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Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ players, fans optimistic as spring mini camp begins

The Bombers are getting ready for the 2018 CFL season with mini camp at IGF. Their first pre-season game is  June 1.
The Bombers are getting ready for the 2018 CFL season with mini camp at IGF. Their first pre-season game is June 1. Nolan Kowal / Global News

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers opened their three day mini camp at Investors Group Field Tuesday morning.

Four quarterbacks and 15 receivers were on the field, including starting-QB Matt Nichols and receivers Nic Demski and Adarius Bowman, both of whom were acquired in the off season.

READ MORE: “Why not Winnipeg?” Adarius Bowman excited to be back with Blue Bombers

Demski is a Winnipegger, while Bowman is back for his second stint in blue and gold, having played with the Bombers from 2009-2010.

Nichols said the receiving corps is shaping up to be very good this season, with a good mix of size and speed.

“We got some big guys out here, some guys that can run around, guys that can make some moves,” said Nichols. “I think that we’re going to have the best depth by far that we’ve had at receiver so it’s fun for me because you feel like anyone you’re throwing the ball to has some ability.”

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“The most excited I’ve been about a receiving core in a long time, that’s for sure.”

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Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ players, fans optimistic as spring mini camp begins
Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ players, fans optimistic as spring mini camp begins

WATCH:  QB Matt Nichols talks about the Mini Camp Tuesday

Linebacker Maurice Leggett and kicker Justin Medlock were two of the other notable veterans suited up.

Most of the players on the field Tuesday were CFL rookies.

As for the fans, expectations for the team are high.

“I expect them to win the Grey Cup this year,” said longtime season ticket holder Ken Fredricksen.

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“They certainly (loaded up) on defensive backs and wide receivers. But I think their biggest thing is the middle linebacker, they’ve got to get that fixed,” Fredricksen said.

Winnipeg Blue Bomber season ticket holders have high hopes for 2018
Winnipeg Blue Bomber season ticket holders have high hopes for 2018

WATCH: Long-time Bomber fans Ken Fredricksen and Royce Collins took in Mini Camp

Royce Collins said the offence is set up for a great season.

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“I think with the acquisition of Kienan LaFrance and Demski from Saskatchewan is going to make a heck of a difference,” Collins, who also has Bomber season tickets, said. “I think Nichols is going to have a fantastic year.”

READ MORE: Winnipeg Blue Bombers announce venue and times for mini camp

LaFrance is also from Winnipeg and appeared in 13 games as a running back with the Roughriders last season. Demski appeared in nine games, putting up 222 receiving yards and one touchdown.

Newly-acquired quarterback Darian Durant was not on the field Tuesday as he was dealing with a personal matter.

The Blue Bombers went 12-6 last season before losing to the Edmonton Eskimos in the West Division Semi-Final.

Mini camp continues Wednesday and Thursday and is open to the public.

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