Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 12/4/2012 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
Bryant Turner has been quite content to roll up his sleeves and get his finger nails dirty in the relative obscurity of football's trenches.
But when the spotlight does occasionally shine on the work he has done along the line of scrimmage, well, he's more than content to step forward and take his bows, too.
Bryant, a defensive tackle, was the only Winnipeg Blue Bomber named to the Canadian Football League's 2012 All-Star Team announced Monday after voting was conducted by The Football Reporters of Canada, CFL coaches and fans.
"I thought I was a low-radar guy, honestly, but this shows that maybe I wasn't," said Turner Monday from Maryland where he is visiting family. "That's really good news. I'm pretty excited about it and it means a lot.
"It's a little motivation to keep working hard and striving to be the best. Playing defensive tackle, it's not one of the glory positions. But it shows that hard work can pay off."
Playing in just his second season with the Bombers, Turner finished with 20 defensive tackles, six sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in 14 starts, including one at defensive end.
The Alabama at Birmingham product vows to get stronger in the off-season and hopes that with a couple of years under his belt he can develop more consistency in his game. He had three sacks in Week 1 last year and two a week later, but just one in his final 12 games.
"I'm on my way to the gym right now," said Turner. "I'm actually starting my preparations for next year today. I wanted to take some time off after the season to get my body back together because that's a long season up there. I've got to do a little treatment on my ankle to get everything back to 100 per cent.
"I still have a lot way to go. I played better against some teams and worse against others. I had trouble against Montreal... they've got a well-coached offensive line and the scheme they run where they get rid of the ball quickly makes it tough. I feel like I've got a lot more to learn."
Turner is thrilled to be back working with Casey Creehan, announced last week as the Bombers' new defensive co-ordinator, and figures the Creehan-Tim Burke combination will work wonders for the defensive dozen.
"That's a great idea," said Turner. "Casey and coach Burke... It's like a Kobe-Shaq deal where they feed off each other and make each other better. That's what I think, anyway.
"He's got a different style of coaching and a lot of players have to get used to it. But he's a great coach, one of the great defensive minds in the CFL."
The CFL All-Star team does include Winnipeg's Andrew Harris, the B.C. Lions star tailback, along with two former Bombers: safety Kyries Hebert (Montreal) and placekicker Rene Paredes (Calgary).
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2012 CFL All-Stars
Quarterback: Anthony Calvillo, Montreal Alouettes
Running Back: Jon Cornish, Calgary Stampeders
Running Back: Andrew Harris, B.C. Lions
Centre: Luc Brodeur-Jourdain, Montreal Alouettes
Guard: Scott Flory, Montreal Alouettes
Guard: Dimitri Tsoumpas, Calgary Stampeders
Tackle: Josh Bourke, Montreal Alouettes
Tackle: Jovan Olafioye, B.C. Lions
Receiver: Weston Dressler, Saskatchewan Roughriders
Receiver: Nik Lewis, Calgary Stampeders
Receiver: Chad Owens, Toronto Argonauts
Receiver: Fred Stamps, Edmonton Eskimos
Defensive end: Charleston Hughes, Calgary Stampeders
Defensive end: Keron Williams, B.C. Lions
Defensive tackle: Armond Armstead, Toronto Argonauts
Defensive Tackle: Bryant Turner, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Linebacker: Adam Bighill, B.C. Lions
Linebacker: Shea Emry, Montreal Alouettes
Linebacker: JC Sherritt, Edmonton Eskimos
Defensive back: Korey Banks, B.C. Lions
Defensive back: Ryan Phillips, B.C. Lions
Cornerback: Joe Burnett, Edmonton Eskimos
Cornerback: Pat Watkins, Toronto Argonauts
Safety: Kyries Hebert, Montreal Alouettes
Punter: Rob Maver, Calgary Stampeders
Kicker: Rene Paredes, Calgary Stampeders
Special Teams: Chris Williams, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 4, 2012 $sourceSection0
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