Backup QBs slide down depth chart

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:47 AM ET

Scott Covington easily could have been forgiven yesterday had he chucked his helmet -- not with his throwing arm -- to the field in frustration during the Argos' morning practice at training camp.

But Covington and fellow quarterback Charlie Peterson, both of whom slipped a spot on the depth chart with the return to the team Sunday of Michael Bishop, say they are not discouraged by the latter's arrival.

"It doesn't change my mindframe whatsoever," said Covington, who has been nursing a sore right shoulder since Friday but is hoping to play in an exhibition game versus the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Saturday in Halifax. "I have been down this road before. You don't compete against other people, you compete with yourself. I'm not out here to hang around with the guys. I came here for a purpose."

So too did Peterson, who now finds himself in a tangle with Covington for the third-string job instead of vying for the backup role to Damon Allen. Covington, 29, started a game for the St. Louis Rams in 2002 but failed to catch on anywhere last season. Peterson, 28, was in the Arena League last season with Carolina. Also in camp is two-time Hec Crighton winner Tommy Denison.

"Sometimes it's tough to get juggled, to go from taking second-team reps to fourth-team reps, but football is football," Peterson said. "You still have to make the plays when the call comes. I feel very good."

For Peterson, being in the presence of Allen has been a bonus.

"He has 21 years of experience so I would have to be a complete idiot if I didn't try to learn from him," Peterson said. "I consider myself a sponge. I'm just trying to watch the way he does things. Soaking it up is a good analogy."

Allen, Peterson and Covington are expected to see action against the Ticats on Saturday. With the backup job tightly secured, coach Pinball Clemons does not figure Covington and Peterson simply will go through the motions and wait for one to be cut.

"Hopefully they're giving us their all and putting everything on the table," Clemons said. "Competition certainly makes guys rise to the occasion and I think it helps to cultivate a healthy atmosphere."

NOTES

Among six cuts yesterday was running back Derek Medler, who last year received an 18-month sentence to be served at home after being charged with being an accessory after the fact to an attempted murder. Medler, a former star at Wilfrid Laurier, had been hampered by a hamstring problem and was not expected to crack the Argos roster. Also let go were wide receivers Snoop Minnis and Petie Scarborough, linebackers Jeffrey Bonelli and James McGill, and cornerback Michael Broussard.


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