Argos’ Ryan Dinwiddie: QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson now the ‘face of our franchise’

Photo courtesy: Adam Krueger, Toronto Argonauts

McLeod Bethel-Thompson is the last quarterback standing in Toronto after the Argonauts traded Nick Arbuckle to Edmonton.

And Argos head coach Ryan Dinwiddie gave the 33-year-old Bethel-Thompson a huge vote of confidence following the transaction.

“I think he feels the respect that we view him as a starter and the face of our franchise,” Dinwiddie said.

Bethel-Thompson is in his fourth season in double blue. This year he has 1,605 passing yards with nine touchdowns and six interceptions. That came after a 2019 campaign which saw him put up 4,024 passing yards with 26 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

Dinwiddie told reporters the QB’s most recent stretch made this the decision to make.

“Over the last five games Mac’s really took that next step and the leadership role. The guys really gravitate towards him and he’s taking on the ownership, being the quarterback of the team,” Dinwiddie said.

The current stay in Toronto is the longest in one spot of Bethel-Thompson’s career since becoming a pro in 2011 in the Arena Football League with the San Jose SabreCats. He also spent time with the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the United Football League along with stops in San Francisco, Miami, Minnesota, and Philadelphia in the NFL.

Dinwiddie hopes Bethel-Thompson understands the team has faith in him.

“It’s a respect factor with McLeod. I think he felt like he should have been the guy multiple times and they kept going back and forth. We went to Nick probably without giving him a shot to establish himself in this offence. When I felt like he was, then we made the call to go back to him and he took off and ran with it.”

With Bethel-Thompson and Arbuckle splitting time under centre the Argos are in a battle for the top spot in the East Division, currently sitting tied for first with Montreal at 6-4, two points up on Hamilton.

Toronto will look to stay perfect at home when they host the B.C. Lions (4-6) Saturday afternoon with Bethel-Thompson as the unquestioned starter.