Browner's tall order fits bill

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:30 AM ET

Brandon Browner could almost feel painted into a corner.

Over a season-and-a-third of his CFL career, the intimidating defensive back had teams avoiding throwing in his direction, therefore, he didn't have chances to put up numbers.

Recently, when opponents started testing the Calgary Stampeders sophomore, a few circus catches were made against him. So maybe the 6-ft.-3, 220-lb. cornerback doesn't appear as great as he first seemed.

Last week in a 32-28 loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Browner was burned for an amazing game-winning grab by rookie Romby Bryant.

Some players would take a rough outing negatively, but the 23-year-old doesn't do that because he is happy when the ball comes his way.

"I like it," Browner said. "It's says a lot about me as a player but it also makes me go back to the drawing board. I just need to work on the little things that much harder."

Because of his size and speed, Browner loves to bump and grind off the line of scrimmage. He makes receivers work to get free and then isn't afraid to keep it up downfield.

Against Winnipeg, Browner got away with a bit of interference, but later, he was flagged twice.

He also took two penalties on special teams, both by aggressively covering punt returners.

By no means is Browner going to change his style.

"Not at all. That's a big part of my game," Browner said.

"I'm not going to avoid contact. I'm going to play the way I want to play. The receivers and DBs are on one-on-one out there, so it's a catfight. A lot of stuff may not get called.

"It's just one of those things. They were able to see some things go on last week, and they were able to get some calls."

Browner was matched up against Terrence Edwards of the Blue Bombers and Bryant for different formations.

On Saturday against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Browner will likely see plenty of fellow 6-ft.-3er Matt Dominguez. The only other time the two faced off in the regular season was in Week 2 last season, and Browner held the Roughriders star to just one reception for 32 yards. It just so happened it was a touchdown.

Dominguez missed the final half of last season with a knee injury, sitting out the past two meetings between the clubs, and he only returned in Week 2 this season.

Browner hopes Dominguez is on top of his game so they can duel again.

"I hope so. It's always good to go against that guy," Browner said.

"He's a big guy and it's a good matchup for me. We're both over 6-3, so we're out on the island and it's going to be a good one."

After Blue Bombers quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie threw for 450 yards against the Stamps, there was obviously going to be some changes on the defensive side.

Halfback Julian Battle is ready to return from a heel injury, so the Stamps will put him next to Browner and move Brandon Smith over to replace Calvin Bannister (ankle) on the other side.

Battle also stands 6-ft.-3, so he and Browner represent the twin towers on the short side of the field.

"I know the ability Julian brings and the talent he brings to the table. I'm excited for him to be back out there," Browner said.

"I just hope he's in shape the way he's supposed to be. He's one of those guys who will be huffing and puffing when he gets tired. I hope he can tough it out."


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