Carter gets in some parting shots

TERRY KOSHAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:58 AM ET

Released by the Argos a day earlier, Khalil Carter yesterday refused to go quietly into the hot summer day.

"I love a lot of members of this team, but I just haven't been able to get into a loving relationship with my head coach Rich Stubler, even (when Stubler was the defensive) co-ordinator," Carter said. "He has always kept me under his thumb and not allowed me to blossom as a player."

Carter had been the favourite to take over as the starter in one of the cornerback spots when all-star Jordan Younger was traded to the Edmonton Eskimos. But Stubler and his staff liked the effort of former NFLer Willie Middlebrooks in camp, and the latter won the job. Carter, who spent three seasons with the Argos, played in all 18 games in 2007 but started only six.

A bizarre scene unfolded yesterday when Carter approached members of the media at the Argos' practice facility at the University of Toronto's campus at Erindale. When Carter made it clear he wanted to discuss his situation with reporters, he was escorted away by an Argos staff member. Later, in a different area of campus, Carter opened up to a trio of reporters.

"It was never enough for them to give me a fair chance to take a spot on the team," Carter, 31, said.

HARD TO ARGUE

"I think it was already in their mind that they had Willie Middlebrooks scheduled in because of his NFL past, so I never really got a fair chance to win the spot. They wanted to give me a false sense of security at the spot."

It's hard to argue with Stubler, whose Argos defence last year was tops in the CFL. Stubler reiterated the position he had taken a day before when he said that cutting Carter was a football decision.

But Carter was not part of the cuts last Friday, which were to have been Stubler's last. It was only after Carter approached Stubler on the practice field on Monday to demand a release or a trade, upon learning he had lost the starter's role to Middlebrooks, that Carter was cut. Stubler implied that Carter was not consistent enough for his liking.

"In our system, it is not about giving up big plays," Stubler said. "You can make 10 big plays and give up 10 big plays, but then you can't play for us. I talked to (defensive co-ordinator) Kavis (Reed) about it at length, I talked to (general manager) Adam (Rita) about it at length. I felt good about the decision (to cut Carter) after it as made."


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