For the third time this year, one of Argos head coach Bart Andrus’ players is publicly questioning his decisions.
This time around it is quarterback Kerry Joseph, who is in total disagreement and very uncomfortable with Andrus’ refusal to name a starting QB for the club’s game in Saskatchewan on Saturday.
Andrus says that as of now, the 3-10 Argos will stick with Cody Pickett as their starting QB, but left the door open to changing his mind on that.
“I feel comfortable with either one of them,” Andrus said of Pickett or Joseph. “I’m leaving it the same right now (Pickett as the starter) and if we decide one way or the other — I mean to me it’s not a huge deal. It will come down to the end of the week and what we feel like gives us the best chance considering everything — field conditions, weather, all of that.”
It’s that uncertainty that is at the root of Joseph’s beef.
“As players, you want to know where you stand going into a game,” Joseph said. “Me personally, I’m not comfortable with it because it hurts preparation. You want to be out there in the huddle and the guys in the huddle to know what is going on. But I haven’t asked about it. I just speak when spoken to.”
Already this year, Arland Bruce and Byron Parker have publicly challenged their head coach on what normally are in-house matters. Both were traded not long after taking their complaints to the media.
Joseph believes a lack of consistency is causing a lot of the problems this team has encountered on offence this year.
“We’re not being consistent,” Joseph said. “We’ve had changes here and there but the situation now doesn’t help make us consistent. If you’re not getting the reps, you’re not going to be consistent and I think that’s why we have struggled as an offence. You want to be able to look at the guys eyes in the huddle and know everybody has the confidence to go. This doesn’t help the confidence of me or Cody.
"We want to know what is going on so we can get out there and get going.”
Both quarterbacks took turns running the offence yesterday, just as both players took turns running the scout team offence as well. Neither looked particularly sharp with the Argos defenders picking off pass after pass, but that too is irrelevant when it comes to naming a starter, according to Andrus.
“At some point you have to say, maybe the other guy will spark us,” Andrus said of the uncertainty. “They’re both equipped to play at this level.”
If Joseph’s outburst leads to him followng Bruce and Parker out the door, it’s not like he will be leaving with a lot of happy memories of his time in Toronto.
Asked yesterday if he felt he had been given the chance to succeed in Toronto, Joseph suggested the only time it really felt like that were the final five games of last season.
“Other than that, it has just been frustrating,” Joseph said. “It has been a fiasco. I’ve had to hear: ‘He can’t throw. He has to run with the ball. He has to do this and that’ but you go back to 2007 in Kent Austin’s offence (in Saskatchewan), most of it was drop back. We moved around a little bit, but my runs came off making plays. Coming in here, I never thought it would be this way for two years. It has been frustrating. I mean seven wins in two years so far — that’s not what you look for as a professional athlete.
"So what do you do? You keep working and try and control what you can control.”
Except yesterday, when the uncertainty just got to be too much for Joseph.