Whose tires will Jim Barker be pumping on TSN’s dreadful behind-the-scenes Argos show now that Toronto has punted quarterback Cleo Lemon?
Despite regularly flogging media and fans with the notion Lemon was evolving into a bona fide CFL starter, Barker’s frustration finally matched the fans’ desire to see a real prospect take over the offence.
Lemon wasn’t terrible, but the pocket passer finally wore out his welcome after getting benched against B.C., despite completing 11 of 14 passes. Lemon’s obvious displeasure with the decision, possibly magnified because of a bonus for games started, forced Barker to end this two-year experiment.
Argo hopes now rest with Steven Jyles, back from the nine-game injured list, who will work with a uninspiring receiving corps led by a past-his-prime Jeremaine Cope- land.
If the 2-7 Argos continue sliding with Jyles in the starting role, Barker will be forced to explain how he’s failed to develop a CFL quarterback in two seasons in Toronto.
Out with the new, in with the old in Regina:
You’ve got to give Grandpa Ken Miller some credit for pulling the Roughriders from their death bed after firing head coach Greg Marshall.
It’s hard to imagine how the Roughies, lifeless through the first eight games, could be resuscitated for the Labour Day Classic. But their win over Winnipeg was nothing short of sensational and convinced many that the team will now make a serious run for a playoff spot, despite a 1-7 start.
Teams typically react with an emotional and inspiring performance when a coach is replaced, so this could be just a one-game apparition. But Miller does have a way of inspiring his troops that could have sustaining power. Next month the man turns 70 and the last thing his heart needs is the stress and strife of a coaching career.
Don’t jump ship on Alouettes just yet:
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ 41-point outburst against Montreal last weekend might signal changing tides in the East.
That said, the Alouettes were without four defensive starters, so the Tabbies should temper their enthusiasm. The Als entered the game missing Etienne Boulay, Mark Estelle, Shea Emry and Jerald Brown.
The second-place Ticats might be ready to challenge the Grey Cup champs in the East, but only playoff success in November will prove the Hamilton club is for real.