'Gades in need of overhaul

TIM BAINES -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 11:47 AM ET

Crappy. That about sums up the way the stumbling Renegades are playing right now.

Since winning five of their first eight games, nothing has gone right for the Renegades. Opponents have scored early, but even worse, often.

Let's look at the last five games.

Winnipeg scores 38 points.

Montreal scores 41.

B.C. jumps on us for 61.

Winnipeg manages just 37.

And Calgary piles on for 45. With a third-string quarterback, Danny Wimprine, calling the plays.

So our defence stinks, right? Yep, at least at a couple of positions.

Our defensive line struggles for consistency. Ray Jacobs needs to be the Ray Jacobs he once was: Feared.

And our linebackers are, for the most part, weak. Too small. In a couple of cases, too slow. Unable to stuff the run.

Our special teams, once special, were horrible on Thursday night in Calgary. We'd kick the ball and the Stampeders would scamper for yards and yards before even getting touched. Our kicker can't kick, at least not well enough to start for a CFL team.

Sometimes, the Renegades can't even execute the simplest of plays -- the convert.

Even though this is the CFL, where it's common to put up plenty of points, the Renegades aren't going to win many games when they give up 61, or even 45.

But the offence isn't exactly running full steam ahead, either.

BAD HABITS

It's tough to pick on Kerry Joseph because he can be so good, but he's struggling ... perhaps fighting a battle with his physical and mental skills. Twice in Thursday night's loss, Joseph scrambled out of trouble and crossed the line of scrimmage before deciding to pass. And on Thursday, he tossed an interception right into the arms of linebacker Scott Coe. This is becoming a habit that's tough to shake.

Too often our quarterback, faced with second-and-long, settles for a short pass, often far short of a first down. Great for the pass-completion percentage, bad for the team. Surely there are guys running longer pass routes that are open.

The offensive line has been criticized, rightly so in some instances, but they're not the ones making the wrong reads on receivers. And if you're going to play American linemen, they'd better be good, very good.

I like coach Joe Paopao. I like him a lot. I don't know if I were him that I'd be changing the quarterback. But he's got to try something new. Something's broken, so it's time to fix it.

There are those that think backup QB Brad Banks will be a star in the CFL. It may not happen in Ottawa, though. Not as long as he's a spectator. Not as long as he's watching Joseph trying to put the team on his back.

While team management was making a lot of noise about trading for and signing home-town hero Jesse Palmer ... and was adding Tim Couch and Ryan Leaf to its neg list ... our team has been falling apart.

Forget the quarterback airlift. Get some linebackers. A defensive lineman. And some guys who can tackle.

There's not much room for error here. Renegades fans have been forgiving, but their patience must be wearing thin.

It's just too much of the same old, same old.

It's time to try something new.

Like win a few games.

tim.baines@ott.sunpub.com


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