Gunner a-blazin'

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:53 AM ET

The gunner's nickname is BB, but he acts more like a missile.

His punter loves having him.

As odd as the partnership between Burke Dales and Brandon Browner is, it has become hugely effective for the Calgary Stampeders.

Last week against the Montreal Alouettes, Dales had his best outing for the Stamps this season, punting the ball with great hang time.

That allowed Browner, a lanky but speedy defensive back, to get downfield and head for the kill.

In that game, Dales hit a 49-yarder and Browner dropped Jason Armstead for a one-yard loss.

The two have great chemistry, despite the fact they couldn't be more different off the field.

"I have a good timing with Burke," said Browner, who grew up in Pacioma, Calif. "I have time to get down there and check the ball, then place myself for the no-yards rule.

"Burke is the type of guy who wants to get the ball out as far as possible and that allows me to get separation on the defender. When it hangs up there, I have time to get there."

Even when Browner doesn't make a huge hit, his presence slows up the returner and allows others to contain him.

Backup running back Jon Cornish and long-snapper Randy Chevrier each made nice tackles to help give Dales a 41.5-yard net average against the Alouettes.

Cornish leads the team with six special-team tackles and is making a name for himself as a enthusiastic performer in that area.

"The cover team last week was phenomenal," said Dales, who rebounded from a slow start to get some public recognition from head coach John Hufnagel.

"When you have guys down there, making hits, making tackles and limiting the returns, it's great for our team."

Browner is a starter on defence but takes the punt coverage just as serious as any other play.

"It's a big aspect of the game," he said. "It's a one-play shot. It's not that you are out there for multiple downs. It's a good chance to change the field position for us."

Dales is hoping Browner stays as the lead gunner, because he can deliver some highlight-reel hits.

"BB is phenomenal. He is a great athlete with a real nose for football," Dales said.

"To have a guy going down like a bat out of hell making tackles, it's really nice to see for me. He never takes a play off. That's why I have a lot of respect for him.

"He wants it to his side every single time. Unfortunately, (special teams co-ordinator) Craig (Dickenson) sends the call in and sometimes we're going away from Brandon.

"If it was his choice, I would be sending them 45 yards up there and he would be downfield ready to hit it."


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