The Argos’ offence is sputtering.
Something has to be done. Head coach Jim Barker has hinted that quarterback Cleo Lemon is going to have to start getting results or he will lose his No. 1 status and Dalton Bell or Steven Jyles (health permitting) will get a shot.
That’s not going to happen this weekend unless Barker has a change of heart. His comments after Friday’s 33-17 loss to the Montreal Alouettes clearly indicated Lemon would get another chance.
With that said, here are five things the Argos’ offence is currently doing or not doing that drive us up the wall.
1. Enough already with the horizontal throws. Forget those tosses to the wide side of the field that start out a yard or two past the line of scrimmage. Your receivers — outside of perhaps Andre Durie — have not shown the ability to advance the ball on these routes. Let’s try going upfield so at least if they do hang on to the ball it’s eight or nine yards past the starting point and maybe they can stretch it out an extra yard or two.
2. Run the ball. Even with tailback Cory Boyd healthy in Week 1 he was more an afterthought until midway through the second half. You have a veteran offensive line that apparently is much more appreciated from outside than it is within the confines of the decision-makers’ offices. Use them. Not only will it take the pressure off Lemon it just might help you sustain a drive or two which would also serve to keep your defence at least a little bit rested. Chad Kackert may not be Cory Boyd but he’s willing and able to hit the open holes. Don’t wait for Boyd to return. Start running now.
3. Put Cleo back on the clock. All through training camp all the quarterbacks were on the clock from the snap. If they didn’t get rid of the ball quick enough they were told so in no uncertain terms. Lemon appears to have backslid since training camp and is once again holding on to the ball too long. Bring the clock back to practice which should serve to remind Lemon that time is of the essence and he’s not doing his team any good by holding the ball as long as he is.
4. Get the ball in Durie’s hands more often. In three games he has caught nine passes and rushed the ball once. Between them, Chad Owens or Durie have to be your designated game breakers. Owens has struggled early on but when you have got the ball to Durie, it has normally resulted in positive yardage and then some.
5. At least make your opponent respect the fact you will go deep on occasion. Understanding that any kind of deep threat in this offence is all but nonexistent, you still have to stretch things out once in a while. Owens can get down there as can Brandon Rideau but if you don’t show an opponent this early, they’re just going to fill the box and make anything short extremely difficult.