Professor has his fans

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:24 AM ET

The Bomber fan base may be divided when it comes to support for head coach Mike Kelly, but he appears to have a majority in the locker-room.

"He's the right guy for this job," slotback Terrence Edwards said yesterday as the players cleared out their lockers. "He's a passionate coach, and that's what you want from your head coach -- a guy who's going to bite the bullet for you, who's passionate, who's willing to put his neck out for you.

"That's what he done this year. He stuck his neck out for us a whole lot."

'ALWAYS UP FRONT'

The season wasn't without its controversies. From the Derick Armstrong saga to the Barrin Simpson fiasco, there appeared to be plenty of opportunity for a locker-room divide.

There was grumbling from a few players about Kelly this season, but it appears the group stuck together for the most part.

"I love Mike Kelly. He is a great person to play for," right tackle Glenn January said. "He's treated us with respect, and he's always been up front with us about what's going on, about what he expects from us. There's never been a moment where we've had to question who he was as a person.

"He's a good coach to play for, and I look forward to playing for him next year."

Added Edwards: "I don't know one guy here who has said anything bad about coach Mike Kelly. He's going to be him regardless, but every guy in here likes that. Every guy likes his fire, every guy likes his passion for the game, every guy here I know wanted to play for him."

While most players threw their support behind Kelly, there were a handful who left their answers up for interpretation or said it wasn't their business.

"I've never seen a player interviewed before who said he wanted the coach gone," defensive tackle Doug Brown said. "We all love the coaches we have, and when they're gone we all love the new ones, too.

"It's not my place to comment on people's employment and their futures with this franchise. I'm just a guy trying to punch a clock. We leave that up to the decision-makers.

"You saw what happened last year, and we'll see what happens this year."

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca


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