Toronto Argonauts hope quarterback change can spark struggling offence

Quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson #5 of the San Francisco 49ers and current Toronto Argonauts quarterback. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson #5 of the San Francisco 49ers and current Toronto Argonauts quarterback. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Argonauts are trying to remain positive after starter James Franklin is placed on the six-game injured list.

The injury woes continued this week for the Toronto Argonauts with quarterback James Franklin being placed on the six-game injury list.

Mcleod Bethel-Thompson is stepping into the starting position, returning to the role he held for eight games in 2018.

Toronto is hoping that Bethel-Thompson’s experience will help ease the transition this Saturday as the winless Argos take on the B.C. Lions.

"“I really believe we have two starting quarterbacks.” Coach Chamblin said at practice Thursday.“[It’s next man up,] but we got a lot of guys in that role. I don’t think it’s just ‘next man up’ –it’s just man up. If you’re a championship team, you find a way to win.”That way to win will require a lead, something that the team has not held all season."

For one brief drive after the storm delay in Saskatchewan, the Argos felt they had the momentum.

The rest of the year has been a vicious defensive drill – they have looked more like a stunned boxer trying to survive than a football team.

It’s clearly been an issue – one not lost on the players themselves.

“We need to punch first.” Running back James Wilder Jr. said Thursday. “We always punch back. We get punched in the face and we punch back. This time we need to punch first.”

Wilder believes that the biggest hindrance to the offence this year has not been a scheme or defensive package – it’s been the Argos themselves.

“We need to stop shooting ourselves in the foot. We’re stopping ourselves from our success, [way] more than other defences.”

Man to man, quote after quote, the Argos are owning their current predicament.

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It’s not the schedule or the opponent.

It’s not the referees.

It’s their own careless mistakes that have caused them to be outscored 96-21 through the first two weeks, by far the worst points for/against ratio in the league.

That ratio has seemingly backed them into a corner this weekend, with a desperation game the team needs to have.

But Bethel-Thompson doesn’t see it that way, and neither do his teammates.

“We don’t see must-wins,” Bethel-Thompson said. “Every game is a must win. This season is long, there are so many ebbs and flows. We see the potential we have. We see it on the practice field. We just need to execute.”

It’s a thought that is echoed by one of Bethel-Thompson’s favourite targets, Armanti Edwards.

“Every week is important to get a win. You never know when that one game that you needed earlier in the season could come back and affect your outcome.” Said Edwards.

If the Argos can get a tangible performance out of their offence, they should be able to move the ball on a B.C. Lions team still reeling from their fourth-quarter collapse last week.

injury aside, the shouts for Mcleod were going to be heard sooner or later, especially if Franklin had another multi-interception game.

No one ever wants to see injuries, but the Argos now have a legitimate excuse to shake things up and see what Bethel-Thompson can provide.

In the end, Coach Chamblin said he preached one thing above all else this week in practice.

“They have to believe we are heading in a winning direction.” He said.

That belief starts in the locker room, as it does after every quarterback change, forced or not.

The Argos need to believe, to a man, that they can turn things around Saturday.

Or it’s going to be a long season.

Next. Canada Day loss sets up must win scenario vs. Lions. dark