Argos go back to Joseph

FRANK ZICARELLI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:48 AM ET

The Argos have turned to Kerry Joseph in hopes of turning around a situation that borders on desperation.

Benched for the past two games in favour of Cody Pickett, Joseph will be back in the line of fire when he lines up under centre for the beleaguered Boatmen, who are quickly running out of options and time as they prepare to play host to the B.C. Lions.

"I can't really get excited about whomever they put in there because we're 4-9,'' veteran receiver Arland Bruce III said when informed yesterday of the team's decision to put the ball back in Joseph's hands.

"It doesn't matter if they brought in Warren Moon to play. We're still 4-9,'' Bruce added.

But given the vagaries of the CFL, the Argos still are in a playoff hunt, even though their prospects appear daunting.

Until Joseph can somehow regain his past form, until the Argos somehow find ways to better protect him and until receivers begin catching passes and making plays, it's only a matter of time before the Argos officially are eliminated from the post-season.

Don Matthews is 0-3 in his return to coaching and can only hope that Joseph is poised to finally impose his will.

Without getting into specifics, Matthews has told Joseph what he expects.

Read between the lines and it's obvious the Argos want Joseph to use his legs more, to put pressure on defences and to take calculated chances.

"There are players in the world who will do what they're told and players who will only do what they are told,'' Matthews said.

"I'm looking for someone who will do what they're told and then when something happens, they make a play.

"We need someone to knock the ball out of the park."

It was Matthews' decision in his return to the sidelines against Winnipeg three weeks ago to replace Joseph with Pickett in the fourth quarter.

In back-to-back losses to Calgary, Pickett basically stood in the pocket and showed very little mobility and no signs that he was worthy of first-string status.

When he has played well as an Argo, which hasn't been often, Joseph has been aggressive and decisive when he takes the snap from centre.

Joseph became the first Argos quarterback since Doug Flutie to rush for more than 100 yards and pass for more than 300 yards in a Week 4 comeback win over Edmonton.

Joseph can't pinpoint what has gone awry since that point, but believes it's pointless to look back.

"It's pro football,'' he said. "If I had all the answers, we'd be 9-4. It just happens.

"You have peaks and valleys in football and you have peaks and valleys in life. Right now we're in that valley."

BRIEFLY

Return specialist Keith Stokes is back in Argoland on a tryout basis ... With OL Jonta Woodard nursing an ankle injury, the club has reached out to Cliff Washburn, who started six games two years ago.


Videos

Photos