Guys look real good: Berry

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:14 AM ET

Camp Berry is about to begin.

And, it's hoped, bear fruit.

With renewed hope, new blood and a new direction, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers open camp at Canad Inns Stadium this morning under the watchful eyes of rookie head coach Doug Berry.

Berry said players can expect "a Don Matthews-type camp." Berry was a CFL assistant under Matthews in Montreal the past four seasons.

Matthews, the winningest head coach in CFL history, has been known to run what some observers have referred to as country-club camps.

'DEMANDING'

"I think I'm going to be pretty liberal," Berry said. "I expect men to be men. I'm demanding in that I'm a perfectionist. I'm not going to be militaristic in that approach but I expect great things and when I don't get them, then I'll maybe look to something else.

"I'm going to be very tuned in to what their needs are, how they're feeling, what their legs are like and structure practices accordingly."

And that means little hitting and no full scrimmages.

"We have a very limited roster and I'm certainly concerned with technique but I'm more concerned with the health of our players," Berry said. "I'm going to keep them as healthy as I can. They're going to get beat up enough playing the opponent."

Although Berry has already conducted a rookie camp, this will be the first time he has overseen a training camp as the team's head mentor.

"Oh yeah, it's definitely different and I'm really looking forward to the opportunity and I have been for a long time," Berry said. "It's another day in my life."

But they will be the most important days in shaping a competitive football club.

"I just want what's best of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and whomever that is going to be, I want to give everybody a chance to win that job and nobody should be anointed No. 1," he said. "If somebody else is better, then they should have a chance to be that person and play that position.

"The guys look real good. They know there's a chance for them this year to come in and compete and I'm looking forward to it. And I think they are, too."


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