Flood of questions no match for flood at home

PAUL FRIESEN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:52 AM ET

Blue Bomber head coach Mike Kelly had a rough return to Winnipeg this week, and it wasn't just at last night's fan forum.

Kelly returned from scouting trips and free agent camps in the U.S. to find his recently purchased home flooded, after a pipe burst.

"For 36 hours water poured into the house," Kelly said last night. "I put all new furniture in there. It's just ruined. They've got to replace all the walls. The living room ceiling ended up on the living room floor. The basement that was finished, that ceiling ended up on the floor down there.

"They've got to replace all the cabinets in the kitchen. The light fixtures were gone. I have to get a new furnace, water heater -- everything just blew out."

Forced into a hotel room, Kelly says he won't be back in his home for at least three months.

That must have made last night's Bomber fan forum a piece of cake, by comparison.

A crowd of some 300 packed the Sun Centre at the stadium to hear Kelly's plans for the coming season.

Generally a love-in, the event this time generated a few challenges from fans:

- One asked Kelly about his mediocre record at Valdosta State University, his only other head coaching job, where Kelly's teams were a .500 bunch before he was fired in 1999.

Asked what he'll do differently here: "Not play with 18-year-olds," was Kelly's answer.

- On the many changes he's made, Kelly told fans he's made the tough decisions that had to be made, and that some players simply wanted to leave Winnipeg.

-On how quarterback Casey Printers looked at a free agent camp in Florida this past weekend, Kelly played it coy.

"Casey who?" he began. "He's not one of our players. That was a private workout and we're going to keep it private. I don't feel it's necessary for us to divulge every person we evaluate."

- On why he's putting his faith in untested Stefan LeFors at quarterback: "Every single quarterback, at some point in his life, somebody had to believe in him. I found the best available young guy that's ready to play."

- On whether he's going with kicker Alexis Serna this season: "It is his (job) to lose. We will bring in people to compete. But it'll be a more positive atmosphere for him to compete in."

Later, Kelly told reporters he wasn't nervous about the Q & A, which lasted about an hour

"No, because I feel good about what we're doing," he said. "In my heart and my head I know we're doing the right things with this football club."


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