Coach's success excites Bombers

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:36 AM ET

One player has a fond memory of his time toiling for the latest head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Another referred to Doug Berry as a Montreal Mystery Man.

"He should be good for us," Winnipeg centre Aaron Fiacconi said from his Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., home yesterday. "He was my offensive line coach in Montreal before he became the offensive co-ordinator there and I had a real good relationship with him there. He was one of the coaches who took a shot on me.

"I'm quite excited. It's a big step for him, full of responsibilities. He definitely has football knowledge and experience. He will give 110%. He's a winner and he's learned from the best in (Alouettes head coach) Don Matthews. That will definitely help him."

But Berry has been coaching in the shadows of Montreal's living legend.

A mystery

"I guess he'll be a mystery to more than just the players," defensive lineman Doug Brown suggested from Vancouver. "He's been in the Alouettes organization for seven years and I've never actually met the guy. But I've definitely been victimized by his offensive strategy.

"That mystery is just one of those intangibles you don't know about. But his resume speaks for itself. Obviously, he has a hell of a pedigree considering the success he's had in Montreal. I have the utmost respect for what he is capable of doing. It's exciting for us as players because it's a fresh start."

Former Als cornerback Omar Evans said Berry earned the players' respect in Montreal.

"A lot of players got along with him and they said he was a players' coach," Evans said from Washington, D.C. "I know players like (quarterback) Ted White and (defensive end) Anwar Stewart have nothing but good things to say about him. I'm excited. He's been coaching a very high-powered offence."

That has scatback Charles Roberts licking his chops.

"Of all the guys they interviewed, for me specifically, he was the best choice," Roberts said from California. "He's been the offensive co-ordinator for a very successful team. And we definitely need someone who can come in there and turn it around for us."

Although defensive end Tom Canada, a free agent, does not know if he will even be playing for Berry, he endorsed the move.

"It's awesome," he said from California. "I'm excited. Montreal has had the best offence in the league and his record speaks for itself."


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