Bring on the dazzle

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:50 AM ET

Chris Brazzell is determined to put some dazzle back into his razzle.

The import Winnipeg Blue Bombers receiver came to this year's training camp with a more mature approach.

"There was some stuff that went on last year ... It was my worst season in the CFL statistically, so I just want to get that bad taste out of my mouth," Brazzell admitted yesterday.

The six-year veteran caught 43 passes for 604 yards and seven touchdowns last year -- his worst since 2002 when he played only 11 games.

'BE THANKFUL'

"I'm a way better receiver than that," said the 6-foot-3, 206-pound Angelo State product. "I think everybody knows that. I know the coaches know that.

"I blame myself partly. Partly, it was going through six or seven games with no balls coming your way. Mentally, that kind of frustrates you a little bit and sometimes you might not play exactly the way you should.

"But this year, I've just got to go in and be thankful that I'm back here. I definitely wanted to come back, so I got that taken care off. I respect and love the football game, I respect and love the CFL, so I'm just here to have fun. I don't have no worries. I'm not going to let anything bother me this year. If I don't catch a ball in a game, I won't get down, just get ready to go play the next one."

That attitude has already paid dividends in camp where Brazzell, who just turned 31, has been one of the most consistent pass catchers.

"Oh man, I feel good," he said. "It's just one of those things where I'm in the slot now and I've got some opportunities to make some plays during training camp and just about every opportunity I've had in camp, I've made.

"I've got a little bit to prove this year and I had a little itch during the off-season to get back here. I was looking forward to this training camp and I'm looking forward to this season."

If Brazzell can return to form, the Bombers could boast one of the most potent aerial attacks in the CFL, alongside slotback Milt Stegall and wide receiver Derick Armstong.

"I think he's feeling positive about himself," said Bomber head coach Doug Berry. "I hope he does all the time. He's had opportunities to make plays in camp and he's made most of them so Chris is definitely having a good camp.

"Maybe he feels the competition and if that's the case, it's good. And if that's the case, I hope he feels the competition all year long if he does make the team."

Getting pushed has made him better, even at practice, Brazzell said.

"They can play," he said. "That's part of the game. You never come to camp thinking your spot is guaranteed ... That's what they should do. But I'm not worried about it."


Videos

Photos