Thurman on a mission

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:41 AM ET

The same day that the Sun quoted head coach Doug Berry saying he wanted to see wide receiver Andrae Thurman make something happen, the ex-NFLer did just that at Blue Bombers training camp.

"Andrae Thurman really showed up," Berry said yesterday. "He made a lot of plays out there and each time he made one, I'd bring him over and I'd say, 'Now, this is what I've been waiting for, Andrae.' Then I would bring him over and say, 'You're catching my attention. That's good.'

"The third time he did something good, I'd say the same thing to him and he goes, 'Coach, I'm on a mission.' "

Berry quoted his player most dramatically. Then he laughed.

TEASING TROY: Berry also poked fun at punter/placekicker Troy Westwood during yesterday's workouts, knowing how his veteran feels about being challenged for his job by two import kickers.

"I'll go over to Troy and say, 'Those other two guys are watching you,'" he said, laughing once again.

SLOW BUT SURE: Berry was not quite as jovial when discussing the development of backup QB Brad Banks, though.

"Brad is coming along but he's not coming along real fast and that's the problem, if it is a problem," he said. "Brad has not been in the style of offence that we run here so, it's taking him a little bit longer. But you can see him trying real hard. He's got the ability and some plays, you go, 'Whoa! Now, that's what it's supposed to be.' He'd look real good doing it and was quick with his release. Other plays, even when he does something right, he stops and thinks about it. He's still got a lot of potential but he's not ready to be a No. 1 quarterback yet."

FATIGUE CITY: Berry shortened both practices yesterday to give his charges a break. The players will also practise without pads for most of the rest of camp.

"They're all tired. They're getting a little leg weary, feeling the aches and pains a little bit and what we can do is lighten the load a little bit and make sure that they're staying sharp mentally, which is more important to me," Berry explained. "I don't want to be too soft on them but then again, I don't want to be the most aggressive coach because I am concerned about overworking those guys."


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