Pick a pivot

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:19 AM ET

Preparing to face two quarterbacks this week - Kerry Joseph and Michael Bishop - the Edmonton Eskimos have two very good teaching aides.

While the Toronto Argos plan to start Joseph on Thursday night against the Green and Gold (8 p.m., Commonwealth Stadium, CHED) and bring Bishop off the bench, the Esks can use Fred Perry and Jordan Younger to help stop them.

Perry played with Joseph last year as the Saskatchewan Roughriders romped to a Grey Cup.

Younger and Bishop were Toronto teammates last season.

In fact, the pair spent four years together with the Argos.

But Younger is staying pretty quiet in public circles when being quizzed on Bishop's tendencies.

"I wouldn't say anything now to tip (Bishop) off," said Younger, an Edmonton starting cornerback.

The CFL's most outstanding player in 2007, Joseph is known for his running/scrambling ability.

Perry wants to force Joseph to beat the Esks with his arm.

"We are going to have to contain him (in the pocket)," said Perry.

After getting burned on the ground by mobile quarterbacks last year, Edmonton didn't allow a single rushing yard to Henry Burris last week in a 34-31 win over the Calgary Stampeders.

Toronto head coach Rich Stubler is also allowing both of his pivots to call their own plays this week.

Trying to kickstart an offence that has only scored three touchdowns this season and has the second lowest time of possession in the league, there is pressure on Joseph and Bishop.

"They are similar from the standpoint they are very athletic, experienced," said Edmonton defensive co-ordinator Rick Campbell.

"The biggest thing they can do is they can extend the play with their athleticism.

"Michael Bishop has a crazy, strong arm.

"He is freaky athletic.

"He can definitely throw the ball 75-80 yards downfield.

"He makes some throws - even throwing across his body - that I don't see guys making."

QUICK HIT: PERRY DENIES IT WILL BE STRANGE TO HIT JOSEPH - A CLOSE FRIEND FROM PLAYING DAYS IN SASKATCHEWAN AND OTTAWA.

"This is a business," said Perry, a starting defensive end. "Kerry knows what the deal is."

HELPING HANDS: HEAD COACH DANNY MACIOCIA IS LEARNING BITS OF INFORMATION ON TORONTO'S DEFENCE FROM YOUNGER AND FORMER ARGO NOEL PREFONTAINE.

"They have got eight or nine coaches that play on that defence," said Maciocia.

"Speaking to Younger and Prefontaine, basically the (Toronto) players get together and they know the system as well as the coach does.

"Now we have to find a way to march the football and have success."

Typically regarded as one of the top defences in the league, the Argos are struggling this year.

Last in the league in average yards of offence allowed per game (421), Toronto is last in the CFL defending the run.

FINISH LINES: FORMER ESKIMO RECEIVER TJ ACREE WILL NOT BE RETURNING TO COMMONWEALTH STADIUM THIS WEEK WITH THE TORONTO ARGOS.

Acree and running back Tyler Ebell were dealt to Toronto in February for Younger.

But Acree was traded from the Argos to Saskatchewan yesterday, as the Riders need to find a replacement for D.J. Flick, who broke his leg last week against B.C.

Acree, a 2011 third-round pick and the rights to a negotiation-list player go to Saskatchewan for defensive end Ron Flemons and a 2011 fifth-round selection.


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