Tom made in Canada

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:27 AM ET

It took a little while to get going, but Tom Canada is finally doing what he set out to do this season.

And it could not be happening at a better time.

With eight sacks in his last five games, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive end has become the man that opposing quarterbacks are likely keeping an extra eye on at the line of scrimmage.

"He's playing the way I've always known that he could," defensive line coach Richard Harris said.

Canada's goal this season, as it is every year, was to get 10 sacks. He's hit that total already, and he has seven games to go. If he can get one more quarterback drop on Sunday afternoon against the host Toronto Argonauts, it will give the four-year vet a career high.

"I'm done," the fun-loving Canada said. "Basically I was thinking about maybe taking the rest of the year off, heading back down to Mexico or Costa Rica or something like that. I've done what I needed to do."

He's kidding, of course, but Harris has done something to keep Canada's engine revving. The D-line coach set sack goals at the start of the season for each of his defensive linemen, and Canada's target was 10. Since he's already met those expectations, Canada has had more piled on him.

"He's gotta do more than pack it in because I added six more to it," Harris said. "He's up to 16 now."

Perhaps the reason for Canada's sack explosion is because he came to camp with a clear head ... or maybe not.

"That was at the beginning of the season," the 27-year-old said with a laugh. "... With my lifestyle, I wouldn't necessarily think that I'd be doing so great."

Whatever he's doing, he should keep it up because it's working. The Bombers are second in the CFL against the run, and they are tied with the B.C. Lions for the sack lead with 37.

"I can't take a lot of the credit for all this stuff," Canada said. "A lot of the sacks that I've gotten this year are because they're getting flushed to my side. We've got Gavin Walls out there, we've got Jerome Haywood, and we've got Doug Brown. It's the best defensive line I've ever played with.

"Having Doug Brown next to me, we've been playing together for four years now. He's like a big brother to me. I hope I can play with him as long as I'm around."

That's another possible part of the equation. Canada, who has never missed a game in his four seasons with the Bombers, is in the option year of his contract, which means he has the potential to become a free agent in February.

He claims, however, to not be thinking about that.

"I'm not even worried about it," he said. "I'm worried about getting in the playoffs, and then I'm worried about getting to the Grey Cup.

"Regardless of my contract stuff, you always want to play well. I really wanted to try to improve every year that I've played, and I haven't done it yet. But we've got seven games left, so it could mean good things.

"Hey, I'm happy. I'm living the dream right now."

CANADA IN CANADA

A look at Tom Canada four-year career with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, including tackles, sacks and tackles for a loss:

GP T S TFL

2004 18 43 7 7

2005 18 44 9 2

2006 18 35 10 3

2007 11 19 10 2


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