Parker pining for starting job

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:28 AM ET

Byron Parker is sour that he can't do anything about the Argonauts' lack of interceptions.

Parker has been with the Argos for more than a month after he was cut by the Philadelphia Eagles, but despite credentials that include two all-star seasons at cornerback for Toronto, he is not yet part of the starters on defence.

"Personally, I can't," Parker said when asked if he knew where head coach Bart Andrus was coming from regarding his stance on the 28-year-old. "I'm being honest with you. My numbers don't lie, they speak for themselves. If you look over my body of work, interceptions are something I bring to the table.

"I don't want to be one of the me, me, me guys. I'm all about the team. I just don't think the explanation they have been giving is accurate."

The Argos and Blue Bombers clash in Winnipeg on Saturday night, with both teams sporting 3-8 records.

One stat that sticks in Andrus' craw is the few interceptions by the Argos. They have nine, more than only the seven recorded by Edmonton.

But that's not enough for Parker to take over from one of Jordan Younger or Willie Middlebrooks on the corner.

"He is still learning all the details of the defence," Andrus said. "It's just a matter of time before he becomes a staple."

Parker had four interceptions a year ago and has 18 in his career. On six occasions, he has returned the football for a touchdown.

In part, what could be holding Parker back is that there have been times when he freelances. But that has not got him into trouble before.

Parker doesn't accept the idea that he has more to learn about defensive co-ordinator Pete Kuharchek's system.

"The defence that I grew up on, of how to play the CFL game, was complicated," Parker said. "You had to read, play with your eyes, under Rich Stubler. Here, most of the time I am high, or I got the dude in front of me. That is not hard to learn."

Still, Parker knows the defence as a whole has been an Argos strong point.

"We're solid," Parker said. "There are more ways to score than on offence, and it's part of the game we have to pick up.

"It's frustrating, but I am a team guy and not about myself. I want to play. If I am not going to play here, then at the end of the season, if it comes down to it, I have to play somewhere else."

Meanwhile, offensive tackle Cliff Washburn, cut by the Houston Texans on Sept. 5, rejoined the Argos. Washburn started three games for Toronto last season.

TERRY.KOSHAN@SUNMEDIA.CA


Videos

Photos