Argos face QB quandary

FRANK ZICARELLI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:21 AM ET

It shouldn't surprise anyone that head coach Bart Andrus isn't sure who will line up under centre when the offensively challenged Argos go Lions hunting this Friday at Rogers Centre.

Given how inept the Argos have been this season, Andrus might feel inclined to change every single area on offence.

But the most pivotal and highest-profiled area is at quarterback, where Kerry Joseph's status as the team's incumbent is now in question.

The Argos are coming off a 25-0 loss to the Alouettes in Montreal, the first time Toronto has been shut out since 1992.

And this on the heels of a 13-12 home loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers when the Argos turned the ball over seven times.

Joseph, who endured a quarterback controversy last season, his first in Double Blue, with Michael Bishop, enters this week with a career-low passing rating of 68.1.

He has thrown more interceptions (10) than touchdowns (7) and taken numerous hits, including a devastating shot last week that resulted in Joseph's head making contact with the turf.

PICKETT MIGHT START

The sequence forced Andrus to go with Cody Pickett, who made one start as a CFL rookie last season with the Argos.

When the Argos gathered for practice yesterday, they were in shoulder pads.

Pickett, who has backed up Joseph for the 2-4 Argos, got some reps with the first-team offence.

"I haven't exactly decided what we're going to do there,'' Andrus said of his starting quarterback for B.C.

"We look at every position the same way and not just quarterback,'' Andrus said. "We're very critical. We'll play that through and see what happens at the end of the week."

To put the blame on Joseph's shoulders would be foolish.

There are plenty of culprits, but Joseph understands the nature of the position and the attention the team now will get in the wake of Andrus not naming a starter this week.

"We've struggled as an offence,'' Joseph said in an understatement of epic proportions.

"When you play the position of quarterback, you take the good with the bad. The way I approach each week will not change."

Pickett's stance was similar.

"I'm preparing this week like I do every week,'' he said.

But the mood around Argoland is decidedly different.

With the season well on its way, having new players and a new coaching staff is no longer an excuse.

This is a team that needs offensive playmakers and a win as the Argos get a bye week following B.C.'s visit.

The word "embarrassed" was being tossed around yesterday like a football following Friday's folly.

"That's the only word you can use,'' Joseph said. "To be shut out in the CFL is flat-out embarrassing."


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