Berry priority: yardage

Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Doug Berry. (SUN/Brian Donogh)

Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Doug Berry. (SUN/Brian Donogh)

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 3:01 PM ET

Doug Berry's personal life is a gong show right now, but the former U.S. Army sergeant has his career firmly under control.

The new Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach will introduce his assistants tomorrow, he'll continue evaluating his current talent, and he'll finish having long, meaningful chats with his players.

Now if he could just find a darn place to live.

FRANTICALLY LOOKING

"I am going frantic looking for a house," Berry said yesterday morning during a media session in the Bomber locker-room. "It started Thursday afternoon, all day yesterday, again this afternoon and again tomorrow.

"I've got two or three that I'm considering; about 20 that I'm not."

Berry needed just five hours to sell his home in Amherst, Mass., and now he and his wife, Carol, are searching for new digs in Winnipeg.

The 57-year-old Berry, who is a head coach for the first time in his life at any level, spent yesterday addressing some of the Bomber issues he will have to fix if he plans on living in his new home -- wherever that might be -- for an extended period of time.

The biggest need for improvement is the defence, which surrendered the most passing and total yards in CFL history last season.

Berry, however, believes it's not too big of a problem. He says there are good players in place and figures last year's woes were essentially the result of a snowball effect.

"I'm hoping that's what happened here," he said. "So when I tell you I think there's a lot of good players on defence, I'm really truthful in saying that. What is necessary is an attitude adjustment. I really believe in attitude."

And a good quarterback. Berry said a great attitude and a good passer are essential to winning at any level of football. He has gone on record saying that current Bomber starter Kevin Glenn can be that pivot, and he reiterated that yesterday.

Berry added that backup Russ Michna can also run the offence he hopes to incorporate and that fourth-stringer Spergon Wynn, despite not seeing him on film, will be able to come in and compete as well.

Berry, however, wasn't as glowing about third-stringer Tee Martin, who struggled badly in four appearances early last season.

"I'm not trying to be critical when I say this, but I didn't see Tee Martin running the style of offence that Winnipeg was trying to run at the end of the year," he said. "When Tee was in there, it was more a two-back offence, and I'm not sure what he's capable of in terms of when we spread the field with wide receivers."

Everybody else? Well, they better make sure their helmets are screwed on tightly when training camp opens in May.

"There are some positions on this team that are going to be challenged," said Berry. "Nobody, nobody -- I'm going to repeat that -- nobody has a starting job."

He's hoping that will result in the Bombers getting back to the playoffs for the first time since 2003 -- and perhaps the Grey Cup at Canad Inns Stadium.

"That's why I came here. I want a challenge," he said. "I can remember meeting my wife. She was engaged to somebody else. ... I like the challenge."


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