Bombers' Brown not sentimental

Ken Wiebe, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:00 PM ET

HAMILTON -- Doug Brown insists he hasn't spent any time thinking about what his farewell tour is going to be like.

Since the mammoth Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive tackle made it clear that 2011 would be his final CFL season, his sole focus has been on having a successful season.

He's not feeling sentimental, nor does he plan to waste any energy wondering what the reception will be like in opposing stadiums.

"Honestly, I'm not even thinking about it," quipped Brown. "It's so far off. We've got a whole lifetime of games in front of us. It's nothing that enters my mind until you bring it up.

"Granted, going to Hamilton for the last time will be a treat."

Nice to see Brown is already in mid-season form when it comes to delivering zingers.

Since deciding to play one more year has Brown never questioned his decision -- not even during the sometimes grueling two-a-day sessions of training camp.

"No, not at all," said Brown. "It's exciting. I wanted to be part of this group that was so young and inexperienced last year. I want to be part of that progression, that maturation that everyone expects from this group. If that (potential) comes close to being realized, we're in for something special.

"This is hopefully just the start of a long and tremendous season for the Blue Bombers."

Going out a winner and claiming his first Grey Cup would be the ultimate sendoff for Brown.

"It's all about the process and the preparation," said Brown, when asked about his personal expectations. "I just want to be part of a successful team in my last year if it's possible. I've done things as an individual, the only thing I haven't done is (win) as part of a team. That's what is most important to me. To have that success as a unit."

Football has been a huge part of Brown's life, so won't it be weird not to have it part of the daily routine next year?

"The big thing for me will be at this time next year, when I'm not doing it," said Brown. "Then it will be like 'whoa, this is different.' Right now, it's business as usual."

Just to keep things interesting, the Blue Bombers decided to bring a new defensive co-ordinator in for Brown's final season.

Tim Burke is the seventh Brown has studied under during his Bombers' tenure.

"This system is tried and true, it's been a championship-calibre defence and now it's up to the players to execute and step up and take care of our responsibilities and be accountable to one another," said Brown. "It's always a challenge, anytime you have a new defensive co-ordinator, adapting different nuances into your arsenal is something that always happens."

With a reliance on more press coverage, the onus of the defence is on getting pressure on the quarterback and that responsibility is nothing new for Brown, who frequently draws double teams but has managed 49 sacks during his 10-year CFL career.

Seeing Brown on a daily basis has allowed Burke to learn a few things about the cagey veteran.

"He's a consummate professional -- he shows up every day and works his butt off," said Burke, who helped the Montreal Alouettes win the Grey Cup in 2009 and 2010. "He's a solid football player who has the ability to make big plays. I'd heard he had a great work ethic and now that I'm here and seeing it, it's very impressive."

Coach Paul LaPolice, what are you expecting from Brown during his swan song?

"To be the same force up front, be somebody who can push the pocket and be tough to block in the run game," said LaPolice.

Many believe Brown -- who is active in the local media already in print and radio -- will find a home in broadcasting, perhaps with TSN, once he hangs up the cleats and rides off into the sunset.

So, Mr. Brown, just to be clear is there any chance you pull a Brett Favre, change your mind and play again next season?

"Only an act of God or if there was a crop circle in my backyard that is unexplainable," Brown chuckled. "It would have to be something from Mel Gibson's Signs that I could only interpret one way.

"It would have to be something pretty profound."

ken.wiebe@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/WiebeSunSports


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