Parker picks his spots

Toronto Argos' Byron Parker, hauling in a catch at practice yesterday, was named the CFL's...

Toronto Argos' Byron Parker, hauling in a catch at practice yesterday, was named the CFL's defensive player of the week. (Toronto Sun/Craig Robertson)

ROB LONGLEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:25 AM ET

Byron Parker's first priority is to stop touchdowns, not score them.

But the way the Argos cornerback has been taking it to the opposition's end zone, he has become one of the team's secret scoring weapons.

Since returning to the Argos after being cut by the Dallas Cowboys on July 31, Parker has been in attack mode.

His two interception returns for touchdowns against the Hamilton Ticats on Labour Day boosted his season total to three, equalling a team record.

"It's all about instinct, breaking on the ball and anticipating where it is going," Parker said yesterday after being named the CFL's defensive player of the week for the second time in his abbreviated season. "It's about believing in what you see and just going out and making the play."

As Parker was talking, he was taking some grief from fellow defensive back Khalil Carter about his "easy picks."

Parker is quick to give credit to the rest of the defence, which has been the difference maker in its current four-game win streak. Parker alone has returned interceptions for 246 yards, another single-season club record.

During that span, the Argos have yielded just 29 points but scored 28, all on interception returns.

"I'm getting a lot of the credit because I'm making picks, but the guys up front deserve a lot of it," Parker said. "The reason I am getting the picks is because of them. They're putting on the pressure and forcing mistakes."

ALLEN GETS SOME TIME OFF

Argos quarterback Damon Allen was excused from practice yesterday for what coach Michael Clemons called, "a personal situation ... no cause for concern."

In Allen's absence, Michael Bishop took the majority of snaps in advance of moving ahead of Spergon Wynn to No. 2 on the depth chart. "To this point, we don't believe (Wynn) latched a hold of (the backup spot)," Clemons said.

ON THE RUN

John Avery, who was injured late in the Aug. 25 game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, will miss his second consecutive start in Saturday's return match with Hamilton. Clemons is hopeful Avery will return following the team's bye week for a Sept. 23 date with the Calgary Stampeders. Speculation is that Ricky Williams could return to the lineup by then as well, as his injured arm and heel continue to improve. Williams was absent yesterday to be with partner Kristen, who gave birth to a baby girl, Asha, on Wednesday.


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