What QB controversy?

Argos QB Michael Bishop is beaming following his fourth-quarter heroics that helped Toronto beat...

Argos QB Michael Bishop is beaming following his fourth-quarter heroics that helped Toronto beat Winnipeg on Sunday. Despite his efforts, Bishop won't start in the East final. (Toronto Sun/David Lucas)

ROB LONGLEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:03 AM ET

If there is to be quarterback controversy with the good ship Argonaut it will come in the off-season, not the post season.

For now, it's sink or sail with Damon Allen unless the boat takes on too much water and needs a bailout.

The Argos braintrust was adamant yesterday that it has given little thought to replacing Allen with Michael Bishop as starter for Sunday's East Division final against the Montreal Alouettes

"Why?" team president and de facto offensive co-ordinator Adam Rita said yesterday in an interview. "Why would there even be a thought of that?

"Michael Bishop will come off the bench to save our (butt) if we have to. If Damon gets hurt, he will play. That's the way it is."

Bishop certainly covered ample behinds in Sunday's 31-27 East semi-final win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. What started as a fourth-quarter series to allow Allen to regroup ended with a pair of touchdowns and a dramatic come-from-behind Argos victory.

There are few issues in football that titillate fans more than "quarterback controversy" however, especially when the impact of a change is so dramatic.

Rita was far too busy to worry about that yesterday preparing for the Alouettes.

"There is never a controversy between team members, there is only a controversy in the public," Rita said. "You can't have that kind of a deal within a team, the more you foster it, the more it breeds contempt."

The mere mention of it would appear to irk Allen, however. Despite his clear endorsement for this weekend from Rita and head coach Michael (Pinball) Clemons, Allen refused to talk to reporters yesterday following a meeting at the team headquarters in Mississauga.

For his part, Bishop played the good company man, saying he knows his place but will be ready if called upon again.

"If he's not getting it done and I have the opportunity, (Allen) knows I'm gonna go in and try to get it done," Bishop said. "All I can control is what I do in the game. Any time I got in more than one play other than a quarterback sneak (this season), I've thrown a touchdown."

Safe to say the Argos won't be shy to call upon Bishop if need be this week as the team looks to advance to the Grey Cup for the second time in three years.

But what happens after the season could offer more drama as the 43-year-old Allen is in the option year of his contract.

"I can't control any of that," Bishop said of his desire to finally become a starter in the CFL after five years kicking around the league. "If Damon wants to come back and play two or three more years, that's up to Damon.

"I feel like I did my part, the rest is up to the organization in which way they want to go."

Clemons believes that Bishop's maturity finally has caught up with his athleticism and it showed this past Sunday.

"He certainly has all the tools," Clemons said. "He lives to win, he wants to win and I fully expect he's going to be a starting quarterback. If we're fortunate, he'll be a starting quarterback for the Double Blue."

It just won't be any time near kickoff this Sunday.


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