Doug Brown was a double winner yesterday when the Winnipeg Blue Bombers announced their most outstanding players.
The 6-foot-7, 302-pound defensive tackle was voted the team's top defensive player and top Canadian by a five-member panel of the local Football Reporters of Canada chapter.
Running back Charles Roberts is the most outstanding player for the second straight season, Keith Stokes is top special teams player, left guard Matt Sheridan is top offensive lineman and defensive end Tom Canada is rookie of the year.
The division nominees will be announced next week. The league winners will be revealed during Grey Cup week in Ottawa next month.
Brown, who is top Canuck for the third time in four years, said it's hard to celebrate individual success because the Bombers will miss the playoffs for the first time since 1999.
"The fact that we haven't been successful this year, we didn't make the playoffs, and obviously our win-loss record isn't where it needs to be, I have to look at myself," said Brown, a first-time winner of the defensive honour. "And obviously there's a lot of room for improvement and there's some things I could've done more as an individual and as a contributor on this defence."
Roberts, who needs 92 rushing yards Friday night for his second straight 1,500-yard season, is the Winnipeg's first back-to-back winner of the most outstanding player honour since Robert Mimbs turned the trick in 1990 and 1991.
"I'm proud of that," Roberts said. "The way things worked out, I'm a big part of the offence, so a lot of times I get a lot of credit simply because the offensive schemes call for me to pick up a lot of yards.
"I'm thankful for that and I just want to continue to work hard."
Canada, who leads the team with seven sacks, was sitting on a raft in California last summer. Now he's off to a fantastic start in his CFL career.
"I always knew that I could play. I just never got the shot," said Canada, who admitted he "hit the wall" about a month ago. "I always told myself if I got the shot I was going to make the most of it."
Stokes is probably Winnipeg's only chance to win his respective league award, considering he has four punt-return touchdowns and one kickoff return for a score this season.
Sheridan, who also won the team's Ed Kotowich Good Guy Award yesterday for overall play, team camaraderie and extraordinary effort off the field, is the top O-lineman for the first time in his four-year career.
LATE HITS: After announcing this afternoon that Winnipeg will host the 2006 Grey Cup, CFL commissioner Tom Wright will be the keynote speaker at the Bombers annual Legacy Dinner tonight at the Convention Centre. In addition, David Black, Ken Houssin and Darryl Sampson will be inducted into the team's Hall of Fame ... DB Cedric Dickerson will replace CB Raheem Covington for Friday's game against the Calgary Stampeders. Covington got the hook because he played poorly against Edmonton on Sunday. Justin Coleman will shift to cornerback and Dickerson will be the seventh DB ... Bomber players, led by FB Wade Miller, have raised $3,000 for Eric Carter, who is adopting his late sister's four children. The Winnipeg Football Club matched the donation yesterday and the public can give to the "Trust Fund of the Carter Family" at any Winnipeg Royal Bank.