Argo defensive back and linebacker Willie Pile announced his retirement today. Pile spent the last five seasons with the Argos where he was universally regarded as one of the team's best players. Pile is just the latest Argo veteran to leave the team this off-season. The Argos have already dealt with:
- Jeremaine Copeland retiring to become a coach in Hamilton
- Kevin Eiben jumping ship to Hamilton in free agency
- Lin-J Shell signing with BC after the Argos inexplicably cut him
- Byron Parker joining Shell on the west coast by signing with the Lions as a free agent
- Rob Murphy and Taylor Robertson retiring
Ricky Ray is a natural choice to assume a leadership role, but he can't be the only one. Guys like Ricky Foley, Kevin Huntley and Jason Pottinger are going to have become even more vocal; Cory Boyd, Chad Owens and Andre Durie are going to have to step up and assume leadership roles as well.
Every team loses veteran players, but rarely does such a mass exodus occur at one time. The Argos have Grey Cup aspirations, and if they are to come close to reaching those expectations, new players are going to have to step up and become leaders sooner rather than later.