Alexis Serna's name has appeared in the pages of the Winnipeg Sun only once in the last 13 days, which has to be some kind of record.
The second-year Bombers placekicker was the focus of relentless attention in 2008, when his field goal success rate sunk to the 60% level and his coach was calling him out for poor play at a regular rate.
This year the Oregon State alum has been good on five of seven attempts, including three from 40 yards or longer. Going back to the end of last year, Serna has made 16 of his last 19 kicks.
His only real blip this year was a big one, however, as he missed a 47-yarder on the last play of the game in Edmonton in Week 1 that would have tied the game.
But that moment is history, and it's long been forgotten by Serna, who, despite the team's 1-3 record, has a big smile on his face these days.
"When it comes to kicking, I always try to take the out-of-sight, out-of-mind mentality," he said. "That's what I'm trying to get at right now. It comes with not getting too excited, because one little pebble can cause an avalanche, so I'm just trying to go out there and have fun."
TAILBACK SWITCH: Backup running back Yvenson Bernard will make his CFL debut tomorrow in place of Lavarus Giles, who will come off the roster.
"YB allows us to do some things on special teams where we can take Fred Reid off," Kelly said. "He is a pretty complete football player, and with him being on special teams it gives Fred a little more of an opportunity to recharge his battery a little bit and not have to be on the field quite as much.
"... (Bernard) is a little bit more of a battering ram, and in confined space he has very quick feet and great agility."
NO BELLI? The Argos are expected to be without defensive tackle Adriano Belli tomorrow. He has a slight tear in his medial collateral ligament and doesn't want to make it worse.
"It could become long-term if I take a chance on it," Belli told Sun Media yesterday. "It's frustrating. And I really wanted to play if (former Argo Michael) Bishop is going to be out there. I would have liked to get my hands on him and ruin his day."
ROAD WARRIORS: The Bombers play four of their next five games on the road, which will keep equipment manager Brad Fotty and his crew on their toes.
Winnipeg plays in Toronto tomorrow and Calgary next weekend before an Aug. 15 home date with Montreal. The Bombers go to B.C. on Aug. 21, followed by the bye week and then a trip to Regina for the Labour Day Classic on Sept. 6.
Fotty, who's been with the Bombers for more than 15 years, called the road-heavy schedule "unreal."
"We leave a lot of stuff packed," he said. "Normally if we go on a road trip I'll pack maybe six or eight pairs of certain size of socks. Now I've got 12 to 18 pairs because it's one of those things where if it's a short turnaround and you don't get a chance to double check everything, then at least you know we've got everything double and triple packed. It's been crazy. I've never seen a schedule like this before."