Bomber D-men honoured

Bombers defensive back Jonathan Hefney (left) playfully blocks cornerback Jovon Johnson during a...

Bombers defensive back Jonathan Hefney (left) playfully blocks cornerback Jovon Johnson during a recent practice. (Sun Media/Brian Donogh)

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:22 AM ET

While the Winnipeg cornerback capped off a career year as a pro with a well-deserved nod, he was more thrilled with his teammate's recognition than his own.

Both Jovon Johnson and defensive back Jonathan Hefney were named to the CFL All-Star team, along with veteran Blue Bombers defensive tackle Doug Brown yesterday.

"J.J. texted me and he was jumping around all excited," Hefney said from his Rockhill, S.C., home. "He was more excited than me. I was pumped but not like that."

Johnson agreed.

"For me, it definitely was a big deal because I knew he had one of those years and I was proud of the way he played," he said from Erie, Pa. "He plays on the short side with me and he made my job a lot easier. He helped me to play to the best of my ability."

In fact, Johnson had never played better. He intercepted six passes, recorded seven defensive tackles and made one special teams tackle. He was also a threat as a kick returner, with Hefney throwing the key blocks when he broke two returns for touchdowns.

Johnson, of course, dedicated the past campaign to a brother who had been killed during a robbery when he was only 15.

"I did dedicate it to him and to be named to the all-star team, it makes if that much more special for me," he said.

Hefney, who is also the East Division nominee as CFL rookie of the year, was humbled.

"I wasn't expecting this (all-star nod) at all," said Hefney who had four picks, 66 defensive and six special teams tackles. "For people to get that kind of respect is an honour."

Both DBs are deserving, Brown said.

"It was a great pleasure to play defensive line for a group that led the CFL in picks," he said. "It makes everybody else's job that much easier."

However, both DBs are checking out possible NFL interest and may not return next season.

Meanwhile, Brown was named to the dream team for the sixth time.

"Nothing is ever old hat in the CFL," he said. "The way the season started, this was probably the farthest thing from my mind in terms of something that was achievable this year. With the first two regular-season games I missed, and having meningitis and losing all the weight, it's probably one of the most trying seasons."

Brown, 35, still recorded 52 defensive tackles, six quarterback sacks and one fumble recovery. However, he does not get a bonus for yet another all-star nod.

"(The Bombers) just paid me for most of the incentives I would have been getting anyway," he said. "But if I want to get paid what I do there are certain levels they expect me to perform at."

jim.bender@sunmedia.ca


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