Bold move by Berry

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:52 AM ET

It's kind of like jumping out of an airplane when there's a 50-50 chance your parachute is going to open.

If it does release, what a glorious trip back down to Earth it will be.

If it doesn't ... well, you know.

So you at least have to give props to Doug Berry for having the stones to take the plunge. In a move that some are calling an act of desperation but more are deeming the right decision, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers boss will start Ryan Dinwiddie at quarterback on Thursday against the Calgary Stampeders.

"There was some surprise, and there's some guarded optimism," defensive tackle Doug Brown said in regards to the locker-room reaction.

If nothing else, it seems to have somewhat eased the pressure surrounding the CFL's last winless team. If anyone is mad about Kevin Glenn getting yanked, they're not rocking the boat.

"I looked out there at practice today, and I couldn't tell the difference between a team that was 4-0 and 0-4," Berry said. "We practised real well, and the attitude was great, considering. We're doing well."

Then again, the players might be terrified about becoming jobless. That would be fine with Berry.

"This is what I'm hoping for," he said, "is that everybody sees what can possibly happen."

The Glenn demotion has hit home, because even the veterans who aren't going anywhere are a little on edge. Nothing gets a player's attention like sitting down last year's most outstanding player in the East Division.

"It's an awareness that we're in survival mode right now and these are the extreme measures that are being taken," Brown said. "The onus is on getting that first win, and that's what's most important, and we're willing to try anything.

"It's dire straits right now, so we're pulling out all the stops."

Glenn's family and friends excluded, Berry's move was met with much praise.

The locals are fired up. Eight-four percent of Sun readers who responded to Sunday's poll question wanted Dinwiddie to start Thursday's game, but that could be because the backup quarterback is king here in River City.

The closest a player came to dissing Berry's pivot replacement plan yesterday was receiver Terrence Edwards, who said he "hopes" it will lead to something positive and that the receivers "can only go with the quarterback" Berry puts out there.

Then he went to bat for the man who threw him more than 1,200 yards worth of passes last season.

"I just hope everybody realizes that 0-4 is not Kevin's fault," Edwards said.

"It's everybody's. It's myself, it's the receiving corps, the O-line, the running backs, the quarterbacks, it's everybody. But Kevin's the one who's taking the fall right now."

The offence does have problems. Something's not right with Charles Roberts. The offensive line is banged up. Milt Stegall has been coming back to the lineup for three weeks now but has yet to make an appearance.

That doesn't, however, mean the switch is wrong. Dinwiddie almost led the Bombers to a Grey Cup win last year, and, simply put, something had to be done to shake things up.

And anyone who thinks the Bombers can't bounce back and make the playoffs or even win the Grey Cup (yes people, it's still possible) with Dinwiddie at the controls hasn't been paying attention to the CFL. Stars are born all the time.

"We're all waiting with bated breath, as they say," Brown said. "We're anxious to see how it's going to turn out for us."

So is everyone who bleeds Blue and Gold. They'll be observing from the safety of the ground, watching to see if that parachute is going to open.


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