You aren’t going to win many football games when your quarterback turns the ball over five times, but after a 37-16 dismantling at the hands of the Montreal Alouettes, the play of quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson was the least of Ryan Dinwiddie’s concerns.
The Toronto Argonauts head coach had nary a word to say about his resident journeyman’s decision making on Friday night, a game in which he threw four interceptions. Instead, he chose to remain focused on the origin of the Boatmen’s offensive woes: the poor play of their offensive line.
“We’ve got to figure something out there. That was a tough day and tough to watch. We couldn’t block them at all. Poor Mac was sitting back there getting the crap beat out of him,” Dinwiddie freely admitted to media post-game.
“He battled, tough sucker, but we can’t block like that and expect to win football games. That was a tough performance by the o-line.”
With starters Dariusz Bladek, Isiah Cage and Jamal Campbell all on the six-game injured list, Toronto’s line was hampered significantly against the Alouettes. The starting five of Dejon Allen, Phillip Blake, Peter Nicastro, Shane Richards and Trevon Tate — who was starting for his third different team this season — were credited with surrendering just three sacks, but Montreal got consistent pressure in the face of Bethel-Thompson, forcing a number of errant throws that kept the Argos from mounting a comeback.
It was far from the only problem on a night where Toronto’s defensive line was equally manhandled en route to a 203-yard rushing performance from William Stanback, but it was a determining factor in the devastating loss.
“We’ve got lots to learn from this game. We’ve got guys in that locker room that are competitive as heck that are just down in the dumps right now,” Dinwiddie acknowledged.
“It’s a tough loss, but we’ve got to be able to use it as fuel to understand we’re not where we need to be as a team. They’re in first place now. They got a W. They played a lot better than us today. We’ve got to go back to the drawing board and understand we’re not as good think we are and find a way to continue to improve.”
It’s certain that McLeod Bethel-Thompson’s aching rib cage agrees.