Trouble in the capital

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:09 AM ET

The Renegades had the weekend off as they concluded their bye week.

With the way things have been going the last little while, a cynic might say it was their buh-bye week.

It started with the revelations in the Sun about the infighting in the front office. The upshot was GM Eric Tillman, a guy who should have been left to do his job, clashed with new CEO John Lisowski and Tillman saw his power base eroded. There have been questions in and out of the organization about who's calling the shots and that's never a good thing for the operation of any business.

That left the Renegades scrambling to spin things as "business as usual." It turned out to be just that in Saskatchewan as they lost their ninth game in 14 outings this season.

There were fights in practice (not necessarily a bad thing) and the loss of both their starting cornerbacks, Bo Rogers and Jonathan Ordway (never a good thing).

It also came to light in the Sun there is at least one of the owners looking to sell his share in the team and a lukewarm end-around by another when asked if he was looking to sell his majority stake.

In a development that transcends all that petty stuff, the club announced kicker Sandro Sciortino, the hero of the club's last win over the Calgary Stampeders with a last-minute, 53-yard field goal, had been diagnosed with testicular cancer and had undergone surgery.

That, of course, is the most serious development since we are talking about a young man's life here. Sciortino's battle is the only one that really counts in the big picture, right?

The Renegades, meanwhile, will now turn to American Brian Holmes to handle their kicking chores.

The on-field developments darkened when the Tiger-Cats and the Roughriders, two teams with whom the Renegades were battling for playoff spots, scored huge wins this weekend.

DESTINY DASHED

Hamilton beat the Eskimos and the Riders had what might be the upset of the season, ending the Alouettes' six-game winning streak and handing them just their second loss of the season.

The Riders have now moved up to a tie for second in the West Division and with the Blue Bombers showing improvement under coach Jim Daley, the possibility of a crossover to the East still exists.

The Renegades have now lost control of their own destiny as they begin preparations today for their meeting with the Riders on Saturday at Frank Clair Stadium.

The Ticats are three points ahead of them in the standings for third place in the East with two games left between the two clubs. Even if the Renegades can find a way to beat them in both those games, the Renegades are going to need some help now to get that third spot (which still doesn't guarantee a ticket to the playoffs the way things are going in the West). In addition to the Renegades, the Ticats play Winnipeg and Toronto.

The Renegades have now had a week to get away from it all.

OFFENCE MUST IMPROVE

The picture isn't going to look any rosier when they report for work today, but what is sports about but the opportunity to overcome?

If the Renegades are going to make the stretch run at least interesting, it has to start with the offence. The Renegades have now scored the fewest points in the CFL (319), an average of just less than 23 a game. Only the last-place Stampeders have averaged fewer.

It's time for everybody associated with the offence, players and coaches, to become more of a factor in the way Renegades games are played.

Quarterback Kerry Joseph, who missed a couple of open receivers against Saskatchewan, has to be sharper.

The coaches have to find a way to get the ball in the hands of running back Josh Ranek. If he is only going to get a chance to rush the ball nine times in a game, he is not going to be a factor.

What's it going to be as the Renegades enter the stretch?

Hello or buh-bye?


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