Fleming getting his kicks

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:09 AM ET

MONTREAL -- Pat Fleming made a grand entrance into the Renegades' kicking picture last night.

Then he started talking like a defensive back.

"Don't forget the six tackles," a brash and beaming Fleming said outside his team's locker room after a 27-16 pre-season victory over the Montreal Alouettes in which he was one of the stars. "I'm gonna lead the league in special-teams tackles. I'm gonna get 50."

The Renegades will be more than satisfied if he can duplicate last night's performance 18 times or so before November.

With veteran kicker Matt Kellett dressed but never stepping between the white lines, Fleming performed the duties of place-kicker (as well as punter) for the first time in almost nine years -- or since he played midget football for the Ottawa Norsemen.

And a strong showing he made.

Fleming was 2-for-3 on the night, nailing field goals of 38 and 41 yards around a 47-yarder he missed wide right.

"I was very, very happy with my game," said Fleming. "I wish I would have hit the (47-yarder), but I came out and competed and tried hard. I had six snap-and-holds in training camp, and with that amount, I'm pleased. I'm only going to get better from here. I don't expect to get worse."

Unexpected was that Kellett didn't play at all.

Bothered by vision problems for the last year, the former Alouette said he didn't play only because "it was a good opportunity to evaluate Pat.

"I just came along for the ride," said Kellett, who declared himself healthy. "We still have lots of time (before the season begins). I'm not concerned about repetitions. There's lots of time."

But there's obviously more to the story than that.

Coach/GM Joe Paopao was clearly displeased with Kellett after the game.

Paopao plans on bringing in an American to compete for the job as early as today.

"He has better days than others," said Paopao, who was "upset" that Kellett hasn't kept him informed on his condition.

"I take it for face value, and that is that he's somewhat injured. Right now, they can't seem to find out what (his problem) is, but obviously it's real."

Paopao was happy with the job done by Fleming.

"I thought Pat kicked well," he said. "He knocked them dead centre. We had to find out if he could do it."

And on this night, Fleming showed he could.

SIDELINES: Darnell Kennedy, the Renegades' backup quarterback last season, apparently isn't even Top 3 material in Calgary. The Stamps cut him yesterday ... Kellett, who started golfing about five years ago, had his best round at The Challenger in Montreal, playing with Als quarterback Anthony Calvillo. The most interesting thing about Kellett's 82? He was wearing a patch over one eye ... Veteran DL Keaton Cromartie hit Als RB Jonas Lewis so hard on one play in the first quarter that he sent his helmet flying off his head and downfield about 15 yards ... Gades DB Korey Banks was yakking at former New England Patriots RB Robert Edwards as he limped off the field late in the first quarter and it's probably a good bet they weren't exchanging NFL stories. Note to self: Could be a feud worth watching, and stoking, a little later.

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMM...: Nothing like a visit to Montreal during Grand Prix week. You should have seen the bodywork on a closed off and crowded Crescent St. It was outfreakinstanding. The cars were pretty nice, too ... Even sportswriters need a training camp. After yesterday's climb up the mountain along nearby Peel St. -- right after a Cardiac Special of smoked meat, frites and sauce and a large Pepsi, then about 100 stairs up to a perch in the press box -- we're about ready to start the season ... He was a pretty good receiver and is now a superb analyst. But Jeff Avery can forget about a career as a weatherman after his on-air declaration that it was "hot and warm" in Montreal last night ... Red numbers on white jerseys -- at least in the case of the Renegades new road wear -- doesn't work. Not unless the desired affect was to make it impossible to tell players apart from as high away as the press box.

EXTRA POINTS: Ottawa looked at rookie LB Brian Oddi as a safety last night. If the Waterdown native can do the job there as well as he did last night, he could give them a ratio-changer they need ... The Hamilton Ticats have chopped Andrew "Son Of Joe" Paopao, a 6-foot-2, 245-lb. DT they selected in the sixth round of the Canadian college draft. Son Of, who attended San Diego State, hopes to attend a Canadian university next fall, and if his choice is the logical one the Gee-Gees will have added a very important piece to their puzzle ... Former Renegades FB Mike Vilimek just missed a chance to stick it to his old club when his 37-yard TD run on a third and one gamble was called back because of a procedure penalty.


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