Kelly's future in Seattle

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:32 AM ET

His future in football lies in helping young NFLers to face their own futures.

That means Mo Kelly has no future with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The import linebacker suddenly ended his pro career to take a job as director of player development with the Seattle Seahawks, Kelly confirmed yesterday.

"Yeah, it was kind of quick," Kelly said from Seattle. "I was planning to play at least one more year but you just can't pass up on something like that.

"It's a player-based job where I will be getting them prepared for life after football. Basically, it's being a support system for the guys and have them be aware of all the things out there. After the crowd stops cheering, there should be something else for them. A lot of these guys don't know how to do interviews or write resumes."

Kelly, who played for the Seahawks in 2000 and '01, will also help get them ready for the pro ranks. He was invited to apply for the job by Will Lewis, Seattle's director of pro personnel, and beat out 25 applicants.

Kelly's absence will leave a big hole in the Bomber front seven. The 6-foot, 190-pounder led the squad with 64 defensive tackles and 21 special teams tackles last season and leads the club in several career defensive categories.

"He was one of the few bright spots (last year)," conceded Bomber GM Brendan Taman. "He was a quiet leader and a good guy. We could always rely on him.

"This sort of came out of left field a little bit but at least we're loaded there."

The Bombers still have seven import linebackers coming to camp -- Lamar McGriggs, Ryland Wickman, Travis Ortega, Tony Ortiz, Willie Fells, Sean Woodson and Ron Ockimey.

"I'm definitely going to miss playing," said Kelly, who has submitted a letter of resignation to the CFL. "But 10 years is long enough."

However, he is not making the move because he soured on the Bombers after they missed the playoffs last year.

"I thought we were on the right path and I definitely wanted to come back and play for (head) coach (Jim) Daley," he said. "But it was just time. And they've got about 25 linebackers coming to camp so, it was going to be very competitive for that position anyway."

This way, the popular Kelly leaves on his own terms.

"I'm grateful for the four years I had in Winnipeg," Kelly said in a statement. "There were definitely some memorable moments. I appreciated it all and how the fans came out and supported us, even in the rain and snow."

HASHMARKS: Taman has now sent contracts to players about to enter their option years, including OL Orlando Bobo, who was demanding a raise, and CB Eric Carter ... Football Manitoba's Blue and Gold Games will be held at Canad Inns Stadium this Saturday. The Junior Varsity Game kicks off at 10 a.m., followed by the Varsity Game at 1:30 p.m. Players for the respective provincial teams will then be selected. Tickets are only $2 each at the gate.


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