Safety in numbers

JIM BENDER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:00 AM ET

Injured Winnipeg safety Ian Logan had better beware.

Brady Browne will start for the first time in his CFL career, replacing Logan when the Blue Bombers take on the Tiger-Cats in Hamilton on Friday.

“I always tell him I’m going to take his job away,” Browne joked Wednesday. “Even in training camp, it felt a little awkward there for a bit when he was hurt. But we’re real best friends and I’m always supportive of him when he makes plays and he’s obviously pumped that I’m getting to start.

“It’s unfortunate because he’s gone down but we’re definitely supportive of each other. I don’t think he’s too worried about me taking his job.”

In fact, Logan has spent the week giving Browne tips on the sidelines during practice.

“We live together and we always watch film at home and go over scouting reports,” said Browne, 27. “He’s with me. He knows I’m not going to be all nervous. I’m not a nervous guy. It’s football. I’ve played it so long, it’s what I do out there. I feel comfortable out there. He definitely helps me when I ask questions out there. He’s obviously the starter. He knows the system a little more than me but I feel comfortable now, especially with Ian helping me.”

The former University of Manitoba Bison actually can’t wait.

“I’m excited to get the opportunity and it’s such an important game,” said the 5-foot-10, 207-pound Burnaby, B.C., native. “I’m excited. I’ve been waiting three years for it and I feel like I’m ready to show, not only my teammates, but everyone in the league that I can be a starter in this league.”

Bomber head coach Paul LaPolice did not appear to be too concerned about starting the more inexperienced Browne at safety.

“Brady got a lot of reps because Ian got hurt during training camp so, we’re confident in Brady’s abilities,” LaPolice said. “That’s what’s great about training camp because he had plenty of reps. And he performed well during the course of the game (last week).”

Browne was pressed into duty after Logan suffered a hamstring pull in the first quarter of the game against the Toronto Argonauts, and did not look out of place.

“It was a loss, right? You can always improve,” Browne said. “They didn’t pass that much on us. The coaches trust that I can start and that’s why I was their choice. I was just told to go in there and do my job.

“The guys are comfortable with me, I’m comfortable with the guys, I’m comfortable with the system. I think we’ve got a good defence. I think Ian is one of the best safeties in the league so, I’m just hoping to go in there and do my job.”

LaPolice said the Bombers may not do some of the things that Logan would be more comfortable doing, but not that much.

“(Browne’s) biggest thing is to get everybody on the same page and that’s what a free safety has to do in our system,” he said. “He’s really repped most of the things we have in our defensive system. His biggest job is to get everybody on the same page and if they (Tiger-Cats) do some crazy motions, we’ll just have to try to get everything simplified … He’s played a lot the last couple of weeks.”

Browne, who started one pre-season game and played half of the other one, had also been used as a nickel back when Logan was healthy.

Browne also blocked a punt that led to a touchdown the last time the Bombers faced Hamilton.

“I hope I haunt their dreams,” he said.

jim.bender@sunmedia.ca


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