WINNIPEG - The classy kicker is determined not to be punted aside for the long term.
Struggling Blue Bombers punter Mike Renaud will be replaced by Jamie Boreham when Winnipeg plays host to the Montreal Alouettes in a critical CFL contest this Saturday.
“I don’t know what next week’s going to bring, but I’m not just going to roll over and let this happen,” Renaud said Wednesday. “I’ve been part of this team for two years and I look to the future for many to come, and if this is just a funk stage we’re going through, so be it. So, I’m just looking to bounce back next week and get back into the swing of things.”
Boreham had been acquired from the Saskatchewan Roughriders to challenge Renaud two weeks ago. Renaud answered that challenge by playing well in Hamilton but this change came after he shanked one punt so badly that it led to a touchdown in a close game against the Eskimos in Edmonton on Saturday.
Renaud, who punted for only a 38.3-yard average in Edmonton, denied that he is being plagued by either mental or mechanical problems.
“It’s just a matter of putting it all together and to be perfect honest, I don’t have an answer for that (his struggles),” said Renaud, 28. “I answered the call in Hamilton — probably my best game of the season. Then, last week, I hit one bad ball. When you’re under the microscope, that’s all it takes — one bad kick. So, I’m in the position I’m in today and I’m just going to be the biggest cheerleader I can be and help in any way I can.”
But it obviously bothers him to get benched.
“I was disappointed,” admitted Renaud, who had a 42.9-yard punting average last season. “It’s not something that I would choose. Obviously, I want to be out there with my teammates and help the team win. But it’s a decision the coach made and you’ve got to support it, as hard as it is.”
Although Renaud was joking around after practice, he did not feel like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders.
“No. This, in my mind, is still my job and, like I said, it’s not my decision,” said Renaud, who has been seeking advice from legendary Bomber punter Bob Cameron lately.
Boreham, 33, admitted that it was somewhat of an awkward situation for him.
“Let’s just say it’s different,” said Boreham, who has a career punting average of 41.0 yards.
“We get along and … Mike and I have just been trying to help each other out — him helping me understand the system and me just trying to support him.”
Boreham will also take over the kickoff duties from Justin Palardy, who will still attempt field goals.
“That’s my favourite, I love kicking off,” relished Boreham, who played safety for the University of Manitoba Bisons.