August 29, 2012
Kerry Joseph familiar with Toronto boo-birds
By GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency
It wasn’t the first time Kerry Joseph threw a pass in Rogers Centre that was met by boos from Toronto Argonauts fans.
At least this time around, he wasn’t wearing the Double Blue of the home team while taking the heat.
Coming in in relief of Edmonton Eskimos starting quarterback Steven Jyles, who left the game with a knee injury near the end of the first quarter, Joseph kept for a one-yard TD at the end of the first before closing out the half with a Hail Mary.
“I tried to get a little too much on it and kind of twisted my wrist as I was trying to move forward and it just didn’t come off my hand (properly),” said Joseph, who watched a wobbler climb toward the rafters before almost boomeranging backward. “It was probably one of the ugliest Hail Marys I have ever thrown.”
That didn’t deter all-star slotback Fred Stamps from backtracking his way out of the end zone and past Argos defenders to pick up a 40-yard reception for the longest play of the half.
“It was a catch, but you’re trying to get the ball into the end zone and get your guys a chance to get a touchdown,” said Joseph.
While he didn’t come up with seven points, the lame duck brought out the boo birds, who weren’t happy with their defence allowing the completion regardless of falling short of the mark as time ran out.
“It’s unfortunate. Fans pay good money to see us perform and we’ve heard boos at home, too,” Joseph said. “Fans love the Argonauts and will continue to support them.”
Just not on every play, as Joseph knows first-hand, after spending the 2008 and ’09 seasons quarterbacking the Argonauts to just seven combined wins.
“It’s a familiar place, a place I don’t want to remember,” Joseph said, adding the familiarity he benefited from on Monday came from being around his current teammates, not his time in Toronto. “It’s never about the quarterback, he is only as good as the guys around him. I don’t care if you’re A.C. (Anthony Calvillo), Ricky Ray, it doesn’t matter.
“We have a great supporting cast, even on defence. They do a good job of getting us the ball with good field position.”
While he was hardly perfect, Joseph quickly found his groove, leading the offence to three field goals and handing off to running back Hugh Charles for a 10-yard touchdown to go along with his own, while the defence sealed the victory.
The 2007 CFL most outstanding player showed he still has what it takes to play in the league and his coaches were in no hurry to rush Jyles back in place of the 38-year-old backup.
“I was able to walk and run and all that, but they just wanted to be cautious about it,” said Jyles, who became a spectator after being sacked by defensive tackle Ronald Flemons. “I’m going to get evaluations on it and everything to make sure it’s not more than what it is. It feels good, it was just, ‘Let’s be cautious and let Kerry finish the ball game.’ ”
And after Joseph’s performance Monday, the question is who will they let start the next one?
“We don’t really have a starter and a backup,” Jyles said. “All our quarterbacks can play and that’s including Matt Nichols. All these guys understand the offence and if they’re called upon, they’re ready to go in and execute.”
IN AND OUT: LT Orrin Thompson left Monday’s game with what was described as flu-like symptoms. He is expected to return to practice after Wednesday’s team-wide day off.