Westwood would welcome another chance

PAUL FRIESEN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:08 AM ET

Troy Westwood was on the highway, driving from Dauphin back to Winnipeg, when he heard the news.

The former Blue Bomber kicker insists he didn't let out a cheer for the demise of head coach Doug Berry, the man who cut him in training camp.

"Most everyone calling me was expecting me to be happy with the news," Westwood said last night. "But everybody's losing here. I got cut, the team loses prematurely in the playoffs and Doug Berry gets fired. Everybody's losing here. And none of it needed to happen."

The closest Westwood came to taking a shot: "The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are the first team to make improvements toward the 2009 season."

He did, though, take some vindication from a controversial, mid-season column he wrote in the Sun, in which he said Berry had lost the respect of his players. His comment was based on what he'd heard from former teammates.

Yesterday's move, with two years still left on Berry's contract, suggests Westwood may have been right.

"It was the truth," Westwood said.

DID A FAVOUR

"I did the organization a favour in shining a light on where blame should be placed for what was happening with the team. Blame was being directed elsewhere from where it should have been going. I was doing the right thing, making it clear what was happening."

Berry's cutting of Westwood didn't improve the Bomber kicking game, as rookie Alexis Serna struggled most of the season, ranked last in the CFL in field goal percentage and net punting average.

Westwood noticed Serna's punting struggles in the playoff loss to Edmonton, too.

"If I'm punting in that home playoff game, the team's net and gross punting average would have been 10 yards higher," he said, pointing to his stats in 2007.

"There were nine punts in that game -- that adds up pretty quickly to 90 yards. Punting played a crucial role in us winning playoff games last year. I'm convinced it would have again this year."

With Berry gone, Westwood, 41, says he'd welcome a chance to make a comeback with the only team he's ever played for.

"I'm working out constantly," he said. "I'm ready to go. If an opportunity comes to potentially play next year, I will take a run at it."


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