Joseph: Why not us?

Renegades QB Kerry Joseph doesn't buy any of the negative talk surrounding the team as it heads...

Renegades QB Kerry Joseph doesn't buy any of the negative talk surrounding the team as it heads into a new season. (Ottawa Sun/Darren Brown)

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:33 AM ET

KEMPTVILLE -- Kerry Joseph is 20 lbs. lighter, but the Renegades quarterback has some heavyweight aspirations for the coming season.

He's a baseball fan, and he's using an example from that sport to describe what he wants the Renegades to accomplish this year.

"The Red Sox in the World Series, I want this team to feel that," said the third-year pivot. "And I want that feeling, also."

Wishful thinking, perhaps. But as usual, Joseph is backing up the words with a dogged work ethic.

"Look at him," said Tommy Condell, the team's quarterbacks and receivers coach, pointing toward Joseph doing cross-field sprints at the conclusion of yesterday's practice at Kemptville College.

NEVER JUST A GAME

"He's gonna try to whup you. You've got have a quarterback that has that kind of competitiveness. You've got to want to win at everything. I don't care if it's tiddlywinks. When we play checkers, he'd better want to win."

Which is the always the case with Joseph, who spoke about having visions of the team playing well into November, instead of packing up its gear and going home.

"There are some things out there that I really want, and what I'd like the team to be at," said the 31-year-old, who spent much of last season on the sidelines nursing a sprained foot before a brief return, only to suffer a season-ending chest injury.

"I want the team to feel like Toronto and what they felt last year in November."

Joseph dropped the weight at home in Louisiana during the off-season so he would be more mobile this year.

"I just feel a lot quicker and a lot faster," said Joseph, who also looks younger in shrunken form.

Last Thursday, Joseph completed 5-of-9 passes for 84 yards when he played the third quarter.

He hit Jason Armstead on a touchdown strike and also scored a major on a one-yard plunge in the third quarter.

Condell, however, was most impressed when Joseph tracked down a Montreal defender after fumbling in Alouettes territory.

"Kerry ran all the way back down there, and Yo (Murphy) was right back down there, and Curtis (Jackson) was right back down there," said Condell. "People look at Kerry and they try to do what he does. He made a mistake, and he tried to rectify it.

"I think people look at him being competitive and they feed off that."

Joseph doesn't think it's anything special.

"It's what I have to do," he said, catching his breath after yesterday morning's post-practice sprints.

"It's the only way."

HOOF BEATS: Newcomer Matt Kellett and Bjorn Nittmo will share the placekicking duties for the Renegades during Thursday's pre-season game at Frank Clair Stadium against Montreal. Kellett missed last week's game in Montreal due to recurring vision problems, while punter Pat Fleming was good on 2-of-3 field goal tries. Nittmo, who kicked for the New York Giants in 1989 and in the CFL for Shreveport in 1995, is expected to sign with the Renegades today. He had a tryout with the club on Saturday.

UNDER CENTRE: Paopao said QB Kerry Joseph could see about 30 minutes of action during Thursday's game. The other time will be split between rookie Paul Peterson and veteran Darnell Kennedy, who rejoined the Renegades on Sunday after being cut by Calgary. Brad Banks, Joseph's backup, is out at least one week and might miss the regular-season opener in Edmonton on June 24.


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