Pickett gets second chance to prove his worth

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 2:51 AM ET

Argonauts head coach Don Matthews yesterday refused to unveil his starting quarterback for tonight's game against the Calgary Stampeders.

But Cody Pickett wasn't as secretive, confirming he has known for a few days that he would start for the second consecutive game ahead of 2007 CFL most outstanding player Kerry Joseph.

Pretty harsh if you're Joseph, considering that last week Pickett led the Argos to exactly four points, their lowest output in six years.

"I'm confident but we have to show it on the field," Pickett said.

"We have to take care of the ball and be successful on first down. We're a good football team that played under our ability last week.

"I'm excited (about making his home debut as a starter). I have to take what the defence gives me and be patient."

Pickett completed 21 of 36 passes for 193 yards and threw an interception in a 34-4 loss to the Stamps last week.

Joseph has started once since Matthews took over, but was yanked a couple of weeks ago, giving way to Pickett during a loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Sept. 12.

The Stamps resorted to saying nice things about Pickett, but inside they know the rookie quarterback likely won't be vastly improved in just seven days.

"Maybe all of a sudden this week he will be Doug Flutie," said Stampeders safety Wes Lysack, who intercepted a Pickett pass last week at McMahon Stadium.

"That's the thing about (the Argos) is that you are not sure what you are going to get.

"All of a sudden out of nowhere is all of their talent going to come forward and are they going to be lights out? Is Cody Pickett going to prove that last week he was just getting his feet wet? We're just worried about ourselves."

NO LABINJO

One blow for the Stampeders is the loss of defensive lineman Mike Labinjo, who rolled an ankle Thursday in practice. The Toronto native and St. Mike's alum stayed home in Calgary to recover. He had a touchdown against the Argos last week when he lined up as a tight end and caught a Henry Burris pass.

Pickett said he won't get caught up in the Argos' past two losses, both of which were by 30 points.

"Everybody has lost big games before," Pickett said. "If you have been in this business long enough, you have had long afternoons. We just have to play better."


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