Pivots paying price

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:13 AM ET

In a QB-driven league, nothing stalls an offence more than the loss of the starter.

This week was a great example. In three of four instances where quarterbacks were battered and bruised, their teams ended up losing.

The only exception was a brilliant performance from B.C. Lions backup Buck Pierce, who took over from Dave Dickenson and closed out a win over the Eskimos Friday.

Meanwhile, the wind quickly came out of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers sails when Kevin Glenn strained his MCL against Hamilton. The Argonauts pretty much gave up after the first series when Damon Allen couldn't make his broken finger work against the Montreal Alouettes.

And the Roughriders never found a groove after Kerry Joseph was drilled by Stampeders defensive end Rahim Abdullah on the third play, although the pivot stayed in the game.

"Let's not kid ourselves," Argos coach Michael (Pinball) Clemons told the Toronto Sun. "The offence starts with the quarterback position. You get consistency at quarterback and he drives the rest of the engine."

So here's a hint for success in the CFL: Protect your pivot.

OPENING DRIVE: Warren Moon's induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame had to bring a smile to everyone's face in the CFL. The former Edmonton Eskimos great acknowledged he wouldn't have had a chance in the NFL if not for our country welcoming him in 1978. At that time, the NFL didn't take give jobs to black quarterbacks. "The Canadian people were so refreshing, so supportive of me," Moon said at his induction. "Thank you, Canada." No, thank you, Warren ... Nothing about Lions DL Brent Johnson is what you would call soft but he did display a nice touch on a touchdown reception Friday. Although it's nothing new to see a lineman line up as a tight end, it always catches defences off guard ... Talk about not worth the wait: Running back John Williams had a measly 24 yards on 10 carries in his first CFL start after two and a half seasons playing special teams with Toronto ... Winnipeg continues to be a dumping ground for former Stamps. The Bombers picked up receiver Scotty Anderson after Calgary cut the former NFLer last week.

ENDZONE TOSS: The first of the NFL cuts have started to arrive as Toronto welcomed back cornerback Byron Parker yesterday from the Dallas Cowboys... There was really no surprises in Hamilton's offence in Winnipeg last week. Run on first down, pass on second. It just so happened 68.8% of the plays (excluding incomplete passes) were to running back Josh Ranek. No wonder he was able to pile up 233 yards from scrimmage and be the first rusher to break the 100-yard barrier against the Bombers this season ... It seems the only one surprised about Joe Montford's release from the Eskimos is the defensive end himself. The Eskimos brought Montford back against their own good judgment after releasing him in the off-season. Through four games, he had one sack and general lack of production was the reason given for his release. "I felt that a guy like myself ... deserved a little bit more professionalism about the whole situation," Montford told the Edmonton Sun ... There is talk around Edmonton that DB Donald Brady could be coming back to bolster a struggling secondary ... Alouettes RB Robert Edwards is unstoppable in the red zone this season and his 10 touchdowns lead the league. The former NFL first-rounder is on pace to break the CFL's single-season mark held by Milt Stegall (23).


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