Tackle happy with structure

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:33 AM ET

Doug Brown is the last remaining member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers defence that played in the 2001 Grey Cup.

Since then, the 6-foot-7, 300-pound defensive tackle has watched his team get worse with each passing season.

Not only that, but the defence hit rock bottom last year when it surrendered the most yards in CFL history.

So why is he smiling?

"Put it this way: There's a lot more structure this year," said Brown. "Last year we had a lot of discretion in terms of what we were doing defensively, and you give a guy like me too much rope and I'm gonna run with it, unfortunately."

'UNPRECEDENTED ENERGY'

Last year was, in a word, disorganized. Defensive co-ordinator Rod Rust left the team in July because of a family issue, which was true, but it was revealed later that he didn't see eye to eye with head coach Jim Daley.

When Daley took over the defence it was "chaos," according to Brown.

There is no chaos this season, not with new defensive co-ordinator Greg Marshall running the show.

"There's some unprecedented energy right now out there, guys really buying into coach Marshall's scheme and really suiting the talents of a lot of players out here," said Brown.

New head coach Doug Berry has heard positive feedback from a handful of the defensive players who were with the team last season.

"The attitude is that they really like what we're doing, because we're doing something different every snap," said Berry. "It's not over, cover 1, over, cover 1, over, cover 1.

"Every time they get a call, they're doing something different. They like that. It's just not the drudgery of 'Go beat the (stuffing) out of the offence.' "

And you won't see Brown and Co. making it up as they go along, either.

"There's no freelancing now," said Berry. "Everything is an assignment."


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