Ex-NFLer not the 'answer'

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:35 AM ET

Having played for the CFL gong show that was the Gliebermans when they were part of the ownership group of the now-defunct Ottawa Renegades, Argonauts quarterback Kerry Joseph was asked if this season compared to the "general weirdness" that he experienced in Ottawa.

"I have no comment on that," Joseph said yesterday.

The latest ripple of controversy in Argoland happened Monday night when the Argos released receiver Bethel Johnson, a move announced yesterday. Johnson, whose speed and smarts were lauded by former head coach Rich Stubler in training camp, was a bust for the Boatmen. The 29-year-old suffered a sprained ankle in the second game and when he returned to the field on Labour Day, he continuously made gaffes until the Argos decided enough was enough. What's more surprising than the actual release is that the Argos kept Johnson, who won two Super Bowls with the New England Patriots, for as long as they did.

Johnson had just 16 catches for 189 yards as an Argo.

"We tried very diligently to make him a productive receiver and it did not work," Argos head coach Don Matthews said. "It was a lack of production. He is a very gifted football player, but it did not translate on the field. We're a work in progress. We were hoping he would be part of the answer and it did not work out that way."

The cutting of Johnson is the most recent move in a season that has gone from bad to worse to horrifying.

The original quarterback controversy, the trading of Michael Bishop, the firing of Stubler, the myriad changes on defence, the giant losses -- none of it has been eye candy.

The Argos, just two points behind the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for second place in the East and a playoff spot, will try to salvage something starting Friday night at home against the B.C. Lions.

Joseph's reward for returning to action after being benched for two games in favour of Cody Pickett might get nasty. The Lions recorded 10 sacks against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats last week, including three by Cameron Wake, who has a league-leading 18 in 2008. Wake is closing in on James Parker's record of 26.5 sacks in one season.

"You watch some film, and you think: 'Did he walk on water?' " Joseph said of Wake. "We don't fear him. We respect him. We know he is a great player."

Expect P.K. Sam to get more looks with Johnson out of the picture. Sam has played in the past two games and has made six catches for 75 yards.

Oh, and if the offence fails again, blame the players. When asked how much falls on the shoulders of offensive co-ordinator Steve Buratto, Matthews said: "Steve Buratto is not throwing the ball, reading the reads, dropping the balls or blocking. Steve does an excellent job of preparing players to play. Change has to come from the players."


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