Berry a busy boy

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:12 AM ET

Since his hiring in mid-December, the new head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers has been busy.

Doug Berry has interviewed assistant coaching candidates, examined personnel needs, called his starting quarterback and sold his house in Amherst, Mass.

And took time to celebrate Christmas.

"I've been busy working on things every day," Berry said from Amherst yesterday. "And I just sold my house, so that's taking some of my time, too."

Berry, who had lived there for the past 25 years, plans to buy a new home in Winnipeg and will be house hunting here later this month.

But Berry has also been trying to take care of Bomber business. Although he is still talking to coaching candidates, Berry confirmed that Mike Gibson will be back as the offensive co-ordinator. Gibson, however, declined comment until an official announcement is made.

Berry also admitted that he has interviewed Greg Marshall and Richard Harris, both formerly of the Ottawa Renegades.

"I'm certainly talking to both those guys, but there are no signed contracts yet," said Berry, who plans to announce his staff by March 1.

Marshall will reportedly be hired as the defensive co-ordinator, while Harris will handle the defensive line, the same positions they held in Ottawa.

But one of the very first calls Berry made was to quarterback Kevin Glenn.

"After the way my comment that he was 'adequate' came out reported in the media, I felt I needed to call Kevin," said Montreal's former offensive co-ordinator. "I explained to him what 'adequate' was. What I've seen on film, he has the capability to run a CFL offence and the kind of offence I want to run. He was one of the reasons I decided to come to Winnipeg.

"I want to establish a throwing offence similar to what he had at Illinois State. I don't know if he can throw Anthony Calvillo numbers up, but he won't have to, because we've got (tailback) Charles Roberts."

Berry denied that Glenn's nose was out of joint because of the "adequate" adjective.

"It can be described as a positive or a negative, and I wanted him to know it was a positive," Berry said. "I don't deal in negative terms. We had a great conversation, and he was very pleased to hear from me."

But it may be tough for Berry to stay positive when evaluating a defence that set a CFL record for futility last season.

"There could be a lot of reasons for that, and I mean a lot," he said. "Maybe some were personnel issues, some were the defensive co-ordinator (Rod Rust) leaving in mid-season and causing an upheaval. I was part of the Montreal team that lost its last seven games of the season a few years ago. When a team starts losing, it gets the attitude of, 'Let's get this season over and get to the next one.'

"But we want to build a franchise on a winning premise."

Berry declined to get into specific positional needs, as he is still discussing those with GM Brendan Taman.

Berry also plans to scout the Senior Bowl later this month.


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