Argos now have lots of experienced quarterbacks

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:08 PM ET

TORONTO - This time a year ago Jim Barker didn’t have a single quarterback with any real CFL game experience.

As of Friday, he had a total of five quarterbacks under control, three with some experience, two with almost a full season of starts under their belts.

If anyone is looking for any measurement of the Argos being a better-positioned team coming into 2011, this is it.

Still about two months from the opening of training camp, Barker has not just a sufficient stable of throwers, he’s thinking he may have an excess.

The plan right now is to take all five down to Florida later this month for a mini-camp and depending on what they show down there make some early decisions.

“I’d like to take four,” Barker said when asked how many quarterbacks he would ideally open camp in June with. “If we have to take five, we’ll take five.

“We’ll go down to Florida to our mini-camp (at the end of April), watch them perform and then make a decision whether we want them all to come up and compete or four of the five or three of the five or whatever is best for us.”

Joining incumbent Cleo Lemon will be Steven Jyles, Dalton Bell, who served as Lemon’s backup last year, Danny Brannagan who was on the practice roster most of the year, and Matt Grothe, a South Florida product who tore his ACL in his final year of college. Grothe was signed to the Argos practice roster last October.

Barker fully expects to name one starter and barring injury stick with that one player. He prefers not to platoon.

“Once we determine a quarterback then I’m loyal to that guy and I will back him,” Barker said. “With Cleo last year I felt he was the right guy and he went through the season and then at the end of the season I told him we would re-evaluate. Will he be a competitor? Absolutely, but so is Dalton and Danny Brannagan and now so is Steven Jyles.”

— Mike Ganter


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