Saturday, June 25, 2011
8 Teams, 8 Days: Toronto Argonauts
The Argos were the surprise team of 2010, and much like in 2010, everything will be dependent on the Quarterback.
Entering last season, the Argos had no CFL experience at the most important position on the field. Cleo Lemon, Dalton Bell, Ken Dorsey and Danny Brannagan began the season with zero CFL starts to their credit. One year later, the Argos will field a bevy of Quarterbacks with experience, with former Blue Bomber Steven Jyles added to the returning triumvirate of Lemon, Bell and Brannagan (Dorsey has since retired).
Running Back Cory Boyd was a revelation last year, finishing second in the league in rushing yards. Boyd plays in a way that makes him susceptible to injuries, but he is by far the team's best offensive weapon, so the Boatmen will rely heavily on Boyd once again in 2011.
Receiver Chad Owens made a name for himself in the return game. The former star from Hawaii unanimously won the league's Most Outstanding Special Teams Player Award and will try to give the Argos a repeat performance in 2011. Jeremaine Copeland is a veteran Receiver that whoever Quarterbacks the team will be able to rely on, but outside of him and Owens, the Argos don't have much in the way of Receivers. The return of P.K. Sam could help, but he hasn't shown much in his three-year CFL career.
The Defense has always been a strong point for even the worst of Argos teams, and last year was no exception. Toronto allowed the fewest points per game of any team in 2010, at 24.6. Even with the departures of Adriano Belli (retirement) and Eric Taylor (free agency), the Argo Defense will still be one of the top units in the CFL.
The success or failure of the Argonauts will be tied entirely to their Quarterback. Whoever makes it out of camp and the preseason as the starter will have to produce better than Lemon (last season's starter) did in 2010. As the QB goes, so go the Argos. The cat is out of the bag: the Argos are pretty good. Now they will have to take the leap from pretty good to great. The only way they will be able to do that is to get top-notch production out of the Quarterback position.