QB wants grand finale

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:47 AM ET

Quarterback Kerry Joseph is hoping outgoing coach Joe Paopao will give him a run for his money.

Joseph, who stands to receive a $10,000 bonus if he reaches 1,000 yards rushing, gained seven yards during a 43-23 loss to Montreal on Saturday, leaving him 58 shy of the extra coin.

After the loss, however, Paopao indicated backup quarterback Brad Banks may start Ottawa's season finale against Toronto.

But with Joseph so close to getting a significant bonus, it's highly unlikely Paopao would prevent him from that opportunity.

Renegades management says it won't either.

"Kerry Joseph has been the starting quarterback all year, and it's up to Joe to make the decision on who's going to start, as it always has been," said Renegades president Lonie Glieberman.

"We're not going to step in and say we want Brad Banks to start to see what he can do."

Joseph has started at quarterback in each of Ottawa's 17 games this year, and would become the first pivot in franchise history to start every game in a season if he gets the nod in the finale.

For Paopao, it truly will be a finale, with management poised to name John Jenkins as Paopao's replacement. An announcement is expected from the club during the week following the team's last game.

Despite his lame-duck status, Paopao arrived at Frank Clair Stadium at 7 a.m. yesterday to review film and try to figure out what went wrong during the loss to the Alouettes.

Most difficult for Paopao has been watching his family's reaction to the news of his inevitable departure from the team. His 14-year-old son Carson has been having a particularly tough time with it.

"He's not a kid who weeps long, but he has over this," said Paopao. "But that's all part of being a football coach's son."

Joe Paopao believes the best-case scenario would be to win Saturday's game.

"It's been documented. They're going with a new administration staff. You can call it whatever you want to call it," said Paopao.

"But I want to win and leave on a positive note, and leave it at that."

The Argos have already clinched first place in the East and a bye into the divisional final in Toronto. But the Renegades don't have a lot to play for either.

"Guys are going to have to muster up everything they have," said Paopao. "A lot of them will be thinking, 'Hey, when can I go home?'"

The coach just wants to go out on a high.

"Every time I play chess with Carson, I may give him one move, but I'm playing to win," said Paopao. "The problem with that is he usually beats me, and that pisses me off."

GRID BITS: The Renegades will be without guard Morris Unutoa and receiver David Azzi for Saturday's game. Unutoa hurt his neck in the game against Montreal, while Azzi suffered a bruised kidney.

Stampeders 46, Blue Bombers 24 -- At Winnipeg, Henry Burris threw three touchdown passes and ran one in himself for Calgary, which can grab second place in the CFL West Division with a win next week at home against Edmonton.

barre.campbell@ott.sunpub.com


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