Vitamin B boosts Argos

MIKE GANTER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:23 AM ET

If he could capsulize it, Mike (Pinball) Clemons said he would make a vitamin and then feed it to the rest of his players.

It being the instant energy that Michael Bishop brings to a football huddle and by extension the team for which he plays.

The Argos experienced it on Monday and hope to experience the same thing for the remaining nine games of the Argos' CFL regular season and right through to the Grey Cup.

"I can't define it," Clemons said. "When Michael Bishop comes in the game there is a different energy level and I think it's the excitement in his voice. He gets people excited on his own. You just feel like something is going to happen. He attacks the defence. He doesn't allow them to get comfortable."

DYNAMIC PLAYER

Receiver Andre Talbot said there definitely is something palpable with Bishop back in the huddle.

"He's such a dynamic player," Talbot said. "He can do so many things. If something is not open on one side he has the ability to scramble and come back to the other routes and make something happen."

Even Noel Prefontaine, the Argos' punter/placekicker and CFL special teams player of the week -- who rarely if ever has reason to be in a huddle with Bishop -- said there's just a different feel with him at the controls of the Argos offence.

Clemons begins by suggesting the excitement starts as soon as Bishop begins talking in the huddle with that high-pitched tone of his.

But it's much more than just the voice.

"There is an out route, just a quick, little five-yard out route and he makes it impossible to cover," Clemons said. "He sticks that out route in the tightest position.

"Monday he threw an out to Tony Miles to the wide side of the field. He put it the only place that ball could have been. The defender had great coverage on it. He was underneath it, and he put it just over top of his head, a pinpoint pass. On the other side of that he'll throw the ball 70 yards downfield.

"So how, as a defender, do you stay close enough to cover the five-yard out and then maintain the proper relationship with the deep passes with his ability to throw the ball downfield? He just brings a different dimension to the game."

Despite helping the Argos to a win in his first game back on Monday after a seven-week absence, Bishop wasn't giving himself an overly generous grade on his own performance.

"There were some plays I left on the field," Bishop said. "I look at the tape and there was some things I was rusty on. I'll just try to improve on that this week. I'd give myself a C+."

What Bishop is satisfied with is what he did in the seven weeks between snaps.

After a tough first game on the sidelines, Bishop made the decision to make something positive out of being sidelined.

He took the opportunity to watch the game from a different angle, help out the receivers and the quarterbacks who filled in where he could. He says seeing the game from the sidelines has helped him as well.

"I now feel like I see things more clearly," he said. "I think it has made me a better quarterback."

Talbot, for one, said just by returning, Bishop has altered things for all the Argos who lost five in a row without him on the field.

"You start to lose and you start asking yourself, do we even have a chance?" Talbot said.

"Now we do have a chance and we have to just keep putting things together."

Bishop's not the only reason for that chance, but he is a big part of the Argos believing they have one.


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