QB battle down to 4

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:43 AM ET

The battle for the position of starting quarterback with the Argos won't be a five-man race after all when training camp opens today.

Following the conclusion of mini-camp on Friday, the Argos yesterday cut four players, including NFL refugee Tom Arth. With Arth out of the picture, one of Damon Allen, Michael Bishop, Eric Crouch or Mike McMahon will take the first snap when the Argos kick off the regular season June 28 at the Rogers Centre against the B.C. Lions.

"The decision ended up being based on overall athletic skills," general manager Adam Rita said.

"He threw the ball well enough. But if you look at the big picture, Bishop has been throwing the ball well and so has Damon. McMahon is, by far, better than Arth. It's now a four-man race. They all have experience, but Tom has the least. I hope someone picks him up."

Arth, 26, has been with the Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts in the past but did not play a down for either team.

Also released were three other imports -- wide receivers Richmond Flowers, Derrele Mitchell and Nic Costa.

With those four gone, the Argos will begin camp this afternoon at Erindale with 75 players including seven non-counters (draft picks from the past two years). Two-a-day practices start tomorrow.

Although the quarterback situation will be the focus in the coming days, some Argos veterans simply are concerned about earning their jobs back, including some who should have nothing to worry about.

"I want to work hard and solidify my position," defensive back Kenny Wheaton, who has been an East Division all-star the past two seasons, said after his physical yesterday. "I've seen some strange things around here the past few years, where there were some guys who I felt could have helped us but are not here. I can't worry about the offence or the quarterback until the final roster is made and Kenny Wheaton is on there."

THE HUNT BEGINS

This afternoon's workout also signifies the beginning of the Grey Cup hunt. But Wheaton said the fact that the championship will be in Toronto in November should not make life different for him and his teammates.

"I don't see it as more pressure, I just look at it that regardless of where it is, our goal is the same and that is to get there," Wheaton said. "But with it here, it would be sweeter (to play in the Grey Cup) because we would be playing in front of our home fans."


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