Bishop fails to solidify his role

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:09 AM ET

Michael Bishop is in danger of losing his status as the Argos' starting quarterback. Bishop has been the team's starter for the past four games, filling in for Damon Allen, who suffered a cracked tibia in his left leg on Aug. 12.

But yesterday head coach Pinball Clemons refused to confirm Bishop as his starter for Toronto's game in Edmonton on Saturday.

HAVE BOTH READY

"We're going to continue to game plan so that both are ready,'' Clemons said in reference to Bishop and backup Romaro Miller.

"We won't publicly make a decision on our starting quarterback at this point in the week.

"We're not saying (Bishop's) our (full-time) starting quarterback," Clemons added. "We're not saying he's our quarterback of the future. Right now he's giving us the best chance to win."

Bishop has a win, two losses and a tie in his starts. He played his best game in his first start, against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Aug. 17, throwing for 300 yards and running for 96 and was named the CFL's offensive player of the week.

In two of the three subsequent games, he sputtered and was pulled to give the team a spark, first with rookie Scott Krause and then with Miller, who was signed after Allen's injury and promoted to the backup role in the past two games.

Miller did not complete a pass in five attempts in Toronto's 44-34 loss in Winnipeg last Saturday and the decision was made to reinsert Bishop, who served up two interceptions.

Bishop took most of the first-string reps yesterday in practice.

While Bishop has not been the sole reason the Argos have been winless in the previous three games, his interceptions have far exceeded his touchdowns and his completion percentage has been alarmingly low. At times, there appears to be miscommunication with his receivers, although he has had to adjust to new receivers and players learning new positions because of injuries.

"The challenge with Michael is that sometimes he will revert back and he will just play the hunch on a consistent basis," Clemons said.

"It's a difficult transition -- and I think most would agree -- that he's a different guy than a year ago today. He's learned a lot more, he's got a greater understanding and the one thing you can't teach is his desire. He has a great desire to win. That's not enough."

CANTOR WILL PLAY

Argos defensive tackle Noah Cantor has missed only two games in his nine-year career, both times because they fell on Yom Kippur, the most holy day in the Jewish calendar.

Yom Kippur runs this year from Friday at sundown to Saturday at sundown at which time the Argos will kick off in Edmonton against the Eskimos. Cantor will observe the ritual of fasting during the 24-hour period of Yom Kippur.

The game had originally been scheduled for Friday night, but Argo owners David Cynamon and Howard Sokolowski, both of whom are Jewish, persuaded the Edmonton organization to move it back one day.

HICKS GONE ... FOR NOW

Running back Skip Hicks has left the Argos after signing with the team last week and making his debut in the Winnipeg game principally as a returner.

Argos vice-president of football operations Adam Rita said Hicks "might be back" at some point.


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