Thumbs up for coaches

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:18 AM ET

Doug Brown finally got his wish.

So, too, did Richard Harris.

Brown, a Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive tackle, and Harris, the team's new D-line coach, have always had mutual respect for one another.

Brown loved the fact that Harris was a first-round NFL draft pick. Harris, meanwhile, is impressed with the way Brown plays football.

Now, they're finally on the same team.

"When I walked in Wednesday, Doug Brown was over there in his locker," Harris said. "He greeted me the way I greeted him, and that's that we finally get to work together.

"... We've always talked about possibly having this experience, and now it's here, so I'm looking forward to it."

Harris, who spent eight NFL seasons in the 1970s as a defensive lineman with Philadelphia, Chicago and Seattle, joined the CFL's assistant coaching ranks in 2001 with the B.C. Lions.

"Since coach Harris was in B.C., I've always been impressed by the kind of fronts he's thrown on the field and the kind of skill sets his players have shown," Brown said.

Three or four years ago, Harris and Brown began having pre-game chats whenever they played one another.

"We talked about my playing background, and he and I just kind of clicked," Harris said. "Before each game from then on, we've always visited with each other."

Brown was hoping to have Harris in the fold last season, when former head coach Jim Daley was looking for, among others, a defensive line coach. Daley, however, hired John Kropke, and Harris ended up in Ottawa.

Both Winnipeg and Ottawa struggled, and the stars have aligned for Brown and Harris, which was destined to happen eventually in the small world of the CFL.

"He's already bugging me now," Brown said. "He's like, 'Be careful what you wish for.' I know, just on his experience, it's going to be tremendous to have him."

Brown is giddy about not only Harris, but new defensive co-ordinator Greg Marshall as well. Marshall is another former NFL defensive lineman who also starred in the CFL.

"It's a smorgasbord of coaching aptitude for any defensive lineman," Brown said.


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