AFTER all the bumps and the bruises of the 2013 season, after the frustrating losses, it took Bombers defensive tackle Bryant Turner three weeks to recover.
Three weeks: that's when the all-star started missing the work, the fans and the team -- and that's why, on Thursday, he signed on to stay in Winnipeg through 2016.
"I felt like after three weeks, I was ready to go back to work," said Turner, 26. "I feel like I'm in a great organization. Why would I ever leave? They gave me the opportunity to come back, and I'm excited for that."
For now, Turner is back home outside Birmingham, Ala., catching up with his family and working out to shore up the body. He wants to be ready to rock in his fourth season as a Bomber, and repeat the success that tied him for the 2013 team lead in sacks (seven) and pushed him to a second straight East Division all-star honour. Not that individual achievement entirely soothes the sting of a 3-15 season.
Now that it's over, Turner can chuckle in disbelief, a little. It was certainly a year to remember.
"If it wasn't one thing, it was another," he said. "We could get something going, we had a lot of good players, and we were coming out every week, giving it all in practice, but it wasn't showing on the game field. That was very frustrating. I couldn't really pinpoint something that was missing... a lot of stuff had to change."
That change has come, and is still coming. Like the other Bombers that re-upped this week, punter Mike Renaud and offensive lineman Steve Morley, Turner sounded pumped about where he sees the team going. He remembered new CEO Wade Miller well from a talk he gave to the Bombers back in Turner's first season, and Turner's former University of Alabama-Birmingham teammate, Argos kicker Swayze Waters, had high praise for new Bombers head coach Mike O'Shea.
That made the decision to resign until 2016 easy. "I was really excited about the direction that the Bombers are going in, I really bought into it," Turner said. "The guys we got into the head office, as far as Wade and Kyle Walters, I think they're great guys. I think they know exactly what they're doing."