'Gades won't rip down house

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:43 AM ET

TORONTO -- Get used to the look of these Renegades.

Win or lose, most of them will be brought back next season.

That means win or lose, you might want to hit the booze. Either to toast that news with champagne or drown your misery with Screech.

"We'd like to keep the team together," team president Lonie Glieberman said before last night's game against the Toronto Argos at Rogers Centre. "The solution to the team winning isn't about getting rid of everybody. It's about keeping the team together and and having it gel. We don't want to build the house down, we want to build it up. It's better to fix the house."

The club will try to re-sign the 14 or 15 who are eligible to become free agents, with a "high priority" placed on about six or seven key performers. That list includes offensive linemen George Hudson and Pascal Cheron, running back Josh Ranek, linebacker Kyries Hebert, defensive back Korey Banks and special teams captain/linebacker Jason Kralt, who the team correctly has identified as a "good character guy."

The Renegades have already made contact with Hebert agent Peter Schaffer, who also represents Jesse Palmer. And while they would like to sign the 25-year-old to a long-term deal, they've been told Hebert is going to likely pursue another chance at playing in the NFL.

Banks, who leads the league in interceptions, is likely in the same boat. Nonetheless, the Renegades will soon be contacting his agent to see if they can get Banks signed to a multi-year contract, too.

In the meantime, news yesterday that quarterback Casey Printers won't be back in B.C. next season raises the question of whether Ottawa would be interested in him.

Glieberman said the Renegades would be "foolish to ignore that option" if it presented itself, but also that Kerry Joseph is their quarterback and the team has faith that he can lead Ottawa to a championship.

HIGH AND INSIDE: This is the kind of stuff that separates Yo Murphy from most Renegades. Disgusted in himself for letting a sure touchdown pass slip through his hands two games ago and unable to do anything about it while missing last week with a leg injury, Murphy redeemed himself in spectacular fashion the first time he was thrown the ball last night. Taking a Joseph pass, he spun off two Argos and sidestepped through another crowd to score a 18-yard touchdown in the second quarter ... At this rate, the Dallas Cowboys are going to start keeping a close eye on the Renegades draft list. Either that or hire Eric Tillman. Yesterday, they dumped struggling rookie long snapper Jon Condo and signed L.P. Ladouceur, a 2004 fourth-round Ottawa pick from Pointe-Claire. Upon working out in front of Bill Parcells for the first time yesterday morning, Ladouceur was told he'd be playing this weekend against the Oakland Raiders. The Cowboys, already have kicker Shaun Suisham, a Renegades third rounder, on their practice roster. Both were drafted by Tillman, the former Renegades GM ... Go figure -- the Renegades left two jerseys behind in Ottawa this week, which is why Murphy wore No. 14 instead of his usual No. 80 and DE Anthony Collier wore No. 91 instead of No. 97 ... In attendance last night was John Jenkins, the Renegades' director of U.S. scouting. Jenkins is travelling back to Ottawa today for meetings with VP of football operations Forrest Gregg ... Jenkins and the 10 or so scouts have apparently visited 28 NFL camps in the last few weeks. No word on the four teams they didn't think were worth the bother.

POINTS OF INTEREST: Dropped by the launching of Coca-Cola's new Zero product yesterday outside of the Eaton Centre. Had the free drink and watched some of the World's Largest Air Hockey Tournament. It was a big deal, to be sure. The primo celebrities on hand included former Maple Leaf captains Darryl Sittler and Wendel Clark, plus Renegades minority-owner Bill "Wilbur" Watters. In Toronto, they don't get any bigger .... Included in Jenkins' posse of scouts is former Cowboys RB Herschel Walker. It's only fitting America's team gives something back to the Renegades, right?

LATE HITS: Performing the ceremonial opening kickoff last night was Leafs tough guy Tie Domi. It wasn't in the usual manner -- Domi booted a 25-yard field goal, with plenty of room to spare. The Renegades might want to put him on their neg list ... There's playing hurt and then there's playing distracted. Renegades OG Pascal Cheron fulfilled his duties last night despite the fact his wife gave birth to twins earlier in the day ... Argos cheerleaders have good taste. Michelle made a point of introducing herself and telling us before the game how much she enjoys this column. Why things like this never happen when you're single and in your 20s, we'll never know.


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