Argos coach Barker makes wrong decision ó again

Argos quarterback Cleo Lemon passes in the face of a rush by Alouettes defensive end Kitwana Jones...

Argos quarterback Cleo Lemon passes in the face of a rush by Alouettes defensive end Kitwana Jones at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ont., Thursday night. (ALEX UROSEVIC/QMI Agency)

STEVE SIMMONS, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:38 PM ET

TORONTO - Jim Barker is becoming a man of mystery.

And not necessarily for the best of reasons.

Last week, against an unbeaten Edmonton team, the head coach chose to go with for a 57-yard field goal on the Argos final play of the game, rather than gamble with 24 seconds to play and four yards needed for a first down.

Thursday night, he did the opposite. The result was equally inept ó and difficult to understand or explain.

WIth a strong first half coming to an end against the impressive Montreal Alouettes, Barker chose not to kick a 48-field goal, and instead handed the ball to rookie running back Chad Kackert at the end of the first half.

Kackert had an impressive run, made a first down, ran for 17 yards in all, but time ran out on him and the Argos.

This time, no field goal attempt. Time just ran out, making the Argos look foolish on just about their last scoring play of the game.

The kick, if good, would have made the score 20-16 at the half. Instead, it was 20-13 and Montreal took command of the game from that moment on, outscoring the Argos 9-0 in the third quarter.

Itís Barkerís job to give his team the best opportunity possible to win. Two weeks in a row, heís left points off the board with his odd decision making.

Maybe it wouldnít have made a difference against. But in a game where momentum is everything, it was the wrong call for the Argos.

Not all Lemon

Cleo Lemon had some impressive moments against the Als. And that has to be considered progress, in spite of the final score of 36-23. Lemon looked more composed than normal, throwing a sharp first-half touchdown pass to Spencer Watt and the only interception he threw was deflected off Jeremaine Copelandís hands. Aside from rushing a few balls, this is as impressive as Lemon has been for an entire game, looking in command and in control. And he doesnít exactly have Montrealís receiving corps to throw to. If he had more help, this might have more of a game.

Maybe a Lemon

Now this doesnít happen often. Lemon was penalized for unnecessary roughness after being sacked by Montreal. After the play, he went after Als linebacker Diamond Ferri. Must admit: In years of watching football canít remember a quarterback getting called for roughing. Nick Volpe, whoís only been around the Argos since 1949, canít remember the call ever being made. At times, this Argo team is hysterical and historical all at the same time.

This and that

Montreal RB Dahhran Diedrick, who ran for three short touchdowns, the first time he has managed that as a pro, has to rank as one of the greatest running backs in Toronto high school history. Diedrick went from dominating at Cedarbrae Collegiate and in the summer with Scarboro Thunder before running well at Nebraska. He hardly gets the ball for the Alouettes. But last night was the goal line back of choice ... Another former Toronto high school star, Kerry Carter, set up Diedrickís second score ... Carter did fumble the football when Montreal coach Marc Trestman tried to outsmart himself inside the five-yard line. Earlier, Diedrick had carried in for two scores almost uncontested. This time he chose to pass to Carter, who didnít score or hold on to the football. Had Carter held onto the ball, Diedrick might have scored four times ... No matter how often Andre Durie gets the ball for the Argos, in whatever capacity, it doesnít seem often enough ... The impressive Montreal tanden of S.J. Green and Jamel Richardson were certainly noticeable Thursday night. Green scored the Als first touchdown and Richardson set up the second one.

Hear and there

Record breaking quarterback Anthony Calvillo started the night completing his first eight pases ... Another Damon Allen record fell. Calvillo became the all-time record holder, when he tossed his 5,159th completion, a pass to Brandon London, a record that may never be duplicated. Every completion now for Calvillo is record setting ... The Argos ran a three-man defensive line against Calvillo most of the night, choosing to have more coverage and less pass rush ... One lesson, among many, Lemon could learn from Calvillo is how and when to slide. Calvillo is a master at not taking an unnecessary hit ... A pet peeve: The no-yards rule after the ball hits the turf. Itís unnatural to ask players to back away from a bouncing football. The rule needs to be changed ... No matter what happens with Cory Boyd when heís healthy enough to play, the Argos have to find a way to keep Kackert. The man can play. The Argos could have a devastating running game with both Boyd and Kackert involved but whatever they do, they canít get rid of the rookie running back .... Estimates had the Rogers Centre crowd at about 15,000 Thursday night. Announced attendance was 19,204. The Argos have now had the two smallest crowds in the league this season ... The Argos radio ad about their business being winning and business is good needs to be changed ... The singer known as Jenna ó just one name ó messed up the Canadian anthem. She forgot a sentence or three ... If owner David Braley met with Wally Buono to discuss the state of the winless B.C. Lions, might he soon be wanting to meet with Barker to discuss the 1-and-5 Argos ... This is troubling. The Argos strength is on defence, and yet in two games this season against the Alouettes, Montreal has scored 76 points.


Videos

Photos