Saturday 26 June 2010

8 Teams, 8 Days: Toronto Argonauts

Last Season: 3-15, 4th in the East (Missed Playoffs)


Uh.... Well, this won't be easy. The Argonauts enter 2010 with a plethora of questions. First, who will start at Quarterback? The team has four QBs on its roster, none of whom have ever played in a CFL regular-season game. Former Miami Dolphin Cleo Lemon will be the Argos' starting QB on opening day, but watch out for Dalton Bell. The former Roughrider looked very sharp in pre-season action, and I wouldn't be surprised if he's starting at some point this season.

Second, who will start at Running Back? The Boatmen let go of their only productive player from 2009, Jamal Robertson, after the season, and enter 2010 with no concrete starter. Jeff Johnson, Brian Crawford and Andre Durie are all vying for the chance to be the Argos' Running Back, but none of them is really the long-term answer. Could Jesse Lumsden or Kenton Keith be getting a call soon?

The one area that doesn't have a lot of questions is Wide Receiver. The Argos aren't as loaded as say Saskatchewan or Hamilton, but the Boatman do possess one of the most productive WRs in the CFL in Jeremaine Copeland. The Argos traded for the former CFL All-Star this past off-season. Reggie McNeal and Chad Lucas are still around, but other than that, the Argos are very young and inexperienced.

The Offensive Line looks like a mess. Last season's big free-agent signing, Rob Murphy, looks to have "bust" written all over him. The Argos did snatch up former Ti-Cat Cedric Gagne-Marcoux, but he's not the answer to their problems. It is going to take a lot of time for this offense to become a consistent unit.

Player to Watch: Dalton Bell


This is one area where the Argos aren't completely devoid of talent. Former Ti-Cat (and Blogskee Wee Wee Enemy #2, though on second thought he's probably #1) Adriano Belli anchors a Defensive Line that doesn't have a lot going for it, but could develop into a strong unit over time.

The Linebackers, led by Kevin Eiben, remain the strongest part of the team, and Jordan Younger could be in for a massive season. In the Secondary, the team welcomes the return of Byron Parker, who last year was exiled to Edmonton by former Head Coach (and Count Chocula lookalike) Bart Andrus. The Willies return, Middlebrooks and Pile, and expect big things from Toronto's 2009 Most Outstanding Rookie nominee Lin-J Shell.

Player to Watch: Lin-J Shell


This will more than likely be a very long season for the Argonauts. There was massive upheaval after the 2009 season ended, and it's unlikely that the Argos will be a threat this season, especially early on. You simply cannot dismiss their lack of talent at key positions, namely Quarterback and Running Back. The 2010 season is more than likely a wash for the Boatmen, but it should lay the groundwork for marked improvement in 2011 and beyond. Jim Barker has a proven track record of finding talent, so while the Argos will probably still be the bottom feeders of the CFL, Barker is positioning them for bigger and better things in the years ahead.

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  1. These summaries are great Josh. Hope the day comes when you're quoted elsewhere for these.

    But I put Belli further down the list. O'Shea is enemy #1, 2, and 3 in my book, even now in his role as a coach. Besides, Belli usually finds ways to negate most of the good things he does. lol

    6 former Argos on our roster right now: Bruce, Schmidt, Shivers, Poole, Ramsay, Dewit (well, 7 if you count Mariuz but all the blue blood has been transmutated to black and gold by now). That's as many as the number of former Lions.

  2. Thanks for the compliment. I try my best.

    I hate O'Shea as well, but my God, every time I see Belli I want to hit something. I think because of all the rumours about how he dogged it to get out of town. That just doesn't sit right with me.

    I can't believe how many ex-Argos we have. I didn't realize the number was that high.