Bombers need a dominant defence

Calgary Stampeders Henry Burris (1) gestures after being sacked by Winnipeg Blue Bombers Doug Brown...

Calgary Stampeders Henry Burris (1) gestures after being sacked by Winnipeg Blue Bombers Doug Brown during the first half of their game in Winnipeg on July 14, 2011. (REUTERS/Fred Greenslade)

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:54 PM ET

The quarterbacks are hurt, the receivers can’t catch or hold on to the ball, and the running back has been unable to rip off any long runs.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers offence is, in a word, a disaster right now.

The same can’t be said for the Bomber defence, which continues to be the class of the CFL but will probably have to turn it up even more while the offence attempts to get back on track.

On Thursday night the Bombers didn’t surrender a long touchdown drive to Henry Burris and the offensively gifted Calgary Stampeders. The only offensive major the Stamps managed came after a fumble return to Winnipeg’s 31-yard line.

The troubling aspect for defensive tackle Doug Brown, however, is the fact Calgary’s only offensive score proved to be the game-winner, ending Winnipeg’s modest season-opening win streak at two.

“We needed to really step up to the moment when they had that fumble return,” Brown said. “We knew the game was on the line there, and unfortunately they got in. If we want to be a dominating defence, we gotta try and limit that in the fourth quarter.”

It’s strange to hear Brown being hard on himself when he plays for a defence that’s allowing a league-best 17.7 points and 276 yards per game, but that’s the kind of business pro athletes are in. They’re always striving to be better.

“Yeah, we’re a good defence right now, but a dominant defence, we take that on our shoulders and we close that out ourselves,” Brown said. “We hold them to a field goal and then we don’t have to worry about it, right? We need to take that next step if we want to be a good team this year.”

Defensive back Jonathan Hefney almost laughed when asked about how well the defence is playing.

“I would never say we’ve arrived at all, because you can get lit up at any time,” he said. “We’re just working hard. I’ll tell you this: We’ll know by Week 15.”


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