Catching the spotlight

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 5:14 AM ET

In the Argonauts season that success forgot, Jeff Johnson isn't doing a bad job at putting a dent in the doom.

When the Argos visit the Edmonton Eskimos on Friday night in their penultimate game of 2009, Johnson will attempt to record a touchdown for the fourth game in a row.

It's a nice little streak for Johnson, who was not getting much attention earlier despite the fact his blocking has helped fellow Toronto running back Jamal Robertson run up more than 1,000 yards.

"You get the ball a couple of times and score a couple of touchdowns, and it's nice to have some accolades come your way," Johnson said. "But the bottom line is our team has struggled and at the end of the day, that's what everybody is going to see.

"If they ask me how I feel about the season, well, it was frustrating. You always strive to improve individually, and I was able to do that."

Two weeks ago, Johnson got the Argos' first touchdown in the air in over a month when Kerry Joseph found him from two yards out. The pair hooked up for a duplicate play last week, this time scrimmaging from the one-yard line and Johnson stepping into the end zone after a short pass from Joseph. It looks like a simple play, but it's one that defences don't expect because they're assuming a rush will be called.

"I think defences forget about him and lose him," Joseph said. "It's just a zone read, but since we have scored two weeks in a row with it, I'm pretty sure (the Eskimos) they will be looking for it."

Johnson has known nothing but playing football in Southern Ontario, and he could have a dilemma on his hands when free agency opens in February. The 32-year-old Toronto native starred for four years at York, spent two seasons in a Hamilton uniform after signing as a free agent and then signed with the Argos in February 2002. Of the current Argos, only linebacker Kevin Eiben and receiver Andre Talbot have been with the Double Blue longer.

But if a CFL club is looking for a dependable Canadian who brings an element of stability on the field and off, Johnson could be a popular guy. Though the Argos' future is as clear as a Theo Fleury urine sample, Johnson wants to return.

"This is my hometown, this is where I grew up," said Johnson, whose touchdown string started on Thanksgiving with a 16-yard dash in Saskatchewan.

"We've had some tough years, and there has been turnover before. It could be a drastic change (in the off-season). But I want to come back."

TERRY.KOSHAN@SUNMEDIA.CA


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