Argos aim to make room for Woodall

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:23 AM ET

There could be a significant change in the Argos' defence.

It's expected the linebacking crew will be bulked up to accommodate former two-time National Football League Pro Bowler Lee Woodall, who weighs about 230 pounds.

Woodall will share inside duties with veteran Mike O'Shea, who weighs a similar amount. Kevin Eiben, who has led the team in tackles the past two years, will be moved to the strongside position, while Antonious Bonner, who missed much of last season after sustaining separate back and knee injuries, will battle Michael Fletcher for the strongside spot.

Woodall is expected to bolster the Argos' support against the run, while also factoring in the loss of veteran nose guard Noah Cantor, who retired in the off-season. His spot is being contested by Marc Pilon, picked up in the Ottawa dispersal draft, and sophomore Jeff Keeping.

The wideside cornerback spot, which became available following the retirement of Adrion Smith, likely will be filled by a Canadian, either free-agent signing Dave Donaldson, who has bounced around with several teams, or rookie Leron Mitchell. Putting a non-import in that spot frees up an import spot, allowing Woodall to start. Each team is required to employ at least seven Canadian starters, and for the Argos it likely will be: Offensive linemen Jude St. John and Chad Folk; receiver Andre Talbot; Pilon or Keeping; O'Shea and Eiben; and either Donaldson or Mitchell.

RICKY WATCH

Legal issues pertaining to a contract possibly could prevent Ricky Williams from joining the Argos for another week or two, which might keep him out of training camp and both pre-season games, a source said.

"Our football team is as it is and he's not even close (to signing a contract) as I understand it," head coach Pinball Clemons said. "We're happy with our guys and we're going to focus on our guys that are here."


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