'Gades await man of Steel

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:25 AM ET

The Renegades could soon have another kicker in tow.

Shaun Suisham, their third-round pick in the 2004 Canadian College draft, was cut by the Pittsburgh Steelers yesterday and will be invited to Ottawa by coach Joe Paopao as soon as he decides his NFL options are exhausted.

"If he's available, we will pursue him," said Paopao, who acknowledged the "probability" that the former Bowling Green star would be his kicker if he was here.

"He's still got to kick them through ... but the indicators (that he can) are there."

With kicker Matt Kellett (groin) and punter Pat Fleming (broken hand) out for this week and beyond, the dual duties are currently with rookie Mark Irvin.

The Renegades have brought in 46-year-old punter Hank Ilesic, but Paopao said "I don't know yet" when asked if the longtime CFL star would be in the lineup this week.

In all likelihood, Ilesic will handle the punting and Irvin the placekicking duties when the Renegades (5-4) try to keep a step ahead of the Als (4-5) at Molson Percival Stadium on Friday.

EXTRA POINTS: LB Robert Grant didn't practise yesterday but expects to suit up today. Grant, who suffered a neck injury and was removed from the field by an ambulance when the Renegades played in Winnipeg Aug. 19, was declared "probable-to-questionable" for this week by Paopao ... OL Jean-Francois Joncas has left the Renegades practice roster to pursue his Masters degree. The team likes Joncas, a 26-year-old who played at Laval, and hopes to have him back for training camp next season ... CB Crance Clemons saw reps with the first-team defence yesterday, prompting speculation he could replace CB Bo Rogers on the roster this week.

SILENCE GOLDEN FOR CBC: The sound of silence seems to be pleasing to the ears of CFL fans tuning into the CBC. An average of 580,000 fans, the largest audience this season, watched the CBC's broadcast of the B.C. Lions' 19-15 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Saturday. Due to a labour dispute at the CBC, the game was shown without on-air personnel. The number of viewers peaked at 746,000 in the fourth quarter and was well above the season average of 412,000, CBC spokesman Jason MacDonald said. The CBC has locked out 5,500 members of the Canadian Media Guild, leaving it without camera technicians, directors, announcers and commentators. That has resulted in management personnel operating cameras and microphones. With no on-air commentators, the feed of the public-address announcer has been used to describe the game.


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