Azzi's feeling at home

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:46 AM ET

Renegades receiver David Azzi refused to get caught up in the sentiment of his surroundings this week.

He shrugged when reporters asked him about the irony of being a former Gee-Gees star practising at Ottawa U, just as he seemed to barely take notice when veteran Yo Murphy acknowledged a spectacular Azzi catch yesterday by shouting: "Okay Rock! The House That Rock Built!"

Azzi was dubbed The Rock by Renegades teammates as a rookie last season, when he showed up at Frank Clair Stadium looking like the wrestler-turned-movie star.

"It's neat, but it's neat just being able to go to practice in my home town," Azzi said about returning to his campus. "I'm a Renegade now. I'm focused on being a Renegade. That's what I do. I'm more excited about coming out every day, trying to catch the ball.

"The more big plays you make (at practice), the more you get noticed."

Azzi has yet to catch a ball in a game this season, but that's not as bad as it sounds as he has only played in three and started one on offence. He missed the first six games with a hamstring injury suffered at training camp.

With Azzi out, veteran non-import Markus Howell stepped in to establish himself as a fixture in the Ottawa attack.

"More times than not, you stay with the guy that's hot," said coach Joe Paopao. "(Azzi) is coming along. That was a great catch he made today, but he's supposed to make that catch. That's a pro catch. He's got talent, he's got ability.

"It's just a matter of time."

EXTRA POINTS: DT Johnny Scott, the lone Renegade not yet back from the break but with pre-arranged permission from the coach, is not expected to rejoin the team until tomorrow. That means he'll not play this week, possibly opening the return to roster of DE Ray Jacobs ... CB Crance Clemons has a 50-50 chance of making his 2005 debut this week, according to Paopao ... QB Kerry Joseph helped raise $2,690 for the The Bear's Children Fund at Super Ex last Saturday by autographing and handing out specially designed Wilson footballs.


Videos

Photos