Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers Defensive Tackle Doug Brown Retires: Veteran Blue Bombers Tackle Brown Retires

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers Defensive Tackle Doug Brown Retires: Veteran Blue Bombers Tackle Brown Retires

Article excerpt

WINNIPEG - Doug Brown's skill and six-foot-eight frame have helped keep the Winnipeg Blue Bombers anchored for 11 seasons.

But the sudden death of friend and defensive line coach Richard Harris last summer made him realize it was time to call it quits.

"When Richard passed last season I knew I'd never play another season of professional football," Brown said as he officially announced his retirement Wednesday. "That was definitely a defining point, when we lost our coach, that I knew I'd never suit up and play professional football again, just out of respect and my obligation to that great man."

Harris, 63, died of a heart attack on July 26 after collapsing at Canad Inns Stadium.

Brown's announcement wasn't a surprise. He had said last fall that he believed 2011 was probably his final season.

Expected or not, his departure still marks a major sea change for the Bombers.

The 37-year-old Port Moody, B.C., native was an eight-time divisional all-star and the CFL's outstanding Canadian in 2001. Bombers general manager Joe Mack and head coach Paul LaPolice both said he'll be missed.

"Doug was always the consummate professional, extremely hard- working," said Mack.

Brown started his pro career in the NFL before spending 11 seasons in Canada, all with Winnipeg. In those 11 seasons he missed a just 12 games.

Brown leaves the team second on its all-time tackles list with 429 and is third on the all-time quarterback sack list with 52.

"There was never a time when I ever questioned Doug's intensity or his willingness to try and make us a championship calibre team," said Mack. "Our only regret is we never got a chance to give Doug a Grey Cup sendoff."

The Bombers lost to the B.C. Lions in last year's CFL championship game.

LaPolice said Brown has always been a game-changer and a dominant player.

"He was one of the best interior defensive linemen in the league, no matter what his nationality," he said. …

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