Brazzell back at slotback

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 10:08 AM ET

The first reaction to the news that Chris Brazzell will be playing slotback tomorrow night for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers was: Doesn't Chris Brazzell hate playing slotback?

When Brazzell was moved from wide receiver to slotback early last season in Hamilton, it led to his being traded to Winnipeg. He didn't like it in the slot.

He felt he was being misused. Things spiralled out of control, and he was dealt to the Bombers for Kamau Peterson.

"I didn't like the slot on that team," Brazzell said yesterday, clearing up any confusion. "I wanted to play (wide) receiver because I was just so fed up with that."

He feels it will be a different story this time around.

"I'm excited, man," he said. "I gotta prove to coach (Doug) Berry and coach (Bobby) Dyce that the early Chris Brazzell ain't went nowhere."

Brazzell had been playing wide receiver next to slotback Milt Stegall until he suffered an ankle injury in Calgary two weeks ago. The Bombers signed Derick Armstrong four days after the Calgary game, and he made seven catches for 70 yards on Sunday in Montreal, so he isn't going anywhere.

That means Brazzell is moving to slotback to be the fifth receiver. He will be joined tomorrow night in the pass catching corps by Stegall, Armstrong, Andrae Thurman and either Adam Eckert or Jamie Stoddard.

"This is probably as good a collection that we've put together this year -- individually," Berry said.

Brazzell had four catches for 181 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Edmonton on Canada Day, but he has been largely silent since then.

He has also dropped two sure touchdown passes in the last six weeks.

"It ain't worked out the way I wanted it to," Brazzell said. "I ain't having the season and the numbers and all that good stuff, but I can still get behind a defence. I'm still fast enough. I still can get open."

Brazzell, who has five touchdown grabs this season, admits to a subpar season thus far, but he blames that on not getting the ball enough.

"I'm a deep threat guy, but I'm not getting deep threat chances," he said. "I have gotten the chances, but they come once every five games or four games. It's just one of them things.

"You can be a little frustrated. You can't get too frustrated, because it will affect the way you play if you're mad all the time. This whole year I've just kept quiet and just played.

"I've understood that some plays I should've made. I understand that more than anybody, but at the same time, man, opportunities, you gotta get a lot of them to be a guy that makes plays a lot."

LATE HITS: The Bombers are making at least three changes for tomorrow night's game against the Als. Coming onto the roster are SB Chris Brazzell, OL Val St. Germain and CB Stanford Samuels. Coming off are OL Garrick Jones (ankle), DB Gabriel Fulbright (knee) and WR Arjei Franklin ... The Alouettes, losers of six straight, have begun promoting a home playoff game, even though they haven't clinched a playoff berth ... Bombers SB Milt Stegall needs three touchdowns in his last four games to break the CFL record of 137, but head coach Doug Berry said he won't rewrite the offensive game plan to get Turtle Man his majors. He even joked that he might prevent Stegall from scoring touchdowns. "It would be motivation to get Milt to come back for another year," he quipped.


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