Paopao standing tall in Joseph's corner

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:17 AM ET

Kerry Joseph could use some better protection on the field.

Off the field?

Renegades coach-GM Joe Paopao has his quarterback's back.

Joseph's performance this season is being dissected in light of the talk of the Renegades' interest in quarterback Jesse Palmer, cut by the NFL's New York Giants on Saturday.

Paopao said Joseph is getting an unfair amount of criticism in light of Ottawa's inconsistencies on offence.

"He can't walk on water," Paopao said yesterday when asked what he thought about Joseph's performance.

"He can't go catch the ball for guys. He can't protect for himself. He can't say, 'You guys sit down, I'll go do it myself.' To say it's all on his shoulders, that's not smart thinking."

Joseph has completed 204-of-320 passes this season (63.8%) for 2,651 yards. He has thrown 13 touchdown passes and has been picked off 13 times in directing the club to a 5-5 record.

Ottawa has moved the football, but have had trouble converting in the red zone.

"(Joseph) is accountable for his actions, but he's not the reason we're not punching it in. It's a multitude of things. If it was one thing, we'd make that change," said the coach.

'OUTSTANDING YEAR'

"Better than good," was the way Paopao summed up Joseph's performance. "Without his play, I don't know where we would be. Offensively, he's been one of our real bright spots. He's having an outstanding year, production wise.

"He's one of the key reasons we've won five games. I don't think he's having a good year. I think he's having an outstanding year."

Joseph said he's also been satisfied with his play.

"I feel I'm playing pretty good," he said. "I always put a lot of pressure on myself that I can play better and that's what I strive to do week in and week out. I think collectively as an offence, we've just got to be more consistent and make the plays when we have them there."

NOTES: Did you wonder what the Renegades were going to do with those 20,000 strings of beads left over from their ill-fated Mardi Gras promotion? Well, they will be put to good use. Renegades media relations man Arash Madani came up with the idea of giving the beads to the Red Cross. They will be sold for a minimum donation of $2 at Thursday's game against the B.C. Lions with the money going to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Nice move ... K Matt Kellett had another good practice yesterday and looks good for Thursday's game ... Receiver Pat Woodcock did not practise again because of a sore groin and is unlikely to play ... Receiver Larry Hamilton left the team for personal reasons. The door is open for his return.


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