Charlie Wants Out

Roberts wants out
Bombers’ look at Whiz Kid a ‘slap in the face’


Bombers running back Charles Roberts can’t figure out why the team would want to bring in another feature rusher and doesn’t want to stick around to find out. Bombers GM Brendan Taman, says Roberts isn’t going anywhere. (BRIAN DONOGH, Sun files)

Don’t look now, but Blink can’t see being in the same backfield as the Whiz Kid.

Winnipeg Blue Bomber running back Charles Roberts isn’t impressed with the team’s efforts to sign suspended NFL running back Onterrio Smith.

In fact, the CFL’s leading rusher last season is so put off by what he calls a “slap in the face,” he wants out.

“If that is the direction they want to go in … they should make him the man and trade me up out of there,” Roberts told the Sun yesterday. “I have no problem with going elsewhere.”

That’s in sharp contrast to what Roberts has previously said: that he couldn’t see playing for any other team.

And it shows how hurt he feels that the Bombers would pursue another back.

Smith, currently suspended by the NFL for failing drug tests, was released by the Minnesota Vikings last week.

The Bombers immediately placed him on their negotiation list, and began talks with his agent.

Minnesota’s leading rusher in 2004, Smith could, potentially, be a star in the CFL. He’s a 5-foot-10, 220-pound speedster who can also return kicks and catch passes out of the backfield.


The 25-year-old also made headlines last year, when he was stopped at the Minneapolis airport with a device called the Original Whizzinator, designed to beat drug tests.

Roberts says he has nothing against Smith, who, like Roberts, is from Sacramento, Calif.

But after five consecutive seasons as a CFL all-star, he’s not ready to share time in the backfield.

“I know they have to do what they feel is necessary to win, especially with the Grey Cup coming up,” he said. "But me being in the prime of my career and never been faced with this type of situation before, I would rather not.

“I’m not trying to be selfish. I hope people don’t take it the wrong way. But if they were in my shoes, after five years of steady play, you don’t want to have a lesser role.”

Told of Roberts’ comments, Bomber GM Brendan Taman couldn’t suppress a chuckle.

“We haven’t had one rep on the field yet and he’s saying (that)… he’s entertaining, I’ll say that,” Taman said. “The bottom line in this whole thing is whatever gives us the best chance to win. If Charles has to run for 400 yards and we go 16-2, so be it. If he rushes for 2,000 yards and we go 4-14, I don’t like that idea.”

Taman says Roberts will remain the team’s top running back, regardless of whether or not it signs Smith.

But Roberts was unimpressed.

“Brendan don’t run the offence,” Roberts said. “Brendan is in the front office. As you see with Kyries Hebert, Brendan doesn’t really care how a player feels.”

Hebert is trying to get out of his Bomber contract so he can try the NFL.

This isn’t the first time Roberts has clashed with management.

It appears to be the most serious, though, particularly when you look at his comments about Taman, the person who discovered him back in 2001.

“I don’t know if he’s ever strapped on the football pads and knows the real emotion that a player has,” Roberts said of the GM. "

I want a certain amount of carries. I want to be a 100-yard rusher. That’s just my expectations."

Roberts isn’t enamoured with new head coach Doug Berry’s plan, either, to employ a more wide-open passing attack, often using five receivers and just one running back.

“With the direction the offence is going, my touches seemingly were going to be down this year as it is,” Roberts said.

“Circumstances come about where you feel like you’ve done as much as you can for the team. I think it would be better for both sides if I were moved.”

It sounds like he shouldn’t hold his breath.

“He ain’t going nowhere,” Taman said. “I can assure you of that.”

This one should be interesting.

.....I am not happy with this a fan I would like to see the Bombers going into training camp with a little more cohesion....If guys like Hebert....and now Charlie...keep upsetting the 'apple cart'....we are going to be either ...not on the same page....or flips side....come out to play ...'mad as hell'....I think its time to put this emotional time into perspective....and guys like Barrin ...and Milt just might have to do it...THIS IS A TEAM....sure....made up of individuals...with different personalities which everyone should respect....BUT....DAMN IT WE ARE A TEAM FIRST....and these guys should put their persoanal agendas on the back-burner...and come out to play the football they are capable of.... failing that....they are letting themselves down ....and most importantly THE TEAM..... :!: :idea: .

///////AS A SIDE NOTE.....apparently three clubs were on the hotline to Brendan....seeking the services of Blink....Taman just laughed...HE'S A BOMBER...AND WILL ALWAYS BE A BOMBER...

i agree with you papa, you cant have players in camp that either dont want to be there or are unhappy with the team's direction. They can be huge distractions to the team, and that can cause dissension, and also divide the dressing room, which is the last thing the players , fans and the organization needs. Im not sure how this will play out, but it could be that Roberts may not be in TC if he wants to be traded, Taman has to call his star back and smooth over the situation... for the good of the team, or this could overshadow the whole bomber season.

I donno what Charlie is thinking… Smith & Williams are four down running backs. It will take them time to learn the game. It is a big difference when you don’t have a big tight end blocking for you…IMO.

Anyway, a good football needs two strong backs, if Charlie goes down(knock on wood), we are F–Ked, without a solid back-up.

It just pisses me off that a guy whines like that… Does he not think he should compete for the job… Does he not think he can keep the starting job, if Smith does sign. Give me a break Charlie, We have stode behind you, win us a cup and then Whine… We want the Cup…

If Charlie does want out, do teams have to cut there RB’s first. :roll:

if he really does want out... how bout roberts, regimbald and a draft pick for ranek, radlien, and yeast.

...much as i would miss my main man.....that would be a decent trade... :frowning:

if this is ture, let this new guy go and keep Roberts, losing the leading rusher of the league last season is a BBBBBBBBBBAAAAAAAAADDDDDDDD thing and our club would take a big black eye from that.

C'mon...I mean, everyone else has to compete for their job, why not Roberts? A little competition might make him even better.....y'know, make him want to try harder rather than boasting personal for the team buddy!!

HEres what they should do. Talk to Roberts and tell him theyre only signing Smith to trade. Then, trade smith for a decent backup and another player they need. EX. Kicker

Its not a bad idea, only problem is who is going to take smith? I do not believe anyone else in the CFL wants him, so he would be very tough to trade, Roberts is the more tradeable player.

Hey Charles Roberts, come to saskatchewan, we'd be more than glad to have you on our team...might even win a few game this year

Roberts is the best RB in the league, I agree with him, there should be no way they are trying to replace him. And if the bombers coaching staff won't accept that, I'd want to leave the team too just as Roberts does.

Oh boy..if we allow our players to call the shots on who we bring in, were doomed. I can understand Roberts frustrations, thats football. Sounds like he has thrown in the towel before the fight for #1back has even started.
Roberts should of remained silent, nothing like playing your cards, before your dealt a full hand. Stll a long ways away from signing Smith..

...I think you said it pretty well hank....and I will add....a player who chooses to fight his battles in the media....and makes controversial statements to the press regarding his team....should consider ...firstly that 'some' things are best said to the proper people behind closed doors....and secondly...consider the impact that your statements might have on the club.......whats the old addage....THINK.. before your mouth starts moving....and your foot gets caught in it... :wink:

I agree the guy has earned that, again no repsect from Bomber management what else is new? Most likely when Charles contract is up he is gone!

emphasis on might. but he will win games this year with the bombers. c.rob isn't going anywhere so nobody should get their hopes up. he's a bomber for life

Bomber for life?? Sounds like a jail sentence , woudnt you agree there yogi??

Atleast here, unlike in Saskatchewan, he wont have to worry when he drops the soap...

and how you would know about that???

Sambo, go to your room!

BTW, anymore news on Roberts? Hope he is still with the club.