Berry ditches ‘ bland’ brand

Coach who was quiet in Win­nipeg a real chat­terbox in Regina

SundayXtra - - TRENDS - GARY LAW­LESS

ED­MON­TON— There’s dip to make, na­chos to bake and beer to chill so let’s get right to it and make our Grey Cup pre­dic­tion. Team of destiny is a cliché and I don’t buy into it. Re­venge, re­demp­tion, or what­ever you want to call it doesn’t fig­ure into this game ei­ther.

Un­fin­ished busi­ness? Tak­ing out the trash or call­ing g a client back falls into that cat­e­gory, but win­ning a foot­ball game has noth­ing to do with los­ing one a year ago.

With that out of the way, the Saskatchewan Roughrid­ers will wi win the Grey Cup and it won’t have a any­thing to do with the 13thman man calamity calamit that cost them last year’s CFL ti­tle game. gam Rid­ers QB Q Dar­ian Du­rant is on the precipice precipic of be­ing this league’s next dom­i­nant do passer and ma he needs a Grey Cup win to shove Als pivot p An­thony Calvillo aside.

Calvillo’s go­ing to the Hall of Fame and be­fore he’s done will likely hold most CFL pass­ing records. He’s at the ab­so­lute height of his game.

But Du­rant has been nip­ping at his an­kles for some time and it’s time for a big­ger bite. Mon­treal’s sec­ondary is sus­pect and Du­rant will shred it.

Bum Phillips made a mem­o­rable re­mark about his Hous­ton Oilers and their dogged pur­suit of the Pitts­burgh Steel­ers back in the late ’ 70s.

“ One year ago, we knocked on the door. This year, we beat on the door. Next year, we’re gonna kick the son-of-a-bitch in,” said Phillips.

Next year has ar­rived for Du­rant and the Rid­ers.

LIFE LESSONS: Ex­pect Rid­ers of­fen­sive co-or­di­na­tor Doug Berry to be the next head coach in Regina should Ken Miller de­cide to step down this off­sea­son. Berry was gassed by the Bombers af­ter three straight play­off sea­sons and a trip to the Grey Cup in his three-year stint as head coach in Win­nipeg.

The Bombers have gone 11-25 and been shut out of the post-sea­son since Berry’s de­par­ture. The guy can coach, but for mostly cos­metic rea­sons — poor rap­port with me­dia, play­ers and fans — he was run out of Win­nipeg. Berry says that won’t hap­pen again. “ I coached in the col­le­giate game for a long time and a big part of that job was build­ing the brand to help in re­cruit­ing. I got away from that in Win­nipeg and in par­tic­u­lar with the me­dia. In ret­ro­spect that was my biggest mis­take — to not build the brand when we had the op­por­tu­nity,” said Berry. “ I con­sider my­self a friendly per­son and I like to talk to the me­dia.

“ I don’t know where it all started or when it all started, but I had a stigma in Win­nipeg that I was un­ap­proach­able. That’s not me.”

IKE’S STILL CHOKED: For­mer Bombers linebacker Ike Charl­ton will be on the 46-man ros­ter to­day for the Alou­ettes but will it’s un­likely he’ll dress. Charl­ton was re­leased by the Bombers early this sea­son and then spent six weeks at home un­til the Als brought him in as an in­surance pol­icy.

A Grey Cup win will be nice but it won’t take away from bad feel­ings Charl­ton has about the way he was treated on the way out of Win­nipeg.

“ I did what­ever that or­ga­ni­za­tion asked of me. I worked with the young guys and tried to be a leader and I was good in the com­mu­nity. They didn’t even try to trade me. Coach ( Paul) LaPo­lice had a lit­tle smirk on his face when he re­leased me. Joe Mack never even spoke to me.”

JOE BRYKSA / WIN­NIPEG FREE PRESS ARCHIVES

Saskatchewan Roughrid­ers of­fen­sive co-or­di­na­tor Doug Berry is ac­tu­ally a happy-go-lucky chap, who was mis­un­der­stood in Win­nipeg.

gary. law­less@ freepress. mb. ca

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