As the Toronto Argonauts come away from their celebration as champions of the Grey Cup, it will be noticed that the team has made significant changes to both their management and their roster in the hope of achieving a similar run at the title in the upcoming season.
As CFL teams look to free up some room for the free-agent market, which opens on February 15, the Argos have said goodbye to some notable players, including Armond Armstead, Ejiro Kuale, Ronald Flemons, Noel Prefontaine, and, only last Tuesday, veteran receiver Ken-Yon Rambo.
As the team looks to re-sign many of their current stars—who will soon become free agents—freeing up room now will allow for ample space come the free-agent frenzy.
So far, the team has re-signed Canadian wide receiver Spencer Watt for the 2014 season and is looking to re-sign stars Ricky Foley and Chad Kackert after the stellar season they spent on the team.
On the sidelines, the Argos have added some coaching talent, including former CFL all-star defensive lineman Ed Philion in the position of defensive line coach. Following the departure of the Argos’ defensive backs coach, Orlando Steinauer, to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, former AFL star Eddie Brown has been called on to take the position. Chris Jones, the Argos’ defensive coordinator, assistant general manager, and assistant head coach, has opted to stay with the team through the 2013 season after being considered for a head coaching position with the Montreal Alouettes.
“They are making the necessary moves to put together key pieces for another championship,” says third-year psychology student Tony Liu. “I hope they can continue to bring victories to the city and rejuvenate the sports world in Toronto. Our confidence in the Argonauts as worthy contenders has definitely grown over the past few months, and has given fans something to cheer about.”
Michael Prempeh, a former Varsity Blues football star and fifth-year history major at UTM, hasn’t let the team’s losses detract from his expectations for the team. “This thing happens with championship teams—basically tightening up loose ends,” he explains. “I don’t expect them to have any drop-off; they knew how to get it done last year, and this year should be the same.”