Emergence of Shaw likely rules out Medlock

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:17 AM ET

Grant Shaw’s gain appears to be Justin Medlock’s loss.

Medlock, out of work since being waived by the Detroit Lions just under two weeks ago but hopeful of returning to the CFL and the Argonauts where he was successful on 40 of 46 field-goal attempts last season, was thought to be a near lock to get that opportunity.

That no longer looks like the case.

“We’ll do what is best for our club and what is fair for Justin,” head coach Jim Barker said yesterday before sounding the death knell for Medlock’s Argo hopes. “He was a great kicker here, but he had to go and do what he had to do. Sometimes when that happens, teams go and do what they have to do. With Grant it has been great because it has given us some games to watch him and see if he is ready to be the guy and he has done nothing to show us that he isn’t. I mean he has done everything.”

Medlock was initially with the Washington Redskins taking part in their OTA’s and mini-camps before he was cut. Even then he expected he would be making his way to Toronto, but then the Lions stepped in and claimed him in order to give their return teams some practice against a left-footed kicker. In the interim, Shaw just got better and better.

“He has really developed himself and (veteran punter) Jamie Boreham has really helped him a lot with his rhythm,” Barker said. “He looks confident and his leg strength has never been a question. That has always been there.”

So far this season, Shaw, a 6-foot-3, 208-pound converted all-Canadian defensive back, has been good on all four field goals he has attempted including a 52-yarder against Winnipeg.

Not bad for a guy who in the pre-season as he lined up his second-ever field-goal attempt in the CFL, could have overheard his head coach telling an on-field official to, ‘Watch your head, you may get hit.’

“In practice, he had been all over the yard,” Barker explained.

But what Barker has quickly learned about Shaw is he plays much better than he practices.

“We knew he had a strong leg, but you never know about a guy until the lights go on. It’s nice to see that when the lights do go on, he’s actually better than he is in practice. He’s a gamer.”

As for Medlock, Barker wasn’t prepared to say just what the plan was.

“Justin just cleared (NFL) waivers, he just cleared,” Barker said. “Now we have basically five days to make a decision on him. But if Grant continues doing what he is doing — to use an import spot there doesn’t make a lot of sense.”


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