Kelly sees offensive co-ordinator, QB coach in mirror

PAUL FRIESEN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:42 AM ET

Mike Kelly's fingerprints will be all over the Winnipeg Blue Bomber offence next year.

As the Sun reported yesterday, the new Bomber head coach will not relinquish control of his attack to a co-ordinator, as many head coaches do.

From game-planning to coaching the quarterbacks, right down to play-calling, Kelly plans to do it all.

"You're looking at the offensive co-ordinator," he said yesterday. "And no one's touching the quarterbacks but me."

The approach is in stark contrast to that of Doug Berry, the man Kelly replaced.

Berry also had a background in offence, but installed Kit Cartwright as his co-ordinator and quarterbacks coach the last two years, with mixed results.

The Bomber offence, on fire the first half of 2007, struggled down the stretch in '07 and right through this past season.

Berry finally shifted the play-calling duties to reluctant quarterback Kevin Glenn midway through '08, but with limited success. The coach's lack of ability to make changes to improve the attack was instrumental in his downfall.

As for the Winnipeg defence, Kelly wouldn't confirm yesterday's Sun report that he'd hire Canadian-born Mark Nelson as his co-ordinator. Nelson is an assistant at the University of Louisville, and worked under Kelly at Valdosta State University in the late 1990s.

However, Kelly hinted Nelson is on his list of candidates.

"I would prefer to keep things quiet about that, because there are circumstances pertaining to his current employment, and I don't want to disrupt that," Kelly said. "No decisions have been made. Obviously people can connect the dots with some of the guys I've worked with before. One of the things I cherish most in my career is I've been loyal to people and they've been loyal to me."

Kelly gave no indication who might fill the other assistant coaching roles. Just one -- receivers coach and college draft co-ordinator Bobby Dyce -- was present at yesterday's news conference.

Kelly did rule out the hiring of former quarterback and current TV analyst Matt Dunigan, rumoured largely because the two worked together when Dunigan was the quarterback and Kelly the co-ordinator here (1992-94), then again as coaches at Valdosta State.

"I know there's been a lot of speculation about Matty coming," Kelly said. "He and I talk on a regular basis. Would Matt like to coach again at some point? Probably. He's got that in his blood. But his commitment to his family and their stable lifestyle right now in Oakville overwhelms his desire to coach at this point. It's not going to happen -- right now, anyway."


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