Another loss could force Kelly to make changes

PAUL FRIESEN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:36 AM ET

In the wake of Blue Bomber veteran Barrin Simpson's trade demand the other day, his locker-room neighbour, D-lineman Doug Brown, was trying to lighten the mood.

Talking to rookie lineman Don Oramasionwu, Brown was offering Simpson's locker up for grabs, should the linebacker eventually get moved.

But there was a cost: a cool $300 -- $100 each for Brown, John Oosterhuis and Ike Charlton, who sit in the same "neighbourhood."

"We don't like new tenants, let's put it that way," Brown cracked.

Out of respect for Simpson, we're pretty sure Donnie-O didn't take him up on the offer.

But it raises a question, with the not-so-soft playing of today's Banjo Bowl in the background.

If the Bombers fall to the Riders again, dropping their record to 3-7, are we bound to see more "new tenants" in the neighbourhood?

Would more players become disgruntled, like Simpson, and want out?

Nothing makes a locker-room unhappy quite like losing. Do it often enough, and suddenly everybody next to you smells bad and the warts on their behinds look worse.

This team has done a remarkable job of sticking together through the distraction du jour offered up by its front office. The players really have stuck together.

We're not sure how much stress that bond can take, though. Everyone has their breaking point.

Sometimes, when the losses pile up and a playoff spot becomes more and more distant, grumblings about the coaching staff, its teaching or its schemes bubble to the surface.

We've already been reading between the lines, as quarterbacks, running backs, receivers and O-linemen have been puzzled by the offence they're running, or the plays being called.

Those lines can become less blurry, the whispers a little louder, with every loss.

On the field, a losing team is dull as dishwater.

Off the field, it's anything but.

Then there's the other side.

If this season begins to implode, what does head coach Mike Kelly do?

Make changes, of course.

That off-season overhaul that saw 50% of the roster gutted?

That'll seem like nothing more than a warmup for the real thing.

Kelly will have personnel director John Murphy on speed dial, and together the two of them will bring in more new bodies than the city morgue.

Nobody will be untouchable, particularly those who survived the first purge, the ones who aren't seen as the new regime's guys.

And no neighbourhood will be safe.

Not even the normally tranquil one in which Doug Brown lives.

Contact Paul at paul.friesen@sunmedia.ca or 632-2788.


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