The Malbrough Man

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:00 AM ET

He was unwanted and under-appreciated in Cowtown.

And Anthony Malbrough will ride back to Calgary tomorrow night almost a full year after the Stampeders sent him Winnipeg's way.

"I've thought about that somewhat but not too much," the veteran import defensive back said yesterday. "Things just didn't work out for me over there. They played a defence that I wasn't comfortable with, that didn't give me a chance to make plays and use my ability like I wanted to.

"I felt it was time for me to move on and they felt it was time for me to move on. I'm in a comfortable situation right now. I've never had any problems with me playing or my ability or anything like that."

The Blue Bombers dealt non-import safety Wes Lysack to Calgary for the 5-foot-10, 186-pound Texas Tech product and he has certainly been a good fit, shoring up the shakiest secondary in the CFL last season. In fact, Winnipeg now boasts a better pass defence than Calgary does.

But Malbrough is well aware that the secondary may face its toughest test of the season.

"They might be the best group of receivers in the league," he said. "They have playmakers. Guys like Jeremaine Copeland, Nik Lewis, Ken-Yon Rambo, Elijah Thurmon, you can go across the board. Those guys make plays but I'd put our secondary against those guys any day."

Both Malbrough and Kelly Malveaux -- the 'M&M Brothers' -- have really solidified the inside of the Winnipeg secondary

"Anthony and I played in Calgary together and I always felt that we were two of the best defensive halfbacks in the league at that point," Malveaux said. "And with this system and our maturity and our experience, it has helped us this season. We have been playing well but you can never bank on your last game. You always have to continue to press forward and continue to have good games."

But both Bombers backs will have to turn a deaf ear as they will be covering Copeland and Lewis, infamous trash talkers.

"Lewis, when he first came into the league wasn't that kind of guy," Malveaux said. "But Copeland has a contagious attitude that just rubs off on people and Nik Lewis has definitely adopted it. But Copeland's the ringleader."

Malbrough, 29, just ignores Lewis anyway.

"Those things never bother me because, whenever he and I play against each other, he doesn't talk that much to me because he knows I'm not going to talk back," he said. "He knows that he can't take me out of my game by talking so, he pretty much stays quiet. We have some interesting battles, though."

The Bombers defence will also have to be wary of Calgary quarterback Henry Burris when he scrambles.

"They're loaded," said Winnipeg head coach Doug Berry. "A lot of weapons and Henry Burris is a Kerry Joseph-type quarterback. He can really hurt ya with his feet in addition to his arm."

That scrambling ability forces pass defenders to cover those receivers even longer.

"Henry Burris has a monster of an arm," Malveaux said. "He can put some tight balls in there and make some tough throws to his receiving corps, and they make plays for him."


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