Bishop hoping for QB split

TERRY KOSHAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:40 AM ET

Michael Bishop sounded yesterday as if he knew he would be watching Kerry Joseph take the first snap against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers tomorrow night in the Argonauts' 2008 season opener, and he was not thrilled about it.

"All I know is we're going to play Winnipeg and supposedly we are going to split time," Bishop said. "Who knows how that is going to work? I will just be prepared for what point I come into the game."

Argos head coach Rich Stubler was adamant that both quarterbacks will play against the Blue Bombers, who sent the Argos spiralling into the off-season last fall with a victory in the East Division final.

Some have thought Stubler was sticking to that game plan publicly in the past few weeks to throw off opponents, but that is not the case. Preparing for the tendencies of one opposing quarterback is simpler than doing it for two.

Stubler said he has told the players who is starting, but will reveal his choice today to the media once the team arrives in Winnipeg.

"One guy won't play the whole game," Stubler said. "I can venture to say that to you and I could bet on that. Everybody makes a huge deal over who starts and who doesn't. None of our players have starts in their contract as far as getting bonuses.

"For us, it's very important for the other team to have to prepare to play against two people, not just one. As a defensive guy, I used to hate having to prepare to play against two."

That might not amount to hill of beans for Bishop, who was 11-1 as the Argos starter last season, but sputtered in the East final. Bishop, who was outplayed by Joseph in the pre-season finale against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats last week, signed an extension around the same time that Joseph was acquired in March from the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

But despite the security, Bishop, as any athlete should, wants the ball first.

"Three years ago, I would have been frustrated and probably would have set this locker room on fire," Bishop said of his situation as a whole. "My whole attitude is I do what I can do on the field, whether they like it or not. I have no control over the decisions that are made, sometimes you disagree with them. In the big picture, you have to go with the punches and be prepared to play."

"It's just another year where I find myself trying to be patient. Every year, it seems like I had to go through a miracle to get on the field and every year I end up on the field, so it is nothing new."

Joseph, the CFL's most outstanding player in 2007, helped beat the Blue Bombers in the Grey Cup at the Rogers Centre last November. Joseph didn't nibble when asked about his assignment tomorrow night.

"When the lights come on, when coach puts us out there, we go with it," Joseph said.

Receiver David Boston, who rejoined the team this week after a right foot injury, will play, Stubler said. So will receiver Obed Cetoute, who has been nursing a hamstring injury.

What is definite is the Argos have a bit of revenge on their minds after the Bombers ended their 2007 season.

"We've watched clips from (the East final) and it's painful," linebacker Mike O'Shea said. "We let them off the hook. But I don't think it gives us extra fuel. It's a new season."


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