Rob Murphy has too much on his plate to start taking verbal swipes at his former B.C. Lions teammates.
When you're supposed to be the star member of the Argonauts' offensive line and the group has struggled through the first six weeks of the Canadian Football League schedule, it's smart to lay low.
"Nothing, radio silence," Murphy said of the communication this week between himself and some of his Lions pals. "I'm not going to get into that stuff. Just saving it for the field.
"I don't know if they're going to bite, but I'll definitely throw the hook in the water."
Murphy left B.C. to sign a two-year pact with the Argos during the off-season, a deal that reportedly pays him $195,000 a season. It's a big chunk of cash for an offensive tackle, and there has been greater scrutiny of Murphy because Toronto's protection of its quarterbacks has been about as strong as that umbrella Wile E. Coyote used to hold up to stop the anvil from crushing him.
Kerry Joseph and Cody Pickett have been sacked a total of 26 times, the most in the CFL. When Joseph was flushed out of the pocket, it wouldn't be to get yards, but more because he was running for his football life.
Against the Lions tomorrow night at the Rogers Centre, it will be Pickett who will be fighting to stay on his feet if the offensive line doesn't clamp down. What should help is that Pickett gets rid of the ball quicker than Joseph. That has been proven with stopwatches in practice this week and head coach Bart Andrus saw it on the tape of last week's loss in Montreal, when Pickett entered the game in relief of Joseph.
But pick anyone on the O-line and there will be someone who has lost more one-on-one battles than Andrus would prefer.
"One word I would say that would apply to (Murphy) and probably to all of our offensive line is consistency," Andrus said. "(Murphy) at times has taken his turn at getting beaten individually and there are times when he is as firm as any other guy."
Murphy has been a force of leadership in the locker room, helping to fill a void created when Mike O'Shea, Jude St. John and Chad Folk and the Argos departed ways last winter. But Murphy concurred that getting it right all the time on the field is not easy.
"There have been some inconsistencies but that has to do with the changing of the guys on the line and not getting into a rhythm," Murphy said. "Overall, I think I have played well but there have been some breakdowns."