Bombers' Brown ponders future

JIM BENDER, Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 9:32 AM ET

For years, he has been the face of the football franchise.

But the last two losing seasons have really worn on Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive tackle Doug Brown. Although he is enjoying yet another all-star year and was named the club’s top Canuck for the fifth straight season on Wednesday, Brown is pondering whether or not to give it another go next year.

“You can’t deny time forever,” said Brown, 36. “These things aren’t always up to you.

“It’s just hard to say right. We’ve got one more game on Friday and it’s been a really, really long year. Years like this take a huge toll on you, physically as well as mentally. There’s so much time that goes in preparation of what you’re going to do when you prepare for a football season and it takes some serious self-scrutiny to figure out whether or not you can do that again.

“And I have to make sure I can play at the level I’m accustomed to. I don’t want to be one of those guys, one of those players where everything’s regressing and become a burden and a hindrance to your football team.”

Winnipeg, 4-13, plays host to the Calgary Stampeders in their final outing of the CFL campaign on Friday.

But Brown has certainly not been a hindrance as he has recorded 41 defensive tackles, five quarterback sacks and one forced fumble to date. In fact, he was likely the runner-up to defensive end Phillip Hunt in the voting for the club’s top defensive player.

“I don’t have any problems in terms of how things are going, but I do know and I do recognize that I have to work harder now in order to maintain the level I want to play at,” said Brown, who was both the club’s top defensive and Canadian nominee in 2009.

Brown has also been named top Canadian for the eighth time in 10 years.

“The closer this team gets to having somebody else win that award, the better off it’ll be,” he said, referring to the club’s lack of Canadian depth.

Brown has played in two Grey Cup games with the Bombers, both losses, and the fact they have not been close to contending for the Cup since 2007 really gets to him.

“When you’ve played in this city as long as I have (10 years), the record, the team’s fortunes become kind of part of your identity and a fabric of who you are as a person,” he said. “And it really weighs on you when things don’t go successfully and the way you want. So, it’s sometimes hard to think that far ahead (to next season).

“I will make that determination (about next season) after I do my own due process on myself, and once I meet with all the stakeholders, everybody.”

Yes, it might take come cash to convince the ex-NFLer to continue but he has been worth every penny paid thus far.

“I don’t care what his age is, what his nationality is, Doug’s had a great year for us — partially because of what kind of player he is and how he holds himself and how he prepares,” said Bomber head coach Paul LaPolice.

“We’ll have all those conversations about who we want back and all that at a later date, but he’s certainly somebody who makes you a better team.”

The other Bomber nominees were: slotback Terrence Edwards (most outstanding), Brendon LaBatte (offensive lineman), cornerback/returner Jovon Johnson (special teams) and offensive lineman Andre Douglas (rookie)

“All the guys are well-deserving and I’m proud to work with them,” said LaPolice.

jim.bender@sunmedia.ca


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