Lions QB's tussling for job

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:53 AM ET

Whether Casey Printers likes it or not, the B.C. Lions have a pivotal dilemma to solve.

The B.C. quarterback controversy picked up steam yesterday at the SkyDome after Lions coach Wally Buono replaced Printers with previous starter Dave Dickenson, who had been out with a knee injury since July 2, at halftime.

Neither quarterback stole the show, though Dickenson was more effective in a 22-16 loss against the Argos. But Buono would not commit to a starter for the Lions' next game Sunday in Montreal against the Alouettes.

Printers, the favourite for the CFL's most outstanding player award, shot down a question about the touchy situation.

"It's bigger than Dave Dickenson and I," said Printers, who completed 12 of 18 passes for 129 yards but didn't throw a touchdown pass for only the second game this season.

"The B.C. Lions lost a football game and that's all that matters. Everything else is secondary. You guys keep trying to make a story out of this, but we keep trying to tell you it's all about the B.C. Lions."

Buono, whose team (10-5) needs one win in its final three games to clinch first in the CFL West, also tried to play down the issue.

"I'm not concerned about it right now," he said. "We'll put the week in perspective and go forward. Who starts and who doesn't start isn't necessarily going to make the difference if we win or lose. We've got to play a lot better against Montreal than we did (yesterday)."

Dickenson wasn't biting when asked who he felt would be the man behind centre in Montreal. But he did offer one suggestion for Buono.

"(Printers) has had an outstanding year and he's playing well still," Dickenson said. "I'm not going to question any of the decisions Wally makes. But you still need a starter and you don't want to feel that if you're the starter, you're going to get a quick hook."

Dickenson did a few good things yesterday. He escaped from a potential Argos safety and also threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to Chris Brazzell. Overall, Dickenson was 7-of-11 for 139 yards.

"I felt better physically than I did at the beginning of the year, so that's a plus," he said. "I think my vision was there, but I've just got to trust it and let it rip."


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