What's the rush, Argo asks?

FRANK ZICARELLI -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:59 AM ET

His average would indicate that Dominique Dorsey is an above-average running back.

And there are times when Dorsey shows an ability to dominate along the ground, only to be grounded by a lack of touches out of the backfield.

The Argos remain a work in progress heading into tomorrow's game against the visiting Winnipeg Blue Bombers, and one of the areas they need to develop is a consistent running attack.

Ever since Michael Jenkins left town seven years ago, the Argos, it seems, have been searching for someone to carry the load. And under rookie head coach Rich Stubler this season, Dorsey -- who has earned accolades as a kick-returner -- was expected to be that player. It just hasn't worked out that way.

In five games, Dorsey has averaged 6.7 yards each time he touches the ball, but there has been no consistency in the amount of times his number has been called. Against Saskatchewan on Sunday, for instance, Dorsey averaged 8.0 yards a carry -- the only problem being the Argos handed him the ball only three times.

As a running back trio, Dorsey, Jamal Robertson and Jeff Johnson have 48 rushing attempts this season, which is fewer than 10 attempts a game.

Dorsey isn't about to make waves and is not about to second-guess any decisions, but he is starting to wonder if the Argos are ever going to establish a consistent running game.

"It's been the same all year,'' Dorsey said yesterday. "The run plays are in there and they're in the game plan. It's just a matter of calling them in the right situation at the right time."

Eventually, the Argos are going to have to find a way to feature the running game, even in the pass-happy CFL. Eventually, there will come a point in a close game where they will need to run out the clock.

Until then, the team seems prepared to live and die with quarterback Kerry Joseph pulling the ball down and running downfield.

QB TOP RUSHER

Joseph enters Week 6 as the Argos' leading rusher. His 210 rushing yards on 32 carries rank him seventh in the league, one spot ahead of Winnipeg's Charles Roberts, who has been under-utilized, himself, by the Bombers.

At least Winnipeg has a built-in excuse, having been forced to make wholesale changes to an offensive line that has had difficulty staying healthy.

On the surface, there are no reasonable alibis in Argoland. Field position and the game's score often are mentioned when teams are unable to establish a running attack, but the Argos' predicament runs much deeper.

Robertson, who showed glimpses in the Argos' season-opening win in Winnipeg, Dorsey and Johnson are capable backs whose numbers rarely get called.

"Whether it's me, Jamal or J.J., we can give our team a great opportunity,'' Dorsey said. "It's not like when we get the ball we don't get any yards."

At least one member of the offensive line concurs. "I think we can run it successfully if given the chance,'' veteran guard Jude St. John said.

As a group, O-linemen would rather run block than pass protect because it allows them to be the aggressor on the line of scrimmage.

And Joseph, who calls his own plays, admits he has to do a better job of getting the ball into the hands of his running backs.


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