Kissing bandit is no angel

MIKE GANTER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 3:33 AM ET

Adriano Belli is no angel.

Sure he has been known to render the odd sportswriter speechless when he greets them with a kiss, but that's the off-the-field Belli.

On-the-field Belli is single-minded: Get to the quarterback regardless of what is in your way. It doesn't make him many friends on the opposing offensive lines but he makes no apologies for it. If it means getting down and dirty, he's game for that too.

"I'm not a gifted athlete," Belli said yesterday. "I get by on effort."

So when he was called out by his head coach after last weekend's game for taking things a little too far, no one was really surprised. Two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties by the popular defensive end were not the only infractions that caught head coach Bart Andrus' attention -- there were other infractions committed by other Argos that left Andrus unhappy with his team's level of discipline -- but they were enough to get Belli singled out in the post-game dissection of the loss to Saskatchewan.

In no uncertain terms, Andrus suggested Belli clean up his act or he would be playing for someone else.

But to hear the head coach yesterday, things have been handled and he doesn't expect Belli's temper to be a problem.

Exactly what measures were taken, Andrus wouldn't say.

Asked if he had fined Belli or any other Argo, the head coach replied: "That information I don't release. It's something that stays within our club."

Andrus admitted the league still is looking at a few infractions and may yet wind up levying fines on the Argos, but as far as he is concerned, the matter has been dealt with.

"He's a repeat offender and he knows he's a recovering offender," Andrus said of Belli. "He knows he has a problem with his temper and he's trying to work through it. He's on board. He likes it here and likes everything about being here and he wants to be here. He's taking the steps he needs to take to try and control it.

"Does that mean he won't ever get another penalty? Probably not, because these guys play in a contact, collision sport, those things are going to rear their ugly head once in a while. I think he will be a lot more hesitant when it comes to retaliation-type things."

As unhappy as he was with the penalties, he only had to take a look at Belli's leg which is covered in extensive bruising to realize that the big man didn't lose his head over nothing. Belli only would say that one of the Rough Riders stepped on his leg intentionally. He would not name him nor explain whether one or both of the penalties were in retaliation over the stomping, but it doesn't take a genius to come to that conclusion.

"Guys don't get under my skin," Belli said. "I just get intense out there. After the game I think they (offensive lineman) are all cute-looking fat guys."

Despite the fact that he began yesterday in a walking cast, Belli gave every indication that he would be back in the lineup Friday when the Argos travel to Calgary to take on the 0-2 Stampeders.

MARKED MAN

Belli believes that he is a bit of a marked man when it comes to some of the calls that go against him. Belli was penalized four times in the second quarter of Saturday's loss. Twice the refs got him for unnecessary roughness legitimately. It was the offside penalty and the facemasking call against him that he had a problem with. Belli wasn't on the field for the two calls.

MIKE.GANTER@SUNMEDIA.CA


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