Westwood wanted shot with Blue

Troy Westwood has made no secret that he wants the chance to compete for the Blue Bombers' punting...

Troy Westwood has made no secret that he wants the chance to compete for the Blue Bombers' punting job against Mike Renaud. (QMI Agency)

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:26 AM ET

So Old Lefty simply refuses to go away. Why am I not surprised?

Long-time Blue Bomber kicker Troy Westwood watched Bob Cameron play until he was 48 years old, and apparently heís bound and determined to do the same.

Asked by first-year head coach Paul LaPolice to retire a few weeks back, Westwood, 43, refused, was given his release and remains open to offers to play again.

Judging purely by his numbers last season, itís hard to argue his point.

Old Lefty averaged an even 44 yards per punt after taking over from the injured Mike Renaud late last season, three yards better than Renaud, whoís pegged as Winnipegís punter for 2010.

Westwood argues it couldnít hurt to let him compete for the job in training camp. And while I admire his feistiness, I donít blame the Bombers for wanting to move on.

This team is undergoing a significant youth movement, not to mention cutting some ties with the stormy regime of former head coach Mike Kelly.

Old Leftyís controversial departure under previous boss Doug Berry, followed by Kellyís flip-flop on him ó originally saying he had no interest, then changing his mind the moment field goal kicker Alexis Serna struggled with the punting chores ó saddles Westwood with just enough baggage.

Iím not saying heíd be a distraction in camp, although if he actually out-punted Renaud it would sure be interesting.

Maybe itís time Old Lefty takes that vintage single-bar face mask of his and hangs it up. Thereís a spot waiting for him in the Bomber Hall of Fame when he does.

I just canít see the guy in another uniform, and Iím not sure he can, either.

After all, he single-handedly created the Banjo Bowl and filled reams of copy in this rag, for which weíll be forever indebted.

Besides, if something happens to Renaud and/or Serna, the Bombers know their all-time leading scorer, not to mention one of their all-time characters, is just a phone call away.

Again.

DRAFT OVERKILL: ďThe Toronto Argonauts are on the clock.Ē If I hear that line one more time...

While the effort by the CFL and its TV partner to sell Sundayís Canadian college draft is commendable, itís also bordering on overkill.

Yes, occasionally teams will land a key cog to their futures. But far more often, the names we hear Sunday will be forgotten in time, either discarded to the never-made-it heap or picked up by other teams after being released by the one that drafts them.

Winnipegís 2008 draft was a major exception.

Of the six players chosen, five are contributors to the team: OL Brendon LaBatte, receiver Aaron Hargreaves, running back Daryl Stephenson, DL Don Oramasionwu and linebacker Pierre-Luc Labbe. Only Marc Beswick (Hamilton) wound up elsewhere.

Look back at other drafts, and you might find one player, on average, per year, that stuck around.

You know what really hurts the status of the CFL draft? The fact quarterbacks arenít generally part of it.

The recent NFL draft proved once again that nothing creates hype quite like the quarterback position.

MISSING LEGEND: Couldnít help but notice one major omission in the Bombersí plans to honour 10 of the franchiseís greatest players in this, the teamís 80th season.

Little No. 1, all-time leading rusher Charles Roberts, was nowhere to be found. Probably because Roberts himself is nowhere to be found.

His career possibly ended by an achilles tendon injury last season, Blink remains as elusive off the field as he was on it.

Itís too bad, because as good as Leo Lewis was back in the day, nobody in the last 30 years has lifted them out of their seats quite like Roberts did.

He deserves his due.


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