Kelly the coach should fire Kelly the O.C.

TED WYMAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:30 AM ET

It's a good thing Mike Kelly is controversial, cantankerous and somewhat colourful because otherwise the Winnipeg Blue Bombers would be no fun at all.

While every other team in the CFL -- yes, even Toronto had a good offensive showing this week -- is embracing the exciting, high octane nature of Canadian football, the Bombers have found a way to make the game downright dull.

In Saturday night's embarrassing loss to the Montreal Alouettes, the Bombers most exciting plays came from the placekicker, the punter and the defensive backs.

In fact, interceptions by Keyuo Craver and Jonathan Hefney, four field goals by Alexis Serna and a long run on a broken punt attempt by Mike Renaud were the only memorable things about the game from a Bombers perspective.

Renaud's unscripted 25-yard scamper was one of the Bombers' longest plays from scrimmage, for crying out loud.

In the last two home games, the Bombers haven't scored a single touchdown and have averaged under 200 yards of total offence.

They have no return game and no deep threats among the receivers. They are on their fourth quarterback of the season and the offence has hardly improved a lick.

It's a flat-out boring football team and that is already being reflected at the box office. The Bombers-Als game fell several thousand fans short of a sellout and you can bet more people were turned off by the complete lack of offence.

It's four weeks until the next home game, by which time the Bombers could easily be 2-7, and only the arrival of hardcore Saskatchewan Roughriders fans will ensure a sellout for the Banjo Bowl at Canad Inns Stadium.

All this suggests that, despite Kelly's insistence that the organization will "stay the course," significant changes need to be made.

The first order of business should be to bring in an experienced offensive co-ordinator. Kelly's offensive scheme has been an absolute failure and at very least he needs to simplify it. Ideally, he would give it a complete overhaul or, better yet, bring in someone to handle the offence while he concentrates on his duties as head coach.

The Bombers have indicated they would like to get Kelly some "help," and the coach is open to that idea, but he doesn't think his offensive game plan needs fixing.

"There's nothing wrong with this scheme ... I've seen it work a thousand times," Kelly told reporters after Saturday's game.

Spoken more like a coach with a thousand pro victories, not just two.

If Kelly wants to be part of the Bombers for the long term he needs to swallow his pride, stop trying to do everything himself and make whatever changes are necessary to put a competitive team on the field.

We are not talking about a team that is struggling offensively. We're talking about a team that would have a hard time proving to a judge that it has an offence.

To be fair, the Bombers are only 2-5 at the moment -- there's still time to salvage this seemingly lost season -- and there's no doubt the coaches and players are trying their best.

But Kelly continues to be obstinate about his offence and it seems he's the only one who thinks it has potential.

If he's not willing to admit his shortcomings and try something different and this thing keeps heading in the wrong direction, the Bombers will have to bring in someone who is willing to make changes.

The fans in these parts deserve better than field goals, running punters and a controversial and somewhat entertaining coach.

Nobody should be fired after such a short time on the job, but Kelly has earned his very short leash.


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