Ticats 'disappointing'

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:53 AM ET

No, no, no!

Wide receiver Chris Brazzell claimed he was not about to dump on his old team, despite believing he has found a home in Winnipeg. After proving that he can still be a big-play guy here, Brazzell did not want to be drawn into giving the Tiger-Cats any ammunition as the Blue Bombers prepare to play a CFL game in Hamilton on Friday.

"Nothin'. Nothin' about Hamilton. I ain't sayin' nothin' about Hamilton," Brazzell insisted yesterday. "They're waiting on me to say something bad. I don't want to talk about them. I won't start nothin'. I'm not sayin' nothin' about the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Not a word."

Then, he did.

"When I became a free agent, I was trying to find a team where I'd have the most success," said Brazzell, who was acquired from Hamilton for receiver Kamau Peterson two weeks ago. "They said I was going to play the boundary (wide receiver). When I got there, it wasn't true, I was playing (slotback). That was a little disappointing and it affected the way I played. Coming here, they kept their word."

The Bombers promised he could play the wideout spot he wanted. The former B.C. Lion then broke out against the Ottawa Renegades, catching four passes for 139 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown.

"I feel like a whole new player with a lot to prove," said Brazzell, 29. "It's just worked out well for me so far. I just feel like, when the situation happened, this was a great chance for me to do what I've been doing the last few years in the CFL.

"I questioned my play a little bit with the situation in Hamilton. I knew the whole time that I could do these things, it was just a matter of somebody putting me where I could do it. Once the trade was made and Winnipeg told me exactly what they were going to do with me, I was like, 'Oh, this was just what I was looking for after leaving Vancouver.' I'm happy and don't want to be somewhere else."

Especially Hamilton, which is still seeking its first victory.

"When I first got here, the locker-room was way different," Brazzell said. "I've actually done things with players here already. We go out to eat, we hang out, we play video games, stuff like that.

"But it's better because when you're in a situation where you're losing every game, as soon as you don't do something right, they're trying to, well, I can't explain it but I'd never been in a situation where, every game, you felt like you had do something or the paper's going to talk about you or they were going to (make changes). It's hard. Here, so far, so good. I still have some friends in Hamilton and unfortunately, they're still going through that. Luckily, I don't have to go through that any more."

The 6-foot-2, 199-pound pass catcher first felt he belonged in a Bomber uniform when he caught a 43-yard pass against Ottawa.

"It was more like, 'Man, I haven't done this in what feels like a long, long time' because, like I said, the situation I was in before, for some weird reason, man, I was not used as a vertical threat," he said. "It was disturbing to me because I knew I was just letting games go without my talent being used. I wanted so bad to make big plays that I just couldn't do it."

And acquiring a vertical threat opens up the Bomber offence, said head coach Jim Daley.

"We had a couple of games earlier this year where defensive people told us afterwards, 'We didn't have to play the pass game, we just played (tailback) Charlie (Roberts),'" he said.


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