KERRY JOSEPH has seen the future.
And the Renegades quarterback likes what he saw.
The veteran Joseph, whose re-worked five-year contract was officially announced by the club earlier this week, had a chance to view parts of the run-and-shoot playbook of coach John Jenkins while working out in Orlando, Fla., earlier this month.
"It looks like I'll kind of have a little freedom out there. As a quarterback, you're always looking for that, not to be in a position so mechanical," the 32-year-old Joseph said from his mother's home in New Iberia, La., yesterday.
Sounds like a shot at previous Renegades offensive schemes, but Joseph insisted it wasn't.
"All offences are different," he said. "But just after one day of seeing John's offence and just one day of looking at it, you can see that I'll have a little more leeway of going here, or going there."
Jenkins is known for his potent offensive schemes that focus on the passing game, with less emphasis on running.
If anybody will be running the ball during the upcoming season for Ottawa, it'll likely be Joseph, who gained 1,006 yards on his own last season.
"The fans are going to see a lot of offence and we're going to be throwing the ball a lot," he said.
Joseph agreed to the new deal before Christmas, a contract worth $2 million, according to sources.
It almost didn't happen.
THOUGHT HE WAS GONER
Joseph nearly was traded to the Saskatchewan Roughriders in a deal that reportedly would have involved Nealon Greene coming to Ottawa.
The clubs were close to a deal last December, but it fell through.
"I thought it was going to happen, but then Ottawa came up with a deal that pretty much nullified the trade talk," said Joseph.
Now Renegades fans will expect much more out of Joseph, who'll begin a fourth season with the club, when training camp begins in May.
That's more yards and touchdown passes, but fewer interceptions.
Last year, Joseph threw 23 picks. Only Ricky Ray had more interceptions, but Ray still managed to win the Grey Cup.
"I just want to see that touchdowns to interceptions ratio improve," said Joseph.
"I want to get more overall knowledge of the game, and I'm excited about working with John Jenkins. I'm already seeing things where it can work out in my favour."
Joseph said he tries to avoid checking up on news from the ongoing front-office saga happening in Ottawa, but couldn't help but notice the departures of offensive lineman George Hudson and running back Josh Ranek to Hamilton.
At the end of last season, Joseph was the most emotional player on the Renegades when Joe Paopao was fired as coach.
Following the final game of the season, a victory over Toronto, Joseph broke down and cried when asked about Paopao's role in his development.
"I'm truly going to miss that coaching staff," Joseph said yesterday. "But there's new guys in there now and I sure hope the organization is going in the right direction.
"I can understand the way guys like George felt," he said. "But from a business standpoint, I got a deal that was hard to pass up and I love the city of Ottawa."
Renegades fans will make the feeling mutual if Joseph can translate those snippets of his new coach's system into more wins in 2006.
"A lot of people have had success with that system. Doug Flutie had success with that system," said Joseph.
"I will never knock anything until I try it. It's a new year and a new thing. Let's see what happens."