Bombers punter not kicking himself

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:10 AM ET

WINNIPEG - It was a horrid first half that could have spiraled into a nightmare game.

But Blue Bomber punter Mike Renaud returned to practice, Monday, knowing he can begin preparations for the dangerous Toronto Argonauts with a clear head.

Sort of.

Renaud acknowledged he let an early blocked punt get to him in the season-opener in Hamilton Friday, as he mis-hit a few kicks and went into the locker-room at half-time, reeling.

“It plays with your drop, mentally, and everything else that’s part of being a punter,” Renaud said. “That’s what happened in the first half. You’ve got to erase those as fast as you can. Otherwise you’re bound to get caught in a downward spiral.

“The goal at half-time was just to reset my mind and come out and play the way I can.”

He did, finishing strongly.

Next up, the Argos, who boast a special teams unit, and a returner in Chad Owens, who can make you pay dearly for mistakes.

“I’m going into Toronto acting as though that never happened,” Renaud said. “They have a tremendous returner, the best in the league. That puts a lot of pressure on my job and really ensuring that I’m putting the ball where our coverage is going to be.”

NO EASY ONES: After watching Week 1’s upsets, Bomber head coach Paul LaPolice doesn’t expect any free spaces on the CFL bingo card this season.

“I don’t think there’s a bad team in this league,” Winnipeg’s second-year boss said. “I don’t think there’s a team that has a young coach that’s never had CFL experience, or co-ordinators that don’t know the league, or a GM that doesn’t know the league. I just told our players, every two points is going to count, now. Parity is going to be in this league this year.”

: Pint-sized receiver/kick returner Perry Floyd turned in a solid debut in Hamilton, posting 182 returns yards and breaking one for 56 yards.

“That was all the guys up front. Those guys block hard,” Floyd said. “They go hard every chance they get.”

As a receiver, Floyd caught one ball for just three yards, and says he has plenty of work to do.

NEW/OLD BLOOD: Because the receiving corps is on the hobble, the Bombers are bringing back import Alex Watson, a training camp cut.

The team also signed import running back Mike McLendon to the practice roster. The 5-foot-9, 200-pound North Alabama product, who had a stint with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, replaces RB Alex Henderson, who was released from the PR.

“McLendon’s a kid that (GM Joe) Mack’s had an eye on for a long time and worked out live,” LaPolice said. “He can really run, he’s fast, has a good change of direction.”

— With files from Jim Bender


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