Toronto Argonauts

Byron Parker - Defensive Back - 2005-09, 10-11- Tulane


It's a fitting sendoff for Parker - Frank Zicarelli - Toronto Sun - 12-07-2014

Byron Parker will one day find his way into the CFL's Hall of Fame.

And for one more day, Parker will be an Argo and then retire, which seems fitting given how the two were joined at the hip during his peak.

Even more fitting is how Rich Stubler, Calgary's new defensive co-ordinator, will be at the Rogers Centre on Saturday night when the Argos plan to honour Parker.

It was under Stubler's watch as Toronto's defensive guru that Parker flourished, making big plays that flipped field position or produced pick-sixes.

Parker spent seven seasons with the Argonauts after being signed as a free agent by the club in 2005. He holds the CFL records for most career interceptions returned for a touchdown with nine, all with Toronto, and the single-season record for interception return yards with 348 in 2006.

During his CFL career, Parker amassed 268 tackles, 30 interceptions and 12 touchdowns with Toronto, Edmonton, B.C., and Montreal. He was named a CFL all-star three times.

Parker had been a free agent since being released by Montreal in January. He will be honoured before the Argos host Calgary on Saturday.

"Byron Parker was a very athletic and instinctive football player, and quarterbacks always needed to be aware of where he was in the defence," Argonauts general manager Jim Barker said in a statement. "He was not only dynamic to watch, but a man of great character. I had the opportunity to coach him in Toronto and he played an important role for us in helping to change and create a winning culture within our locker room. He will always be remembered as an Argonaut."

"I would like to say a huge thank you to the Toronto Argonauts organization, as well as the entire league, for allowing me to be a part of the CFL family,'' said Parker in a statement released by the Argos. "I will be forever grateful for the relationships and friendships that I have formed over the past nine years."

For seven eventful seasons in Toronto, Parker was a staple in the team's secondary, a shut-down corner who played with instinct and athleticism. He was a basketball player, nurtured and groomed by Stubler until he decided to take his act to the NFL.

In four-down football, the Eagles demanded Parker bulk up.

When Philly needed a roster space to account for Michael Vick, Parker was released.

And when Parker returned to the CFL, he was never the same.



-- statistics --



Byron Parker     Tulane  
Yr Team Int Yds Avg TD Lg Tkl
2005 Tor 0 0 0.0 0 0 2
2006 Tor 8 348 43.5 4 87 26
2007 Tor 6 143 23.8 2 58 31
2008 Tor 4 70 17.5 0 27 40
2009 Tor 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
Edm 3 31 10.3 0 19 16
2010 Tor 2 50 25.0 1 41 33
2011 Tor 5 133 26.6 2 50 50
2012 BC 1 37 37.0 0 37 38
2013 Mtl 1 2 2.0 0 2 32
Total 11 30 814 27.1 9 87 268




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