picking himself off the turf than any other Canadian Football League quarterback last season, likely couldn’t be happier with the attitude adjustment.

The Bombers nabbed University of Calgary guard Sukh Chungh with the second overall pick in the 2015 Canadian Draft Tuesday night, a 6-4, 300-pound man mountain TSN draft guru Duane Forde referred to as ‘a nasty piece of business.’

“I think it’s fair to say that. I play with a little bit of an edge,” said Chungh in a conference call with the Winnipeg media. “I feel like the game needs to be played aggressively, especially as a guard or any O-lineman and I feel like I’m going to bring that to the Blue Bombers. Going through the process of university and being new to the game of football I had to make it up somewhere and I chose the aggressive path. That’s just my DNA.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 11/5/2015 (892 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

If a football team takes its personality from the men along the line of scrimmage — as the old adage goes — then the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are a whole lot meaner, surlier and, yes, dirtier today.

And Drew Willy, the man who spent more time picking himself off the turf than any other Canadian Football League quarterback last season, likely couldn’t be happier with the attitude adjustment.

The Bombers nabbed University of Calgary guard Sukh Chungh with the second overall pick in the 2015 Canadian Draft Tuesday night, a 6-4, 300-pound man mountain TSN draft guru Duane Forde referred to as ‘a nasty piece of business.’

"I think it’s fair to say that. I play with a little bit of an edge," said Chungh in a conference call with the Winnipeg media. "I feel like the game needs to be played aggressively, especially as a guard or any O-lineman and I feel like I’m going to bring that to the Blue Bombers. Going through the process of university and being new to the game of football I had to make it up somewhere and I chose the aggressive path. That’s just my DNA.

"It’s a great feeling. I’m thrilled. I’m excited and I couldn’t be happier to be a Blue Bomber."

An Indo-Canadian native of Port Coquitlam, B.C., the 23-year-old Chungh joins a revamped Bomber O-line that now features free-agent additions Stanley Bryant and Marc Dile, both imports, as well as Canadian veteran centre Dominic Picard — a man notorious for blurring the line between what would be considered acceptable and criminal behaviour in the trenches.

And that offensive line makeover was absolutely, positively by design.

"That’s what we want to be," said GM Kyle Walters. "We talked about playing in the West, we talked about establishing the run game and being more physical up front. Dom Picard brings that and I’m telling you, when you watch the film there is no comparison who the most-physical offensive lineman is in this draft, bar none: it’s Sukh Chungh. We’re going to get him with (offensive line coach) Bob Wylie and coach him up on the technical components of the offensive line, which he may have been behind some of the other guys. But he’s a damn good football player and his toughness and physicality is what he’ll bring to this team. He won’t be intimidated with anybody from Day 1 of training camp to compete with anybody."

Walters said that compete level popped out on the film in Chungh’s finishing of blocks and it was hammered home in a discussion with former Dinos head coach Blake Nill, now at UBC.

"He is always looking to hit somebody, always looking to finish somebody," Walters added. "At the Eval Camp (CFL Scouting Combine) every time he went up there was almost a fight on every single rep he took. There’s an edge to him. His university coach, we were comparing (Sean) McEwen (also of Calgary) and Sukh and he said, ‘They’re both good football players but the one guy I’d want in a dark alley with me is Sukh Chungh and I’ll take him over any player.’ That kind of sums him up."

The Bombers used their next two picks, 11th and 15th overall, to add players who could push for work as starters down the road. Addison Richards is a big (6-5, 205) and productive receiver offensive coordinator Marcel Bellefeuille ranked No. 1 among pass catchers while Brendan Morgan, a defensive back, will get looks both at safety and cornerback. Richards was selected five picks after University of Manitoba slotback Nic Demski went sixth overall to the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

"It’ll be interesting to be on the other side," said Richards. "I’m super excited to be a Bomber, but that’ll be cool. I know that rivalry is a big deal here and a big deal there. Those games will be a lot of fun."

The club’s fourth, fifth and sixth-round selections (they did not have a third rounder) — fullback Christophe Normand, defensive lineman Ettore Lattanzio and linebacker Justin Warden, were all selected to also make the incumbents squirm in training camp.

"We just don’t want guys showing up at training camp and handed jobs," said Walters. "What this has done is ensured that Week 1 in Saskatchewan the guys dressing for us have had some competition and have had to beat somebody out at their position and that’s going to make us a better football team."

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @WFPEdTait

 

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History

Updated on Monday, May 11, 2015 at 1:07 PM CDT: Photo added.

2:43 PM: Video added.

May 12, 2015 at 7:24 PM: Updates with Bombers' pick.

9:03 PM: Writethru.

10:57 PM: Writethru.

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