WINNIPEG - Jamie Barresi figures he was indeed the fall guy for whatever ailed the Winnipeg offence.
Blue Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice fired Barresi as offensive co-ordinator Tuesday.
"I'm very bitter about it," Barresi said Wednesday. "I don't know what his motives are, but there were a lot of things behind the scenes going on that I'd rather not discuss.
"I'm not happy. I loved it here. It caught me a little off-guard, but not that much."
Obviously, there had been some writing on the Bomber walls then.
When LaPolice was asked if the move came as the result of a conflict with either Barresi and other coaches on staff or players, he replied: "No, I wouldn't get into that. No, I don't think so."
LaPolice had worked with Barresi in Saskatchewan and hired him when he became the Bombers head coach last year. Barresi was credited with helping tutor the young quarterbacks through Winnipeg's injury-plagued season in 2010, and with grooming running back Fred Reid into the CFL's top rusher.
But this year, the Winnipeg offence struggled mightily at times and LaPolice was criticized for his play calling as a result.
"That (play calling) has no relevance as to how we perform, how we teach our players, how we get aligned, how we get all the lines of communication open," LaPolice said. "So, I'm trying to be more process than end result. Certainly, I call the plays, like a lot of other structures ╔ But there is also another structure that has to go on to be in the role of co-ordinator, and that's how we do it. I'm not placing blame. The blame for everything falls with me, but I think this is going to make us a more cohesive unit."
Barresi wanted to say more but he is still officially under contract with the Bombers and does not want to spoil his chances of getting a job elsewhere.
"It doesn't sound like I'm going to get recommended very highly, so I'm going to have to fight through that," he said.
"The most I can say is, I really loved Winnipeg and I'm really sorry I have to go. It's one of the best places I've ever been and I regret what happened ╔ The fans were the greatest of any place I've ever been, and that includes Saskatchewan. I will cherish my time here very much. I feel badly that we couldn't pull it off."
Barresi has already gotten feelers from other teams as there are a number of openings now.
"I think I'm a good coach and I worked very hard," he said. "I think a lot of this team and I was proud to be a part of it."