Brown the 'clown' frowns

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:51 AM ET

Rob Brown is living proof that everybody has a tipping point.

Usually very calm and collected - when he is not being the class clown of the locker-room - the Edmonton Eskimo defensive tackle snapped at practice yesterday.

Screaming so loud he could be heard off the field, he lashed out.

"We've been doing this since Day 1," he yelled.

There were other words barked, that weren't clearly understood.

But the whole scene on the practice field was very strange.

Just before the outburst started, the entire defence was several yards away - 10-20 yards most likely - huddling, but Brown didn't join the group.

He was loudly urged by at least one teammate to join the huddle, but he didn't even turn around to acknowledge the pack. Instead, he just stood at his position over the football, the only member of the defence at the line of scrimmage.

Eventually the defence left the huddle to join the play.

Moments later the screaming started. It didn't seem directed at any one person. It was just the most noticeable moment of practice this year.

After practice, Brown was in no mood to issue any formal quotes to reporters, but made it clear he was trying to make a statement during practice.

Middle linebacker A.J. Gass - the leader of the defensive huddle - believes it was just frustration boiling over, as the Esks are reeling from back-to-back losses with a defence that is having significant problems.

"We were trying to do a few things differently on defence," said Gass.

"And I think the way our defence has been performing it has been frustrating for everybody.

"I think it was just one of those situations where frustration got the best of him.

"It is nothing personal. It is already cleared up. Everything is good to go."

Defensive lineman Rahim Abdullah believes it was just a misunderstanding and doesn't believe Brown is frustrated.

Whatever the case, Gass is actually happy - in one sense - the blowup happened.

"When you see a guy like Rob - normally quiet - getting fired up, getting a little riled up at practice, I love to see stuff like that," said Gass.

"I can guarantee that he is going to come Saturday and play great."

The Eskimos battle the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Saturday night at Commonwealth Stadium after back-to-back losses.

Head coach Danny Maciocia also didn't seem to mind the outburst.

Seeing his players take control of the team, the coach said: "So, he showed a little bit of emotion. There is nothing wrong with that."

CHANGES COMING: With a defence now ranked last in 12 CFL categories, it appears changes will occur this week.

While nothing is set in stone after Day 1 of practice for Hamilton, it seems Ron Warner will be returning to the active roster at defensive tackle after being a healthy scratch for the last three games.

It also appears Charles Alston will be moving to defensive end. That means Alston and Warner - who are cousins - will play their first CFL regular-season game together.

"This has been about eight years in the waiting," said Alston. "We have been following each other's career for as long as we have known each other - it is going to be pretty exciting."


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