Murphy has earned every pass

ROB LONGLEY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 12:27 PM ET

It didn't hurt that Frank Murphy knew how to catch a football thrown by Michael Bishop from their college days at Kansas State.

But familiarity alone isn't the reason Murphy has emerged as the unlikely leading receiver on the Argos in this his first season of three-down football.

Argos coach Mike (Pinball) Clemons believes the introduction passer and catcher had in U.S. college ball helped.

But once the how-do-you-do's were over and done at Argos camp, Murphy's reliability ensured his steady workload.

"(Bishop) will throw the ball to people who are going to be productive," Clemons said prior to yesterday's final practice in advance of tomorrow's game in Edmonton where the 5-7 Argos face the 5-6-1 Eskimos.

"If you want Michael Bishop to throw you the ball, then catch it.

"(Murphy) is uncanny about catching the ball in the tightest of spots."

One of those snags came in this past Sunday's 31-23 win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. With the Argos leading 14-1 late in the second quarter, Bishop connected on a crisp 18-yard corner route to Murphy, essentially putting the game out of reach.

It was Murphy's third touchdown of the season, one in which the 30-year-old Jacksonville native ranks just 17th in the CFL in receiving yards (460). His 17.4 yard average per catch, however, is second only to Calgary Stampeders' standout, Jeremaine Copeland.

Murphy's running back mentality after the catch has been appreciated by those around him.

"I think that any quarterback in any system tries to find that guy who they know wherever they throw it, he's going to make a play for them and do something after the catch," Murphy said. "Like every quarterback, the thing that Bish looks for is someone he can trust. Any one of our receivers can make a play at any given time."

Murphy, who played parts of two NFL seasons with the Tampa Bay Bucaneers, admits Bishop's sales pitch helped get him north.

Now that he has adjusted to the nuances of the Canadian game, he is pleased to have an expanded role as the struggling offence makes its playoff push.

"The more games Bish can play and the more all of us can play with him, it's going to get better and better," Murphy said. "I think that's why we're seeing signs of growth."

Quick kick

Dominique Dorsey's 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown landed the speedy Argo CFL special teams player of the week honours. Dorsey had 163 yards on three kickoff returns to earn the award for the second time this season.


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