Kelly flips after TV crew films fakes

PAUL FRIESEN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 4:40 PM ET

Call it just another day at Camp Paranoia.

Winnipeg Blue Bomber practice Monday produced another series of clashes between the head coach and the local media.

It began when Mike Kelly, preparing his team for Thursday's season-opener in Edmonton, noticed a TV crew filming punter Mike Renaud, who at the time was running a series of fake punts.

After several exchanges with that crew and a tirade at his media relations staffers, Kelly blew up at other TV reporters on the sidelines, even though they weren't filming plays at the time.

That's when offensive lineman Kelly Bates offered to help out.

"You all think we're going to lose by 20 already," a jovial Bates told the media. "Don't help 'em."

Finally, Kelly refused to conduct his daily media briefing after practice, speaking only to the team's radio rights holder.

It's just the latest in a long line of clashes between the first-year coach and reporters, some of whom have covered the team for more than 10 years.

IN QUARANTINE: For the second straight day, D-lineman Doug Brown missed practice with the flu.

But the perennial all-star says he's improving and expects to play Thursday.

"I'm just kind of quarantined from the rest of the team," Brown told the Sun. "Just me and my girlfriend have it right now. I'll probably be at practice (today)."

Brown says he's around 75% now, far better than he was on the weekend.

"I couldn't even take my dog for a walk," he said. "The whole gamut of symptoms."

Edmonton running back Jesse Lumsden has been fighting a similar virus this week.

Meanwhile, receiver Derick Armstrong saw limited practice time because of a rib injury.

WEATHER-BEATEN: Renaud must be wondering if the wind ever stops around here, after a few days of practice that can only be described as wild.

"It's an interesting place to punt, that's for sure," Renaud said. "I've never had anything like this. But the way I look at it is if I can punt in this city, then I can punt anywhere in the league. Just embrace it and hope for the best."

Renaud says half the battle is mental. The other half is hoping the wind doesn't blow the ball off course before it hits his foot.

"If your drop moves on you slightly, it can make the entire difference in the punt," he said. "The more reps you take into the wind, you're better off. Anyone can hit it with the wind, and let the wind do the work for you. I try to always get punts going into the wind."

FLIP-FLOP: A backlash from fans has caused the Bombers to rethink their decision to give former running back Charles Roberts' No. 1 jersey to linebacker Siddeeq Shabazz.

Shabazz went from No. 29 to No. 1 on the weekend, taking on the number of the team's all-time leading rusher.

The Bombers fielded calls from fans saying the move showed a lack of respect for Roberts, who was traded midway through last season but is currently out of football after an achilles injury.

Director of player personnel John Murphy says Shabazz will likely switch again.


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