QB or not QB?

Kerry Joseph will remain the Ottawa Renegades' No. 1 quarterback, says coach and GM Joe Paopao....

Kerry Joseph will remain the Ottawa Renegades' No. 1 quarterback, says coach and GM Joe Paopao. (Ottawa Sun/Geoff Robins)

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 10:53 AM ET

Don't ask Renegades coach and GM Joe Paopao about sitting down quarterback Kerry Joseph.

In a spirited defence of his quarterback yesterday, Paopao rapped the question of giving somebody else a chance tomorrow night in Calgary against the Stampeders (10 p.m., TSN) as "ludicrous."

"No. Never. That is a ludicrous question from my standpoint," said Paopao, when asked the question during a media scrum. The question was asked in reference to the Saskatchewan Roughriders switching quarterbacks and getting in a winning groove.

"Our guy has been the second-most productive guy in this league not only with his arm, but with his feet. It's never even entered my mind. I don't understand that question because he hasn't played that poorly."

Joseph was booed when he threw an interception for a Winnipeg Blue Bombers touchdown early in Friday night's loss to the Bombers, Ottawa's fourth defeat in a row.

Near the end of the game, Joseph was sacked and fumbled, which was also returned for a major. Joseph has completed 233-of-371 attempts this season (62.8%) for 3,106 yards. He has thrown 14 touchdown passes and been picked off 17 times.

NOT HIS FAULT

"Those two big plays that happened (against Winnipeg), they weren't his fault, but people look at it and assume that it is.

"He is not, and never will be, in my mind, the No. 2 guy."

Backup Brad Banks was productive in a stint last season when Joseph was hurt, but has been recovering from a shoulder injury.

Paopao's explanation for his club's struggles lately lay with other aspects of the team's game.

"Last week, (Joseph) accounted for almost 400 yards of offence. That's production. It's not his fault when we jump offside for a field goal or he's on special teams when the guy drops the ball and we're supposed to make sure he punts the ball.

"The thing he's accountable for is decision making. He can't go block. I have changed quarterbacks here in the past. To think he's the problem, as a staff, no, we don't see it that way.

"We're going through a stretch where we're 0-4. Everybody can play better. He can play better. But I don't think he's the problem."

A hockey coach might change a goalie after a few goals, even if it's not the goalie's fault, just to get him out of there and maybe change the momentum of a game.

Paopao said he hasn't considered doing that with Joseph.

"I should change the other guys who are messing up, that's what I should do," said Paopao, "we don't, because we only have six linemen. Our struggles have sometimes been up on the line. If I put another quarterback in and he's having the same issues, that's the wrong message.

"I understand the question, but if we put another guy in, 10-1 he's going to have the same challenges. We've got to catch balls. We've got to finish some plays."


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