Boatman blues

FRANK ZICARELLI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:11 AM ET

The alarm bells are poised to go off in Argoland, where no one is exempt from criticism.

Chad Folk understands the need to get better and is confident his beleaguered Boatmen will return with a renewed sense of purpose once their bye week ends.

If not, Folk is predicting a rather long season for a team that began the year with Grey Cup aspirations.

Folk prefers to speak on behalf of the team's offence, but the veteran's words are sure to resonate on both sides of the ball.

"It almost feels like we're taking steps backward, instead of going forward,'' Folk said in the wake of Friday's 32-14 loss to the Montreal Alouettes.

"Eight weeks into the season and we haven't gotten better."

Kerry Joseph began the game lined up under centre, but ended on the bench when Michael Bishop emerged at halftime as the starter.

Neither looked good, but the Argos offence hasn't looked good during any sustained stretch this season.

The roster keeps getting changed to compensate for injured players and now the philosophy is being altered.

The quarterbacks were being asked to call their own plays, but that reverted to offensive co-ordinator Steve Buratto on Friday.

The Argos, in a nutshell, have absolutely no identity on offence.

They are neither a passing team nor a running team. They can't sustain drives and have failed in making the necessary adjustments at intermission.

It's no wonder they can't score touchdowns.

Who will start at quarterback, who will line up where and what style of offence the Argos plan to operate will all be contemplated during a much-needed break as the Argos don't play until Labour Day.

'BATTLE HARDER'

"Offensively, we're inconsistent at best,'' Folk said. "We're not giving our team a chance to win. We need to get better. If we don't, it's going to be a long season."

Folk was asked what he'd like to see when the players reconvene in a week's time.

"Commitment,'' he said. "We're all professionals. You want to do the best job you can and obviously we're not doing that.

"We need to be a tougher team. We need to battle harder."

Rookie head coach Rich Stubler, who controls all personnel matters, does not plan on making any major roster moves to a team that sits second in the East at 3-5.

"Guys don't all of a sudden get bad,'' Stubler said. "Coaches don't all of a sudden get bad."

Stubler concedes the Argos aren't getting better, which has forced him to cancel his plans for the bye week.


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