Bitter Bishop blues

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:49 AM ET

Saskatchewan's latest CFL chess move could put the Blue Bombers' knights in danger.

The Roughriders have brought Michael Bishop to the Queen City and he is expected to be the starting quarterback when the Bombers challenge the Roughies in the annual Labour Day Classic in Regina this Sunday.

The Toronto Argonauts dealt Bishop to Saskatchewan for a conditional 2011 draft pick on Sunday.

"He's probably got the strongest arm in the CFL so, he will enhance their position that way," Winnipeg GM Brendan Taman said yesterday. "Because of that arm, a wind game in Saskatchewan won't affect him that much."

And Bishop, who had been relegated to a backup behind former Roughriders QB Kerry Joseph in Toronto, should be champin' at the mouthguard.

"He'll be a breath of fresh air for those guys because he will be so enthusiastic," Taman predicted.

Indeed. Bishop left no doubt as to how he felt he was treated by the Argos.

"I guess I'm getting an opportunity to play and I'm getting away from all the lies that I've been told up to this point," Bishop told the Toronto Star.

In fact, the Argos did not even tell Bishop of the deal themselves.

"Maybe they'll tell me in Week 18," he joked.

A quarterback controversy had begun in Toronto when the Argos announced the trade to acquire Joseph and announce the re-signing of Bishop on the same day. The situation was uncomfortable for both ever since that day.

Head coach Rich Stubler had suggested that the two would share the responsibilities this season.

"That was a lie from the start," Bishop charged. "Everything that was said in training camp was a lie."

So, Bishop will be ready to take his frustrations out on the first adversary, namely Winnipeg. In fact, Bishop's poor performance against the Bombers in last year's Eastern Final is believed to be the beginning of his demise.

"I'll definitely be looking forward to playing out there and helping them in any way I can," said Bishop, who led the Argos to an 11-1 record after returning from a broken wrist last year. "They know what I can bring to the table if given the right opportunity."

Although Crandell is expected to either get traded or released, Taman is not interested.

"If we bring in another quarterback, it's going to be a young guy," he said.

Taman also speculated that Damon Allen may return to the field as Joseph's backup in Toronto.

Meanwhile, the Bombers are expecting Bishop, who was once coached by Saskatchewan head man Ken Miller in Toronto, to start this Sunday.

"This is professional football," said Bomber linebacker Ike Charlton. "You look at the Brett Favre situation; they threw him right in.

"Bishop's been with the guy (Miller) before in Toronto, so I'm quite sure the terminology may be kind of familiar to him."

But the Bombers believe that stopping running back Wes Cates will be the key no matter who is starting at QB this Sunday.

"It's something to give them a little spark, but we've gotta keep (Cates) out of the game plan," Charlton said. "He is touching the ball 25, 30 times a game. That's where the offence is going through right now so, we've gotta take care of him. Trust me, we'll be ready for him."


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