Key players on the 2005 Argos

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:39 AM ET

LB KEVIN EIBEN

FIFTH YEAR

BUCKNELL

A fourth-round draft pick in 2001, Eiben worked his way up the ranks through special teams and broke out last year. The linebacker was named the Argos' outstanding player, outstanding Canadian and outstanding defensive player after leading the CFL with 110 defensive tackles.

DB CLIFFORD IVORY

SIXTH YEAR

TROY STATE

A model of consistency, Ivory was named a CFL all-star for the third year in a row last season. Quarterbacks don't want to put the ball in Ivory's hands. In 2003, he led the CFL in touchdowns scored by a defensive player with four. Last season, he made four interceptions, and took two of them back for TDs.

DT NOAH CANTOR

11TH YEAR

SAINT MARY'S

The Canadian veteran achieved a career-first last season when he earned a spot on the CFL all-star team. Cantor also had career-bests in sacks (10) and passes knocked down (eight). Cantor started his pro career in Toronto in 1995 and returned here in 2003, after five years with the B.C. Lions.

LB MICHAEL FLETCHER

SIXTH YEAR

OREGON

A CFLPA East Division all-star last season, Fletcher was a force in the Grey Cup game with eight tackles. He started all 23 games (pre-season, regular season and playoffs) for the Argos last year and earned the CFL defensive player of the week honour in Week 6 of the season.

S ORLONDO STEINAUER

NINTH YEAR

WESTERN WASHINGTON

The last line of defence for the Argos, Steinauer achieved all-star status in the CFL for the third time in his career last season. His best game of the season was the East Division final against the Montreal Alouettes in which he had seven tackles, one forced fumble and one interception.

QB DAMON ALLEN

21ST YEAR

CAL STATE FULLERTON

A grandfather, the 41-year-old Allen showed he still has plenty left in the tank last season. After recovering from a broken left tibia, Allen returned late in the season and was instrumental in the Argos' sensational playoff run. He was named the Grey Cup MVP for the second time in his career.

RB JOHN AVERY

THIRD YEAR

MISSISSIPPI

After off-season knee surgery last year, the prized free-agent signing never hit top gear and wasn't a dominant force every game. After restructuring his contract this off-season, an adductor injury kept Avery out of both pre-season games, but he promised he will be ready to go for the season opener.

WR ROBERT BAKER

SECOND YEAR

AUBURN

The Touchdown Maker had a fine rookie season for the Argos last season, becoming the only Toronto receiver to top the 1,000-yard receiving mark. He saved his best for last, leading all receivers with six pass receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown in the Grey Cup game.

WR ARLAND BRUCE III

FOURTH YEAR

MINNESOTA

Signed in September last year after he was released by the NFL's San Francisco 49ers, Bruce gave a huge boost to the Argos on offence and special teams. He was at his best in the East final against Montreal, catching 12 passes for 101 yards and returning a kickoff 97 yards.

RB HAKIM HILL

FIRST YEAR

ARIZONA STATE

With Avery out in the pre-season, Hill took his place and took advantage of his time in the spotlight. The rookie, who once ran the 100 metres in 10.46 seconds, had a spectacular 51-yard touchdown reception in Hamilton. The Argos used him at receiver and special teams during practice.

QB MICHAEL BISHOP

FOURTH YEAR

KANSAS STATE

A training-camp holdout for the first week, Bishop decided to come back and didn't show much rust. Bishop, who started eight games in place of the injured Allen last season, led the Argos to a come-from-behind win in Hamilton, using his strong arm and speed to beat the Tiger-Cats.

K NOEL PREFONTAINE

EIGHTH YEAR

SAN DIEGO STATE

A kicker who takes pride in his athleticism, Prefontaine was dynamite all of last season for the Argonauts. Never afraid to help out his teammates by making a tackle or throwing a pass, Prefontaine was a CFL all-star at punter and an East Division all-star at kicker.


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