No holding grudges

Renegades quarterback Kerry Joseph takes the snap during practice Monday at Frank Clair Stadium....

Renegades quarterback Kerry Joseph takes the snap during practice Monday at Frank Clair Stadium. (Ottawa Sun/Sean Kilpatrick)

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:17 AM ET

After losing a season and a half to injury, Crance Clemons is understandably anxious to play in a game again.

But yesterday, Jason Armstead apparently thought his teammate crossed the line.

In running a practice route against the second team, Armstead objected to the way he was covered by Clemons, accusing the Renegades cornerback of holding him.

What followed was shouting and threatening and peace-making attempts by members of both the offence, defence and coaching staff.

"Football is football, and we're very competitive people," said Clemons, who is ready to return to the Renegades' roster after spending the 2004 season on the Indianapolis Colts' injured-reserve list and missing the first eight games of Ottawa's season while recovering from surgery on his right knee.

"I'm so competitive ... I've got an edge to me, especially when I haven't been able to play the game I love for such a long time.

"There's going to be contact, you can't complain about a little contact. He said I was holding. I just walked it off. If people don't want to be touched ... when I'm in there, you better get used to it, because I'm going to be touching you. Hopefully, it's behind us."

Armstead wouldn't say one way or the other, referring to the incident as "in-house" and refusing to comment. But Korey Banks shrugged off the ordeal, as expected.

Banks became involved when the jawing between Armstead and Clemons died off. He and Armstead started chirping at each other, prompting Pat Woodcock, Yo Murphy, Jerome Haywood and defensive line coach Richard Harris to intervene.

Banks, who is never at a loss for words, was the loudest of all. He yelled something at Armstead about having "little-man syndrome" and offered to quiet the receiver's "Mississippi talk" right there and then.

Later, Banks told reporters it was all in the name of competitiveness.

"That's what we do for a living, we compete," he said. "Sometimes we get mad, but it's all healthy. We're just trying to win."

Coach Joe Paopao shrugged off the blow-up, as he always does.

"That's why I give them days off," he said with a smile. "They had two and a half days off, it's good. We need them dialled up again, ready to go."

Meanwhile, whether Clemons plays his first game for Ottawa since the 2003 season could depend on cornerback Greg Moss, who missed practice with a tender shoulder but he should be ready to test it today.

Clemons was told to have a good week of practice, and a decision on his status for Friday's game in Winnipeg would be made when it needs to be made.


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